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AAGS INCREASES REWARD TO $3,500

The Animal Alliance of Greater Syracuse’s Keeping Faith Program has increased the reward being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the recent torture of a kitten in Syracuse to $3,500.

According to AAGS President Donna Chambers, “Donations to increase the amount of the reward have been flowing in. People are horrified by the brutality of this act, and want the perpetrators apprehended and punished to the maximum allowed by law.”

Chambers continued, “Such vicious behavior impoverishes our community as a whole. While we believe that animals have intrinsic value, according to the National Link Coalition, ‘Mistreating animals is no longer seen as an isolated incident that can be ignored: it is often an indicator or predictor crime and a “red flag” warning sign that other family members in the household may not be safe.’ Due to generous contributions from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), our local Volunteer  Advocate Lawyers for Animal Abuse Court (VALAC) organization, and many CNY citizens, AAGS has been able to make this additional offer.”

Donations may be made through AAGS’ website at www.animalallianceofgreatersyracuse.org or by check to PO Box 94, Liverpool 13088. All donations are tax deductible.

On July 25, 2019, the Syracuse Police Department was called to the 100 block of Schneider Street on the North side of the City of Syracuse, where a kitten was found with no front legs and other fresh wounds.  The kitten was treated by medical professionals, who concluded that both of the kitten's front legs had likely been amputated. The kitten did not survive.

Officer Tara Kalil, the Syracuse Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Investigator, is seeking the public's help with any information that may assist in in apprehending the perpetrator of this heinous crime.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Officer Kalil at 315-442-5336 or tkalil@syracusepolice.org.

AAGS OFFERS $1,000 REWARD IN TORTURE OF KITTEN

Syracuse, October 3, 2019 – The Animal Alliance of Greater Syracuse’s Keeping Faith Program is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the recent torture of a kitten in Syracuse

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On July 25, 2019, the Syracuse Police Department was called to the 100 block of Schneider Street on the North side of the City of Syracuse, where a kitten was found with no front legs and other fresh wounds.  The kitten was treated by medical professionals, who concluded that both of the kitten's front legs had likely been amputated. 

Officer Tara Kalil, the Syracuse Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Investigator, is seeking the public's help with any information that may assist in in apprehending the perpetrator of this heinous crime.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact OfficerTara at 315-442-5336 or tkalil@syracusepolice.org.

 

Deer & Tick Committee Relying on Scare Tactics

The current administration prides itself in its progressive, transparent, collaborative, and “green” approach to the problems plaguing our city. We strongly applaud this approach. We do not, however, believe the proposed recommendations reflect any of those values. In fact, the committee appears to be stacked in favor of killing.  It is engaging in scare tactics by relaying to the public factually deficient information and relying on emotion rather than science.  It is about as far from green as it can be.

 

Members of the Animal Alliance of Greater Syracuse have studied this issue for years. Along with other local agencies, they presented information to the committee about ticks and deer based on scientific studies.

  1. Deer are not the sole or even the foremost host for ticks, yet deer remain the only target of the killing. Why?

  2. The CDC specifically advises against culling as a method of dealing with Lyme’s disease. Why?

  3. Parts of the country experienced with dealing with Lyme’s disease do not use bait and kill. Why?

  4. According to research at the Harvard School of Public Health, the reason hunting deer won’t effectively combat Lyme disease is because ticks also depend on white-footed mice. Ticks do not actually acquire Lyme disease from deer but rather, ticks contract it as larvae when they feed on infected mice. Adult female ticks then lay their eggs on the deer, but the deer do not actually become infected. If you kill deer, the ticks simply lay their eggs on the remaining deer.

  5. In addition, Harvard research found that “the tick population oscillates, which is part of the insect’s natural life cycle.” In other words, the numbers of deer have nothing to do with the numbers of ticks.

  6. Most of the negatives being blamed on deer, such as soil erosion and forest changes, can easily be attributed to other species, first and foremost being humans. So again, why are people so adamant about killing deer?

Animal Alliance members also presented to the committee information regarding additional scientific studies, as well as organizations that offer non-lethal deer management program options and grants to communities like Syracuse. Below are just five of the foremost resources available to anyone interested in a balanced view. Many of their representatives have offered over the years to meet with county, town, and city officials via email, skype, phone, and in person.

