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February 21, 2017 - 12:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, batavia, news.

The remains of an animal found in the basement of a former Batavia pet shop have been sent to an office of the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), according to Officer Eric Hill, spokesman for Batavia PD.

One of the things SPCA examiners will try to do is determine what kind of animal it was that was found in the basement of the former location of Neptune's Gardens.

An employee of I.D. Booth, the company that owns the building on Ellicott Street, with a store next door, reportedly found the remains in a box while cleaning out the basement to prepare the store space for a potential new tenant. That employee posted a picture of the dead animal to social media, saying it was a dog, and the dozens of people that reposted it (the post has since been removed) and media who reported on it, including The Batavian and the radio show Kimberly and Beck, didn't stop to question whether it really was a dog in the picture.

The skull was not in complete profile in the picture, so it's indistinct, but there is no clear sign that it had a snout or canine-like teeth. Also, from a picture, without anything of scale next to the remains, it's impossible to tell the actual size of the animal. 

Asked if it might not be a dog, Hill said, "Nothing has been ruled in or out at this time."

Reached last week, at a time when everybody believed the bones were the remains of a dog, Neptune's co-owner Kathy LaFarnara said she had no idea how bones from a dog could have wound up in the basement of their former store. Neptune's closed that location, with plans to open another one in a smaller space across the street, more than five months ago.

Hill said the case is open pending a report from SPCA and otherwise there is no new information to report.

February 16, 2017 - 11:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, Neptunes Gardens, batavia, news.

An employee of a local electric supply company, while cleaning out the basement of a former pet store in the same building, made a grisly discovery today  -- the bones of a dead dog in a box.

The box was reportedly stuck into some shelving in the basement.

Police were contacted immediately, according to John Booth, CEO of I.D. Booth, the company that owns the building on Ellicott Street in the City of Batavia.

Somebody who identified herself as an employee of I.D. Booth also posted the picture on social media and it was shared dozens and dozens of times today and became fodder on the radio talk show of Kimberly and Beck in Rochester.

Booth said he and his company are fully cooperating with the police on their inquiry into what might have happened.

Kathy LaFarnara, co-owner of Neptune's Gardens with her husband, Nicholas, told The Batavian today that neither she nor her husband knew anything about the dog prior to posts about it popping up on social media.  

They closed the location, which was behind the Pok-A-Dot, about five months ago and haven't been back inside since, she said. They were intending to open a smaller store on the other side of Ellicott Street, but with all the negative publicity on social media and Kimberly and Beck, she isn't sure what their future business plans are now.

"In 31 years of business, we always disposed of animals properly, even the rabbits," LaFarnara said.

Asked if an employee might have put the box in the basement, LaFarnara said their only employee was Nick's daughter.

"And she didn't like to go down in the basement," she said. "I didn't either. It was creepy down there. The stairway was open and you always felt like somebody might reach up and grab your legs.

"Right now, I have no idea where the dog came from," she added.

Det. Eric Hill this afternoon could not confirm anything other than that police had been called and asked to look into the matter.

Booth issued the following statement this evening:

I.D. Booth, Inc. learned of a tragic and disturbing situation on February 16, 2017. While an I.D. Booth employee was cleaning out property that is presently owned by I.D. Booth, but had been leased to former tenant Neptunes Gardens, the I.D. Booth employee discovered what appears to be the remains of an animal. The remains appear to not have been handled properly.

I.D. Booth has never occupied the Neptunes Gardens property, and has no information about the condition of remains, or the treatment or condition of any animals that were housed at the facility. I.D. Booth is horrified about this alarming discovery, and does not condone the unethical treatment of animals.

Upon discovering the remains, I.D. Booth immediately reported the discovery to the police, who have opened an investigation. I.D. Booth takes this situation very seriously, and is cooperating fully with the Batavia Police Department. Anyone with any information about this situation is encouraged to pass such information to the Batavia Police Department.

January 20, 2017 - 9:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, batavia, news.


This friendly pouch was found on Ellicott Street this morning. No collar or tags. Kristin Bates took him to work at Remedy Staffing and he's there now.

"He is a sweet boy, who is clearly used to being in a home," Kristin said.

She can be reached at (585) 993-6336.

UPDATE: Dog and family have been reunited.

