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April 14, 2022 - 7:30pm
posted by Press Release in animal control, news.
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Sarah Fountain
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Catherine Seward

Press release:

National Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week is celebrated every second full week of April and is endorsed by the National Animal Care & Control Association. 

For those in the community that may not be aware, Genesee County Sheriff William A. Sheron, Jr. is responsible for the Genesee County Animal Shelter and its two Dog Control Officers (DCO), Sarah Fountain and Catherine Seward. 

DCO Fountain and Seward are tasked with picking up stray or dangerous animals every day, all year round.  They protect animals from abusers and people from dangerous animals.  These officers seek justice in cases of abused, neglected and abandoned animals; they conduct humane investigations pursuant to NYS Agriculture and Markets Laws, Public Health Laws and bring in helpless animals.  They ensure any and all animals impounded are properly sheltered, fed, and watered and properly adopted, redeemed, or disposed of in a humane manner.

If you see Dog Control Officer Fountain or Seward this week, give them a thumbs up or friendly wave.  Remember, pet owners, license and tag your pet. Your local dog control officer will be happy knowing regular vaccination protocols have been followed and the tag (or chip implant) will help the officer identify the animal and you, the owner.

“The work of the Genesee County Dog Control Officers is so important for our community.  Additionally important is the support and unique relationship we have with the Volunteers for Animals organization.  Dog Control Officers Fountain and Seward, along with the VFA, ensure the shelter runs efficiently and needed services are provided to the community,” stated Sheriff Sheron.

April 14, 2022 - 10:19am

The Genesee County Legislature issued three proclamations at its meeting Wednesday afternoon at the Old Courthouse -- National Public Health Week (April 4-10), National Public Safety Telecommunications Week (April 10-16) and Animal Care and Control Appreciation Week (April 10-16).

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Legislator Gregg Torrey, left, reads from the National Public Health Week proclamation as Brenden Bedard, Public Health deputy director, looks on. The decree asks residents "to observe this week by helping our families, friends, neighbors, co-workers and leaders better understand the value of public health and supporting great opportunities and to celebrate public health’s accomplishments in light of this year’s theme, Public Health is Where You Are.

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Legislator Chad Klotzbach presents the National Public Safety Telecommunications proclamation to, from left, Dispatcher Shelby Turner, Assistant Director Frank Riccobono, Director Steven Sharpe and Sheriff William Sheron. According to the proclamation, "Public Safety Telecommunicators are the first and most critical contact our citizens have with emergency services; they work 24/7 and have one of the most stressful jobs in America, and (the legislature) takes great pride in honoring the men and women whose diligence and professionalism keep our county, citizens, and first responders safe."

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Dog Control Officers Catherine Seward, left, and Sarah Fountain accept the Animal Care and Control Appreciation Week proclamation as Sheriff Sheron and Legislator Gordon Dibble look on. The decree states that animal control officers "are compassionate and committed individuals who serve to protect animals every day by enforcing laws pertaining to their treatment, and (the legislature) takes great pride in honoring the officers whose dedication and professionalism protect the welfare of helpless animals and pets within our county."

Submitted photos.

July 13, 2012 - 7:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, Sheriff's Office, animal control.

Some owners get angry when pulled out of a store because somebody complained about their dog being left in a hot car.

"Most do not even recognize it as abuse at all," said Animal Control Officer Agie Jaroszewski. "They get mad because we interrupted their shopping day. They say we don't know what we're talking about. Their dog is OK."

When it's 85 degrees out, the temperature inside a car can reach 102 degrees in 10 minutes and within 30 minutes it can exceed 120 degrees.

A dog can suffer brain damage or die in short order when temperatures exceed 107 degrees.

Leaving a dog in the car on a hot or very cold day violates Article 26, Section 353d of the NYS Agriculture and Markets Law.

A person shall not confine a companion animal in a motor vehicle in extreme heat or cold without proper ventilation or other protection from such extreme temperatures where such confinement places the companion animal in imminent danger of death or serious physical injury due to exposure to such extreme heat or cold.

Fines range from $50 to $100 for a first offense, from $100 to $250 for a second.

Jaroszewski said citations are generally only issued where an order cannot be located and the dog must be removed from the car and taken to an animal hospital, or when the dog is in obvious distress and must be removed from the car.

Since Jaroszewski is not a deputy, she relies on sworn officers to open cars and issue citations as necessary.

The first order of business is the health and safety of the animal, Jaroszewski said. Whether she responds first or a deputy, the first responder tries to locate the owner of the car. Typically, the owner is paged in the store they have most likely entered.

If the owner is found and the dog is not in distress, they are given a stern lecture and the incident is documents in the law enforcement computer system. The temperature at the time of the incident is also recorded.

Jaroszewski is looking into getting a laser temperature gun (example). That would enable her to point the laser at a surface in the car and get a precise reading of the temperature inside.

Not only would it give her evidence to show a dog owner of just how hot it is in the car, but with a second witness, any citation would have a better chance of holding up in court.

Today, The Batavian drove out to two calls involving dogs left in a car at a time when the sun was beating down and the temperature was 92 degrees.

Our initial headline on the first case was "Dog sweltering in gray TrailBlazer in Walmart parking lot."

It turns out, and what the initial caller may not have realized, the owners left their SUV running with the air conditioner on. The dog was fine, but Deputy Tim Westcott still tracked down the owners inside Walmart because it's a violation of NYS law to leave an unattended vehicle running.

The owners are visiting from Florida and vowed not to leave their dog in their car again and not to leave the vehicle running while unattended. No citation was issued.

In the second case, Wescott located the owners shopping in Michael's. The soon-to-be-married couple left the back windows down on their sedan, and the front windows cracked. During the 10 minutes they told Wescott they were in Michael's, the dog did her job, protecting her master's property by barking at every passerby.

But barking dogs, Westcott noted, dissipate energy faster and that makes them more susceptible to the heat.

In a day and age when more people are aware of the dangers to animals left in cars and everyone has a mobile phone, emergency dispatchers get more calls for dogs left in cars, Wescott noted.

And he wasn't complaining.

The Sheriff's Office takes such calls seriously and if an owner can't be located, deputies will use their car-lock kit to open doors and remove animals.

When that happens, Wescott said he leaves his business card in the car with a note about where the dog was taken.

Typically in such situations a citation is issued.

The more frequent, quicker calls these days probably mean there is intervention by a deputy or animal control officer before a dog is overheated to the point of injury or death.

While dog owners often feel put out by a member of law enforcement paging them in a store, and often claim it was just a matter of minutes that the dog was left alone, typically when paged, as with the couple in Michael's today, they're still in the middle of shopping when located.

With the engaged couple today, Wescott waited for Jaroszewski to arrive, which took about five minutes.

When she did, she lectured the couple on the danger they put their pet in, gave them an informational card that explains the danger. While the couple got back into the car (it took a little time because one of them was in a wheelchair due to a leg injury), she took the dog over to a shaded area (top photo) and waited.

The dog was panting heavily, but otherwise seemed in good health.

And a dog who can go home in good health is the whole goal of deputies or animal control officers who respond to the calls from concerned citizens.

September 13, 2010 - 8:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, genesee county, animal control.

A pesky raccoon running amouk in a trailer park has prompted a frustrated resident(s) to call on the law to remedy the situation.

Dispatch says it has no means of catching said menace and will not resort to shooting the varmint inside a trailer park, thus leaving open the specter for makeshift remedies.

Other information, such as what trailer park and where it is, was not heard.

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