A new animal rescue group has been formed in Watertown. "Ninja's Against Animal Cruelty" or NAAC, is a grass-roots organization comprised of three good friends with a passion to combat the increasing cases of animal cruelty in Watertown and the surrounding area. Although their application for 501c3 status is still pending it is obvious they have been pouring tons of time and their own resources into this endeavor. The group is currently operating out of limited space, some of it donated by supportive individuals. But they need plenty of room to grow as the obvious need for this resource becomes ever more apparent.
The group has a foster care and rescue program in the works complete with accompanying policies, guidelines and paperwork to prove they have been super busy preparing to implement what is to them, essentially a life's dream. Helping animals is paramount to their mission. Equally important is raising awareness and educating the public about any number of issues surrounding animal advocacy, animal care and behavior.
The group appears to be gaining momentum rapidly. Their Facebook page now has 569 "Likes" at last count and a growing number of locals in the animal advocacy community are aware of their existence and offering to help.
The group asserts they are here to work with other animal groups, not in competition with them. Judging by the number of phone calls they are receiving, residents of Watertown and beyond have quickly realized there is another place to call when animals are found on the street or on the verge of euthanasia. Such was the recent case with Brody, the pit bull mix on death row at the Jefferson County Dog Control municipal shelter. (See the story "Brody's been busted out!").
Presently NAAC are concentrating their efforts in Jefferson County, although they have received inquiries from farther away, in neighboring Lewis County. Their first fundraiser is in the works, donations are starting to roll in and plans are falling into place. "It was the perfect time," said Julie Bush, co-founder, referring to employment changes experienced by herself and fellow co-founder, Jennifer Hartz. "Everything started to fall into place and we decided it was time to start doing what we had been talking about for years." The third team member and co-founder is Danyon Youngs.
Future plans include addressing the dire need for a feral cat program, increased assistance with spay and neuter services, pushing for changes in the way animal abuse is addressed and the need for stiffer penalties in cases of horrific abuse. The group supports changing animal abuse law from the agriculture and markets law it is currently under, to criminal law so that felony charges can be imposed in the cases of serious and repeat abusers.
Prepare to hear more about this amazing, passionate team of animal advocates as their rescue mission grows and more dreams, those of humans and animals alike, are realized. See the NAAC Mission Statement below:
Our Mission Statement
Ninja's Against Animal Cruelty of Jefferson County NY (NAAC) was founded to address the need for strengthening the human/animal bond in our community. It is our hope that through community involvement we can alleviate animal suffering through rescue, advocacy, education, and rehabilitation. We will explore animal cruelty laws to ensure that they are clear and precise for long term solutions.
We believe that with some temporary assistance, many animals can remain in their current homes instead of being admitted to animal shelters. It is our hope to create programs to assist with food, supplies, transportation, foster care and support to keep families intact with their pets.
We believe in creating a low cost spay/neuter program for the people of Jefferson County for the purpose of reducing unwanted births and unfortunate deaths of animal offspring. We plan to aggressively educate about the inhumanity of puppy mills, "Backyard Breeders" and spontaneous adopting.
We shall implement programs and provide services to promote responsible pet ownership.
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