SHERIDAN – A viral post showing over a dozen dogs tied out in sweltering heat in northern Chautauqua County is causing concern for animal lovers. This, as instances of animal abuse continue to make headlines in Western New York.
Last week in Jamestown, police investigated two alleged acts of animal neglect, and now, law enforcement in northern Chautauqua County are doing the same.
Cause of concern came to the forefront following a post by “Sweet Buffalo” highlighting the living condition of dogs in Sheridan, NY. Now, multiple shelters and rescues are banding together to try to help.
“It was brought to our attention that there’s about 15 dogs there in poor conditions, heavily chained, their only form of shelter being a blue barrel of sorts,” said founder of Against All Oddz Animal Alliance, Matthew Albert.
The dogs were allegedly chained up for hours, with little to no food or water.
“How many days do you need of these animals being chained out in this manner? One is too many. It shouldn’t have to come to this,” said Albert.
In general, overpopulation of dogs has been an ongoing problem, not just in our region, but nationwide, and rescue officials feel that breeders are one of the causes.
“A public health epidemic at this point is just the number of homeless animals with nowhere to put them. Every rescue that I’ve talked to, every shelter that I’ve talked to has indicated that it’s never been this bad,” said Albert, “Well, there’s good, responsible breeders but basically it comes down to a simple mathematical equation, that is even if there are breeders out there that are breeding healthy dogs, that take pride in their work and their lineage, at the end of the day they’re putting more and more dogs on a highly overpopulated situation to begin with.”
Even with such a high population, there are shelters willing to take in these dogs and give them a better living situation.
“We’re providing them with places to put these animals. I guess one of their excuses in Chautauqua County was ‘well, we don’t have anywhere to put them’, well we do have places to put them,” said Albert.
The only problem is the lack of support from law enforcement.
“From our standpoint, if you as law enforcement aren’t gonna be protecting the most vulnerable members of our community that literally do not have a voice, what are you doing? Who are you protecting?” Albert asked.
The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office has since launched a formal investigation into the claims of animal abuse.