39°F
Sponsored by

Animal Abuse: Silent Suffering Part One

Central New York is not alone in its experience with animal cruelty cases. These incidents happen everywhere, the difference in the Mohawk Valley is that some people are making a lot of noise about it.
Calls for change are nothing new to Central New York and right now there's a strong movement underway to help better protect our pets. Some say those heading the push for better pet protection are members of some lunatic fringe. Others see them as heroes. Eyewitness News wants you to decide.
Central New York is not alone in its experience with animal cruelty cases. These incidents happen everywhere, the difference in the Mohawk Valley is that some people are making a lot of noise about it.
One group of animal rights activists even refer to themselves as an army.
Seeing their bones can make some feel their pain, a pain that goes bone deep. It is perhaps no wonder that some consider these cases more than abuse, they say it’s nothing less than torture.
"People who can intentionally starve something and watch the bones begin to protrude through its skin, that's not a human being we want unchecked in our society,” says Kimberly Strong.
Strong is the founder of Lainey’s Army. She leads a group formed after a dog Lainey was starved to death for 42 days outside her Camden home. But strong and her army have been at the forefront of other area abuse cases. They say they are always trying to raise awareness.
There were the cases of abuse involving the 12 dogs in Herkimer, the 19 Chihuahuas in Oneida, the
pitbull autumn and a dog found just last month in Trenton. And that's just a few.
"Don’t have them, if you can't take care of them right and have them be a part of the family, just don't have them,” says Jeanne Rapalee, a member of Lainey’s Army.
"If someone is torturing and starving a dog, open the gate and let them go, let nature take its course that's better than purpose having these animals look to their guardian, look to the person who really is supposed to take care of them and feed them and have them walk by them every day,” said Strong.
Members of the group say animal abuse has always hit home but joining Lainey’s Army gives them a chance to speak up and act out.
"Kim and Lainey’s Army has given me a structure, a place to go to feel like I’m doing something to contribute because before, I would just read a story and cry and feel helpless but with this group, it's like we have an outlet,” says Perry Onderdonk, a member of Lainey’s Army.
"I’m a big couponer so I go out and buy lots of food that I can get for practically nothing and I donate it to the shelters all the time,” says another member of the group Tammy Alsante.
Some may see their actions as extreme. Strong once tethered herself to a building for 42 hours in remembrance of Lainey. But their actions have served to focus attention on the issue, giving a voice to the voiceless.
"These poor animals they have no voice, they need someone to speak up for them and we're working so hard to get the laws changed here,” said Lainey’s Army member Patti Gallacher.
Lainey's Army says its call to action is to get the current animal cruelty laws moved from under the Agriculture and Market Codes to the New York State Penal Codes. They say the move will enable harsher punishment for abusers.
"These people need to be tried as criminals, it is not a misdemeanor," says Gallacher.
Tune in Wednesday night to Eyewitness News for part two of the series. We take a closer look at the current state laws and punishments.

Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus