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Facebook post of child mistreating dog prompts NY sheriff to take action

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Chalk another animal rescued up to a brave person willing to expose the situation, Facebook, and authorities taking action. That's what happened in Livingston County, New York this week, and today the Sheriff's Department sent WatchDogMary an update.

On Tuesday, August 12th, the SPCA Humane Corps of Livingston County posted this video on Facebook. It shows a child taking a dog, putting a noose like device around the animal's neck, and hanging it from a swing set. Erica Cortese, Vice President of Ground Operations at the SPCA says it was a frustrating situation. "The neighbors who made the reports to the police came to us and told us first. We told them to call the police. The police told the neighbors that they could not help them without proof and when the video was presented, none of the officers even wanted to see it because it dealt with a child. We decided to publish the video because they refused to do anything. We could not let this continue to happen. The neighbors did the right thing the police did not."

Animal rights activist John Orlandini also posted the video, it was shared more than 31,000 times. Authorities claim they never knew about the situation, learning about it only through Facebook and emails. The Livingston County Sheriff's sent WatchdogMary this statement, claiming as soon as they found out they stepped in:

Livingston County Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty would like to clarify information about a Cruelty to Animals incident that has had much attention in the social media arena.

The Sheriff's Office first learned about the incident via Facebook and e-mails late Tuesday afternoon. There was a video posted of a child physically abusing a dog. Contrary to some of the Facebook posts and e-mails, the Sheriff's Office never received any complaint regarding this prior to Tuesday afternoon.

Once the information was received by the Sheriff's Office, an investigation did commence. It was learned that the incident took place in the Village of Dansville and Sheriff's Office personnel did coordinate with the Dansville Police Department to conduct the investigation. The dog that was involved was removed from the home for safekeeping and placed with family members. The investigation is continuing by the Dansville Police Department.

Sheriff Dougherty would like to thank all those that did bring this incident to the attention of law enforcement and reminds people to call 911 immediately when they feel that they are witnessing or have witnessed a crime.

If you have a tip or story idea about animals in need, please go to WatchDogMary and send a message.

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