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Will a Humane Investigator be reinstated in Oneida County?

By ALLISON NORLIAN

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The talk of Oneida County Thursday night had to do with the proposal of a Humane Investigator within the Oneida County Sheriff's Office, especially after the discovery of Autumn, the emaciated dog found in West Utica. Two local legislators, Frank Tallarino and George Joseph weighed in with their opinions.

The fight to bring back an Oneida County Humane Officer has been going on for a long time now. County Legislator Frank Tallarino is Democratic Minority Leader and for him, this proposal is close to his heart, " Its a continual occurrence and I think the time has come for us to take corrective action... I was born on a farm, I was a farm boy for 14-15 years and I raised animals throughout my life and I believe if you are going to have animals, they should be taken care of and that's the way I feel, that's the way I was raised."

Tallarino also believes animal abuse and further criminal activity go hand in hand, " When they abuse, when they see abused animals and are accustomed to seeing that regularly, all statistics we've seen in domestic abuse, child abuse, spousal abuse have had cases, a large percentage of cases of animal abuse are linked together."

Many individuals, like Kimberly Strong, Director of Lainey's Army hope that this new case of animal cruelty pulls at Legislator and council people's heart strings enough to reinstate the position of the Humane Officer, " I hope they finally say we need to get behind this, we need to step up our game and we need to support our citizens in what they are obviously choosing to do the citizens in Oneida County step up, rescues step up, these shelters step it up, the only people left who need to step up their game is Oneida County."

Especially because Oneida County has one of the highest incidences of animal abuse in the state.

The amount of money proposed for this legislation would go towards the investigators, a vehicle, money for transportation and vet expenses for animals. Tallarino said he believes $150,000 annual appropriation will cover it, and that the money made from fines and penalties of accused animal abusers will substantiate the expenditure.

George Joseph, Republican Majority Leader believes there is a need for action but there is more then one remedy, for example, he feels the county should contract out the humane officer position.

The decision on the position will be decided in mid October.

The Stevens Swan Humane Society is asking anyone with information about this dog's owners to call them at this number 738-4357.

Lainey's army is offering a $1,200 dollar reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the person responsible.

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