Animal Humane Officer Debate Heats Up

Animal Humane Officer Debate Heats Up

This most recent case of animal abuse has the on-going debate of whether Oneida County needs its own humane officer heating up. A decision about an officer could come as early as October from the county legislature.
This most recent case of animal abuse has the on-going debate of whether Oneida County needs its own humane officer heating up.
A decision about an officer could come as early as October from the county legislature.
Someone who can watch a dog starve to death and starve to that level is not normal, is not safe," said Kim Strong.
She and her animal rights activist group "Lainey's Army" are fighting for an Oneida County humane officer. And in the wake of the recent case of animal abuse against autumn the dog, she's not alone.
"I heard about Autumn and I do think we need a humane officer," said Shirley Renniger.
"It was horrible, it was horrible, no one's pet should be like that," said Denise Elsasser.
Democratic legislator, Frank Tallarino is on board--and says the humane officer could stop more than just animal abuse.
"As our research indicated, spousal abuse, child abuse, animal abuse seems to always be linked together," he said.
But getting a humane officer isn't the only option, according to some republican county legislators.
"If you’re spending taxpayers money it's incumbent on you to do the research first, I mean just for someone to stand up and say ‘yeah we need an officer lets hire him’ that's not the right way to do it," said Ronald Townshend.
"Just by throwing money and bodies at it really doesn't fulfill all the affects that we're trying to achieve," said George Joseph.
One option, according to Joseph, would be to contract out the position but Tallarino says a private agency wouldn't have the same authority as an officer of the law.
"I want our investigator to go and respond to this with the authority that vested in the sheriff’s department to make arrests to require assistance if he so needs so," he said.
The position could cost the county 150,000 dollars, or joseph believes, even more.
"When you're talking about funding positions especially in the county, it's never enough and one position goes into two and then two become three and then you have a vehicle to supply, where does it end," he said.
But it's a price some are willing to pay
"And you're going to keep hearing the stories and we're going to keep fighting, and screaming, and yelling and we're not going away," said Strong.


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