December 29, 2016 - 3:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in lost pets, pets, animals, batavia, news.


Russ Marchese took this cat to the Animal Shelter after finding it near the railroad tracks on Wortendyke Road, Batavia.

December 26, 2016 - 4:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, Oakfield, news.


A resident of Oakfield found these dogs in her yard this afternoon. She lives just outside of Oakfield near Z&M on Route 63. Both dogs have collars. One has tags. The phone number rings at the Town Hall. Both are white/cream color.

Both dogs are being picked up by animal control and will be available at the shelter.


December 19, 2016 - 9:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, Stafford, news.


Baloo (bah-loo) is missing.

This 2-year-old black lab is not fixed, had no tags at the time he went missing, and had on a camo collar.

He ran from his home in Stafford on Sunday morning and hasn't been seen since.

UPDATE Noon: Baloo has been located and is safe.

November 12, 2016 - 9:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, Oakfield, news.


"Charlie" decided to go on a little unsupervised adventure yesterday while in Oakfield and has been missing since.

The beagle, who lives in Batavia, ran off from his owner while on Farnsworth Avenue, with green collar and leash still attached.

Somebody spotted Charlie yesterday on Maltby Road between the school and North Pearl, but the spotter doesn't think Charlie was dragging his leash along with him at that point. 

If you know anything about Charlie's whereabouts, call (585) 344-0787.


November 12, 2016 - 12:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animal, pets, news, batavia.

We didn't catch the location, but this is interesting: A Batavia police officer was dispatched to deal with a loose dog and he now reports that the dog is not letting him out of his patrol vehicle.

A backup unit is dispatched to help deal with the shepherd-white pit bull mix, which is deaf.

November 2, 2016 - 7:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Catty Shack, batavia, feral cats, pets, animals, news.


Shannon Laurer and Jennifer Goss have started Catty Shack, a neighborhood cat rescue and release program serving Genesee County. Yesterday, City Slickers hosted a fundraiser to help cover the costs of dealing with stray cats locally.

Catty Shack is primarily a TNR (trap, neuter and release) program, but tame cats may be adopted to appriopriate homes.

Catty Shack has already captured, neutered and released 16 cats, will trap 18 more next week and have 20 kittens that will soon be ready for adoption.

To find out more, visit the Catty Shack page on Facebook.

October 31, 2016 - 7:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, missing pets, animals, pembroke, indian falls, news.


This gorgeous lady is sleeping on a cozy pillow on a deck at a home on Sliker Road in Indian Falls, but that's not her home, and the homeowner would like to help find her owner.

The concerned citizen said the German shepherd won't let her get close enough to read her tags. She just runs off.

UPDATE 8:53 p.m.: Owner and dog are reunited.

September 22, 2016 - 2:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in dogs, animals, volunteers for animals, pets, crime, batavia, news.

Lily has been granted clemency, at least for now.

Public Defender Jerry Ader, attorney David Fitch, representing the city, and City Court Judge Durin Rogers held meetings over the past two days and came to an agreement that will spare Lily her life, potentially, while the conviction of Duty Caswell for harboring a vicious dog will stand.

As part of the agreement, Ader withdraws his motion challenging Caswell's conviction and will file a new motion to vacate the sentence. That should happen in about two weeks.

In the meantime, Fitch must find a dog behavioral specialist who can certify that Lily is redeemable.

Rogers issued an order in May to have Lily put down as a vicious dog because of an incident on Hutchins Place on March 7 where she bit a 13-year-old boy.

She didn't help her case when she bit the Sheriff's K-9 deputy.

But folks at the Animal Shelter believe Lily is worth saving and rallied to her cause. They secured space for her with the Kramer Foundation, which specializes in rehabilitating dogs declared vicious and slated for euthanasia. 

Previous: Lily's fate hangs in the balance as City Court judge set to hear appeal tomorrow

September 21, 2016 - 3:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, crime, batavia, news.



Lily, who likes to chase bubbles, has her life on the line.

In May, Judge Durin Rogers declared Lily a vicious dog and ordered her destroyed within 30 days.

Lily has had a stay of execution, so to speak, as volunteers and others have taken up Lily's cause, and the cause of her previous owner, Duty Caswell, to try and save her life.

