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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."

August 1, 2016 - 10:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, batavia, news.


A reader found this dog wandering in the area of College Road near Bank Street at 10:30 p.m., Friday. They've looked for info on lost dogs and seen none reported in the area and there's been no such dog reported missing to the Animal Shelter, they said. "He's the sweetest dog." They will be giving the dog a temporary home hoping the owner will be found soon. If you think this dog is yours, please call 585-409-3383.

July 29, 2016 - 10:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Calling All Dogs, Tori Ganino, batavia, pets, animals, news.


Because choke, pinch and prong dog collars really don't help improve a dog's behavior, and can actually make bad behavior worse, Tori Ganino, owner of Calling All Dogs, 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia, is offering a discount on training to owners who leave those collars with her so they can be destroyed.

Leave one of those types of collars and get $12 off a group class or $12 off an in-home training visit, or leave an electric collar and get $15 off.

"These collars create all kinds of negative associations and don't help build a relationship with your dog," Ganino said. "They create bad associations, so if a person is walking by and a dog is already a little bit nervous and then they see the person and they get pinched or they get choked, that just validated the feelings that the person is bad because they got hurt when they saw the person. It can make behaviors worse."

If a dog learns that pain will be associated with pre-bite warnings, such as barking or lunging, the dogs will learn to suppress those warnings and instead just bite, Ganino said, which makes them very hard to work with later when tryng to unlearn that behavior. 

And even in a good-natured dog, the pain hurts the dog's relationship with its owner, she said, because they see the owner as the one inflicting the pain. 

Ganino wants owner to bring punishment collars in and learn the kind of behavioral techniques, build around rewards and learning alternative behaviors, for the sake of the dogs, the owners and anyone they might encounter.

"I want to be able to show people is that they can change their dog's emotional response so things are not nearly so scary," Ganino said.

The phone number for Calling All Dogs is (585) 455-5387.

NOTE: Rocky update: Tori helped us a lot with Rocky and we continue to work with him.  His behavior has improved; he's lost a lot of his fear and demonstrates a lot more happy and loving behavior. 

July 13, 2016 - 12:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, crime, batavia, news.
     Darren Annovi

Darren Annovi, the 42-year-old resident of 400 Towers in Batavia, who is accused of placing his live cat in an oven and baking it to death, must undergo a forensic mental health evaluation, Judge Robert Balbick ruled today at Annovi's arraignment in City Court.

A key issue at the arraignment was whether to release Annovi on bail or on his own recognizance. Typically, a person with no criminal record and a high score on the bail evaluation would be a sure bet to be released without bail, and since state guidelines don't take into account the nature of the criminal charge, but Balbick was concerned about the last sentence in the bail evaluation.

He said that it indicated Annovi might a danger to the community. 

That assessment reportedly came from corrections officers at the jail and Assistant Public Defender Lisa Kroemer suggested that since they weren't trained mental health professionals, maybe that shouldn't weigh heavily in the bail hearing.

She thought an evaluation by a professional would be appropriate.

Bail is supposed to be based on the likelihood the defendant will appear for his next court date, but Balbick said he thought it reasonable to consider Annovi's mental health state since that, too, could be a factor in whether he would appear as ordered.

Annovi is charged with aggravated animal cruelty.

Bail was set at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond.

He is scheduled to next appear in City Court at 9:30 a.m., July 21.

Previously: 400 Towers resident jailed without bail for allegedly killing his cat by burning it alive in hot oven

July 13, 2016 - 12:39pm

Information provided by Volunteers for Animals:

Volunteers For Animals will be offering a microchip clinic during Hogs for Paws at Stan's Harley Davidson from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13th. The motorcycle dealership is located at 4425 W. Saile Drive in the Town of Batavia.

Cost of microchipping is $30 per animal, which includes the injection, a collar ID tag and national registration. Accepted payment is either cash or checks (made out to Volunteers For Animals), sorry no credit cards. No preregistration necessary.

