A well publicized case of animal cruelty at this year's NYS Fair in September is in the news again. Patrick J. Oneill, 66, of Massena made his second court appearance last Monday but the case has been adjourned again because he is still in search of a lawyer. According to Syracuse.com, Oneill was given another week to obtain representation. He will appear in court again on November 12.
The case has drawn the attention of several local animal rescue groups, notably the Animal Alliance of Greater Syracuse, with some members showing up at the September 16 court appearance in protest, and demanding Oneill receive a stiff penalty, in part due to his previous charges of animal cruelty that came only three months before the current case. Also present was another group of activists demanding "Justice for Ali" which is a Facebook group created by Jean O'Leary, of Minoa. Ms. O'Leary said she was tired of crying and wanted to take action.
About a dozen people made their feelings known at court. Jeanne Semple, of Auburn, N. Y. spoke to the press saying, "The sad thing is, 'A dog is a man's best friend,' but we are a dog's worst enemy. It's happened more and more and more and nobody's doing anything about it."
Oneill was charged with 22 counts of animal cruelty last spring in an incident involving horses kept on his property that were found to be severely neglected. Authorities also found remains belonging to four horses including a rotting carcass left abandoned in the barn. That case is still pending in Massena town court.
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