Caswell has already surrendered ownership of Lily, and the Kramer Foundation, which specializes in rehabilitating dogs deemed vicious, has written to Rogers and confirmed an interest in obtaining Lily.

Lily's fate may rest on a hearing in City Court tomorrow (Thursday) on an appeal of Caswell's conviction of harboring a vicious dog.

The appeal was written by Public Defender Jerry Ader who stepped in after Caswell's conviction.

Ader's appeal rests on two primary points:

  • Caswell was not represented by counsel. He was not granted assigned counsel and did not hire his own attorney.
  • Caswell was convicted under Batavia's Municipal Law. A case in 2010 overturned a similar conviction because that local law, in Nassau County, was deemed void by conflicting with state law. Under state law, Lily would not be considered a candidate for euthanasia. 

Lily was taken into Animal Control custody on March 7 after she bit a 13-year-old boy on Hutchins Place while keeping a frightened woman pinned down as she screamed and Lily circled her.

At Caswell's hearing, the prosecution called three witnesses and Caswell produced no witnesses or testimony on his behalf. Rogers issued his decision after a short recess.

At some point, K-9 Deputy Chris Erion was called in to evaluate Lily. Lily bit him.

Erion confirmed he was bitten (his duty pants have a small tear, but he wasn't hurt) and said that Lily, with her current behavior, wouldn't be a good candidate as a family dog or a police dog. 

Volunteers with Volunteers for Animals believe that with proper training and socialization, she is redeemable. She is high energy and can't be trusted unsupervised, but they said she's fine when given a job to do, such as chase bubbles.

"Having a young, high-strung dog is difficult for anybody," said one volunteer. "Give her something to do and she's fine."

Another person at the shelter said, "With proper exercise and mental stimulation she is fine."

Erion, among others, said it was later learned that Lily may have given birth to a puppy prior to the March 7 incident, and her puppy was taken away from her. That would typically cause behavioral issues, both folks at the shelter and Erion said.

The hearing is tomorrow at 1:15 p.m.

File photo from March 7. The gentleman with Lily is a friend of Caswell's.

September 14, 2016 - 4:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in animal rescue, pets, news, batavia.

(Submitted photo.)

A reader, whose mother lives on Fordham Drive in Batavia, wrote to say this orange and white kitten wandered into her mother's garage yesterday and is desperately trying to go in her house. The feline has a very sweet, albeit persistent, disposition.

Anyone with information -- maybe it's your cat or your friend's cat or you'd like to have this cat or a relative wants a cat-- please call 344-1034. 

September 13, 2016 - 9:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, animals, pets.

From our news partner, 13WHAM.

September 9, 2016 - 11:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, animals, pets, news.

A caller complains that at a residence on Dellinger Avenue, a dog is being left outside all day, in the heat, without shelter.

The City's animal control officer is responding.

September 6, 2016 - 10:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, animals, pets.

The city's animal control officer has been dispatched to an address on Union Street where a caller reports that a dog is tied up outside every day and barks all day.

"The caller has had enough," the dispatcher told the officer.

A second caller, who heard the dispatch, says he believes the dog is on Woodrow.

August 13, 2016 - 3:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Hogs for Paw, volunteers for animals, pets, animals, batavia, news.


Rocky got to visit Hogs for Paws today, the annual fundraiser hosted by Stan's Harley Davidson for Volunteers for Animals.

The volunteers were thrilled to see Rocky again and he was thrilled to see them. Then he got microchipped, which he took like a champ.

There were lots of dogs and people there, which was also thrilling for Rocky.





August 4, 2016 - 10:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, batavia, news.


Missy, who belongs to the brother of a local resident and not familiar with Batavia, is missing.

Missy went missing from a residence on Ganson near Jackson and was last seen on Bank Street at Alva Place.

Information, call Jerry at 602-509-1442.

UPDATE 4:45 p.m.: We regret to inform our readers that Missy was struck by a car and has died.

August 4, 2016 - 10:24am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, animal welfare, pets.

A caller reports a black car is parked with a dog inside it near the entrance of Wal-Mart. Law enforcement is responding. It's a 2013 Chevy Impala and the engine is running.

"The caller is not concerned about the welfare of the dog," says the dispatcher. "She's concerned about the dog putting the car in gear and running into pedestrians."


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