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FROM THE DESK OF TOM SCHILIRO – Protecting Against Animal Abuse And Neglect

Protecting Against Animal Abuse And Neglectsmmmby Tom Schiliro

Protecting Against Animal Abuse And Neglect

In this time of breaking news, political intrique, and international stories, we sometimes ignore our most treasured possessions, our pets. In a recent visit to Roy Gross, Chief of Suffolk County’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, (SPCA) there was much to be learned. In one year alone, this very busy organization handled 3,000 cases, receiving over 48,000 phone calls, a monumental undertaking. They are staffed with 60 peace officers empowered to make arrests and issue summons along with a host of volunteers. They work closely with the District Attorney, Sheriff, Suffolk Police, NYSDEC, and all town shelters. If you do the math however,this is not adequate staff for the role they play.
The SPCA receives no government funds, state or federal. They exist solely on contributions from the public. To make matters worse, they are a seperate agency from the ASPCA which is primarily headquartered in New York City. When a Suffolk County resident makes a donation, which many of us do, we tend to make that donation to the ASPCA and those funds do not help us here. More education is needed in donating to this organization because of the work they do.
This became acute in the case of Roxie, a seven month old pitbull puppy found hanging from a tree in Bellport. The SPCA organized a $21,500 reward leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for this horrible deed. Long Islanders recently came together to memorialize Roxie and to give publicity to animal abuse and neglect. Currently this case is still open. All too often we are treated to many stories similar to Roxie’s; the public cares but we need to do more.
If you suspect that someone or some organization are abusing an animal or not caring for them properly, contact the SPCA. They will respond to every inquiry and with the help of the public begin turning the tide on this menace facing our communities. This great organization, in expanding its public outreach, provides educational opportunities to schools, law enforcement agencies, all with the goal of heightened awareness of animal cruelty to wide audiences.
There is much more that can be done and they are ready with a variety of programs. They offer a free rabies vaccination clinic, educational programs and assistance to those in need to protect our pets. During the last year, they successfully inoculated more than 600 dogs, cats and ferrets, free of charge to prevent the rabies disease. The Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals can be reached at 631-382-7722 or at www.suffolk.spca.org to learn more about their programs, volunteer or make a donation.

Tom Schiliro lives in Manorville and is the host of the LINEWS radio program “Eye On Crime” and can be heard on LI News103.9 FM at 4:00 p.m. on Sundays. Any questions or comments can be addressed by email to saddlerockofny@aol.com, care of Tom Schiliro.

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