Each dog or cat must be accompanied by someone who can control it. Cats MUST be in carriers. You will need an email address for registration purposes. Free registration is done through

What is a microchip?
The microchip is a tiny computer chip which has an identification number programmed into it and is encapsulated within a biocompatible material. The whole device is small enough to fit inside a hypodermic needle and can be simply injected under the skin of our pets, where it will stay for the life of the animal.

This provides a permanent, positive identification which cannot be lost, altered or intentionally removed - a safe, simple and inexpensive way to protect your pet against loss or theft. The computer memory in the microchip contains a unique number -- no two animals will ever have the same number. A radio signal is used to read this number through the skin of your pet. It is routine for animal shelters and veterinarian offices to scan pets for microchips.

Real stories about local pets...

Molly the dog, pictured right, was found in Oakfield after being missing for TWO YEARS. After setting traps, leaving food and lots of patience, they were finally able to catch this bedraggled pooch.

Molly was taken to the Genesee County Animal Shelter and that is when they found she was microchipped.

They called the owner and gave her the incredible news that her dog who had ran away two years ago was at the Shelter. It was quite a reunion which never would have happened had Molly not been microchipped.

Microchips talk for animals when collars and tags go missing.

Chevy was a stray cat, pictured left, that came into the Shelter from Summit Street in the City of Batavia.

She had been on her own throughout the winter. She had a BB lodged in her side and patches of fur missing, most likely from a car engine fan.

She was posted for adoption on our website and within days her family spotted her on the website. They came into the Shelter and sure enough it was her. They lived a block away on Tracy Avenue.

Chevy had bolted from the house in the fall. They were lucky in many ways: the nice person on Summit took her to the vet for her care and brought her to the Shelter and they spotted her on the website.

Had Chevy been microchipped, the folks at the shelter could have found her family more quickly without risk of her being adopted by someone else. Even house cats need to be microchipped!

July 12, 2016 - 11:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, Oakfield.

An animal control officer has been dispatched to Sunrise Parkway in Oakfield, where a caller reports a cat may have been shot by a BB gun.

The caller does not have the cat.

No suspect information available.

UPDATE 11:53 a.m.: The animal control officer has spoken with the caller and provided advice on how to catch the cat. The officer had been unable to catch the cat to determine its injuries, if any.

July 8, 2016 - 6:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, batavia, news.


Batavia PD is asking for the public's assistance in identifying the driver of this car.

The driver is suspected of leaving two cats in a cage in the parking lot of Batavia Middle School on June 18.

The police are investigating the incident as a possible animal cruelty case.

Two black and white cats were left there in the cage on a hot day with no food or water. 

If you have information to share, contact Officer Lindsay at (585) 345-6350

June 24, 2016 - 2:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, batavia, news.


This is Jack. Jack is a brown and white Jack Russell terrier. Jack is missing.

He recently had medical treatment for an injury on his neck. He has a staple in his neck, so he wasn't wearing his collar when he went missing Wednesday. He also has two staples in his paw.

Jack is missing from the area of Oak Street and Montclair Avenue in Batavia.

If you can help, call Nathan Stoll at (585) 749-8525 or (585) 356-2965.

June 22, 2016 - 10:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, pets, animals, news.


Jay is missing Ginger in the Village of Le Roy. Jay is offering a reward for Ginger's safe return. Ginger was last seen on Saturday. If you find Ginger, call Jay at (585) 820-7818.

June 21, 2016 - 3:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in Public Health, pets, rabies, health advisory, news, Announcements.

Press release:

Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Public Health Advisory

Keeping Wild Animals – Unsafe, Illegal and Inhumane! 

RABIES ALERT! STOP! and THINK! Do NOT touch! It can kill! Any mammal is able to get rabies, it is very important to get your pets vaccinated and not to touch or handle any stray or wild animals including baby animals and bats.

“The Health Department has had several cases where people have taken in wild animals (babies) and / or played with stray cats and dogs which have led to unnecessary post exposure treatments and/or having to put the animals down (euthanize) them to be tested," stated Paul Pettit, director of Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments.

