State Troopers charged a man with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty at the New York State Fair in Syracuse yesterday. Police were called to a parking lot near the fairgrounds around 2 p.m.where they found a black Labrador Retriever seizing and in respiratory failure. The dog had been left in a hot car with no water and with one window only slightly cracked. Attempts to revive the animal with cooling measures failed and the dog died at the scene.
The owner, Patrick J. Oneill, 66, of Massena told police he had been attending the fair with his girlfriend and thought the dog would be all right. When he decided to check on the two-year-old female Lab about four hours later the dog had already succumbed to the heat. Troopers noted the temperature in the car was close to 100 degrees.
Oneill will answer the charge in Geddes Town Court later this month.
This is the second time in less than four months this man has faced charges of animal abuse. According to the Watertown Daily Times, Oneill was charged in May with 22 counts of animal cruelty in a case involving 26 horses on his property. At that time New York State police found the skeletons of three horses in a field and another horse's remains decomposing in a barn. The horses were kept in unsanitary conditions and severely neglected, according to police reports. That case is still pending in Massena.
Unfortunately, Mr. Oneill's case is not an isolated one. It is however, another good example of the need for a statewide animal abuse registry in New York. Great strides have already been made. At the 2013 NYS Animal Advocacy Day in Albany, supporters rallied behind the push to track offenders, thereby reducing the number of cases of animal cruelty. A registry will allow authorities the ability to prevent such individuals from acquiring other animals to mistreat. The registry continues to be championed by State Assemblyman James Tedisco and State Senator Greg Ball. Sadly, the Assembly failed to pass the legislation this year. Proponents believe that county registries already in place are not far-reaching enough. Senator Ball is urging residents to sign a petition in support of the proposal and to continue advocating for a statewide registry.
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