  1. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has a well-developed process to help communities such as ours deal with this issue in a non-lethal way. Their entire packet of deer conflict solutions was provided to the committee. Has anyone reached out to their Urban Wildlife department? Why not?

  2. White Buffalo has a well-respected program, and in fact, conducts studies based on each situation they undertake to improve their tactics moving forward.

  3. Botstiber Institute for Wildlife Fertility Control has grants available.

  4. Wildlife NYC “is an unprecedented effort to promote conservation and coexistence between humans and wildlife through public policy, responsible management plans, and educational initiatives.”

  5. The Keesing Lab Tick Project “is a five-year study sponsored by the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in partnership with Bard College, the CDC and others to determine whether neighborhood-based prevention can reduce human cases of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.”

As of 6/10/19, the committee had contacted of these organizations with experience in utilizing non-lethal methods for dealing with this issue and obtaining grants to address it. What kind of “advisory committee” is this that fails to explore all reasonable options?

 

Is the control action part of a systematic, long-term management program?  Many towns in our region decided on the “quick and easy fix” of bait and kill.  This band-aid may have made their residents think all was solved.  At hearings in those towns, politicians argued one culling would take care of the “problem”; instead, some of these municipalities are going into year three of killing.  One of the Advisory Group’s own members indicated, “We will always have to manage the deer population.”

 

Among other concerns:

  1. As an advisory group, the committee’s mindset does not appear to be balanced, but rather decidedly pro-culling. Why is that?

  2. The committee’s composition is not representative of the community as a whole; even the organizations involved (Cornell Cooperative extension, SUNY ESF and the DEC) are decidedly pro-cull institutions. Is this skewed representation fair to the community? Granted, each area of the city has unique issues that demand attention and remediation, but the ripple effect of those issues demands input from the entire city and not just one particular neighborhood. 

  3. In a city plagued by gun violence, a policy utilizing weapons to kill animals may have a radically different impact on neighborhoods suffering from the criminal use of guns to solve problems.

  4. The city faces inadequate education, overwhelming poverty, decaying infrastructure and housing, mental health and addiction crises, and lead poisoning of its children; we would respectfully ask if city residents are really crying out for relief from the deer? 

  5. If the county were not funding the killing, would this really be such a priority?

 

To reiterate, The Center for Disease Control (CDC) does not recommend killing deer for the purpose of controlling ticks because, quite simply, it doesn’t work.

 

So what is the purpose of killing the deer? What do we hope to accomplish? What is the goal?

 

  1. Lyme disease is definitely a catastrophic illness that none of us would wish on anyone, but if killing deer is ineffective in containing the spread of Lyme disease as well as financially wasteful, then what is the reasoning?

  2. A deer/car collision can have significant consequences to humans, vehicles and deer. Lowering such accidents is a worthwhile goal.

  3. Many people put a great deal of effort into their yards, gardens, and landscaping. It is certainly distressing to find one’s efforts have been destroyed by a few deer in the course of one night.

 

We question however, whether the wholesale slaughter of hundreds of sentient creatures is the best solution. Or should we, as the more highly evolved species, take some responsibility for employing mitigating measures and investigating best practices?

 

While many of our citizens are hunters and find nothing amiss about the killing, we would suggest that baiting and luring the deer into a trap for wholesale slaughter is much different than hunting, which requires an element of skill. This, on the other hand, is just a bloodbath.

 

In our opinion, that a city with one of the highest murder rates in the country cannot find a solution to "the deer problem" other than simply killing truly makes a telling statement. And bow and arrow? Net and bolt? Both even more inhumane than shooting. Why do we even try to promote compassion in our city?

 

Fertility control is no more expensive than killing, and reduces the population permanently. To borrow a phrase from one Ithaca resident, please do not let this “annual massacre become part of our local culture.”

 

If you live in the City of Syracuse and agree with us that there are better ways to deal with this issue than killing deer, please contact Mayor Walsh and your Common Council representative.

Our Court Observers attend every hearing for every abuse or neglect case in Syracuse as well as many in outlying areas. This keeps them very busy, but they feel it is important that they be there on behalf of the victims who are unable to speak for themselves.

If you would like to contribute to this effort, please contact us at aags@twcny.rr.com.

 

Early this past September we were told about an unpleasant incident that occurred at a local shelter. Centered on the medical needs of one of the animals, what began as a verbal disagreement reportedly turned into something much worse . . .

Continued  . . .

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