"Because rabies is in New York State ALL wild and stray animals that come in direct contact (bitten or scratched with broken skin and saliva exchange in open wounds or mucous membranes – eyes, nose, and mouth) with humans and domesticated animals are assumed to have rabies...even if they don’t.

"The only way to know is by testing the animal, which means it has to be euthanized. Whether the animal has rabies or does not, it is dead. Not only are you putting your family and friends at risk of a deadly disease, those who think they are ‘helping’ an animal could be giving it a death sentence."

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Infected mammals can spread rabies virus to humans and other mammals through the saliva and spinal fluids. Rabies is almost always fatal once symptoms appear.

Pettit notes, “It is illegal to possess any wild animal that naturally lives in the state. Not only do these animals have the potential to spread rabies, but they often carry parasites, or may carry diseases that can be spread from animal to human.

"It is important to leave wild animals alone! More times than not baby animals are not orphaned but are kept hidden while the parents can hunt for food or stay away to protect them from predators. Nature will take care of nature. Wild animals have had to be put down because humans have interfered in their lives.”

The best way to keep pets safe from rabies is to vaccinate them and keep their shots up-to-date.

By avoiding contact with stray or wild animals, saving the bat / animal that may have had contact with humans / domestic animals, and reporting an incident to your local Health Department, we may be able to avoid unnecessary medical treatment that averages over $3,000 per person.

Take note of the upcoming FREE anti-rabies immunization clinics for dogs, cats and ferrets. The animal must be three months of age or older. Additional clinics can be found by checking the web sites or calling your local Health Department. Check your county web site for pre-registration instructions. Each dog, cat, and ferret must be accompanied by someone who can control it:

  • Genesee County: Thursday, Aug. 18, at the Genesee County Fairgrounds, 5031 E. Main St., Batavia. The clinic runs from 4 to 7 p.m. Dog, cat and ferret vaccinations are free for Genesee County residents. A $5 voluntary donation per dog, cat, or ferret, is appreciated to offset clinic expenses. Non-county residents must pay a mandatory $5 fee for each dog, cat, and ferret immunized. Speed up the registration process during the clinic by registering your pets ahead of time! To pre-register your pets visit:
  • Wyoming County: Wednesday, July 20, at the Attica Town Highway Department, Route 98, Attica. The clinic runs from 6 to 8 p.m. (Registrations until 7:45 p.m.) This is a FREE clinic to Wyoming County residents ~ Donations are gratefully accepted! Out of county residents will be charged $10 per animal.
  • Orleans County: Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Shelby Highway Department, 4062 Shelby Basin Road, Medina. The clinic runs from 9 to 11:30 a.m. You must arrive no later than 11:30 to ensure that you will be served. Clinic staff reserves the right to decline service to late (after 11:30) arrivals. To pre-register go to this site will have an Orleans County button/link before the scheduled clinics.
  • For information on Health Department services contact,

  • Genesee County Health Department at: 344-258,0 ext. 5545 or visit their website at Visit Facebook at Genesee County Health Department and Twitter at GeneseeCoHealthDept.

  •  Wyoming County Health Department at: 786-8890 or visit their web site at 

  •  Orleans County Health Department at: 589-3278 or check out our website at:

            Visit Facebook and Twitter: the user name for both is OrleansCoHealth.

June 7, 2016 - 5:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Stafford, pets, animals, news.


This pup was lost in Stafford and found by Marrianne Newmark. She called the Sheriff's Office and the dog is being taken to the Genesee County Animal Shelter on West Main Street Road. If you lost your friendly and playful dog, that's where it is.


June 3, 2016 - 11:41am
posted by Billie Owens in pets, animal rescue, Le Roy.

A black female dog with white markings was found astray without tags or a collar on Hilltop Drive in Le Roy about 20 minutes ago. A Le Roy police officer met or is meeting with an animal control officer in Stafford to hand off the pooch for transport to the Genesee County Animal Shelter.

So, if you know this dog, that's where you can find it, 3841 W. Main Street Road, Town of Batavia.


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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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