05/03/14 10:00am
05/03/2014 10:00 AM
These four gators were captured in the Peconic River in April 2013. (Credit: DEC courtesy, file)

These four gators were captured in the Peconic River in April 2013. (Credit: DEC courtesy, file)

Perhaps hoping to curb a recent trend of abandoning alligators on Long Island, authorities announced this week a first-ever “amnesty day” in Suffolk County for those who illegally own exotic animals.

“People who are in possession of these animals unlawfully can turn them in to us without fear of prosecution,” said Suffolk SPCA chief Roy Gross, whose group is hosting the May 10 event with the state Department of Environmental Conservation and U.S Department of Agriculture. “No one will be asked to give their name.”

The announcement comes about a year after state Department of Environmental Conservation officers found five alligators in the Peconic River — one of which they shot —  and several others in areas elsewhere on Long Island.

In 2012, authorities recovered nine alligators over a span of just a few weeks in Suffolk County alone.

The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Town of Brookhaven Wildlife and Ecology Center at 249 Buckley Road in Holtsville.

Read more on alligators being found in Suffolk County.

Trained handlers will be on hand to accept the animals  from the public, officials said.

“The purpose of this effort is to get these illegally possessed animals into a controlled environment where they can be cared for properly,” Mr. Gross said.

mwhite@timesreview.com

10/03/13 4:51pm
10/03/2013 4:51 PM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | The scene where four kittens were found mutilated in Riverhead Tuesday.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | The scene where four kittens were found mutilated in Riverhead Tuesday.

The Suffolk County SPCA is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever slashed the throats of four kittens and threw them over a fence behind an East Main Street business earlier this week.

According to Chief Roy Gross, the kittens – estimated to be about three weeks old – were found behind Riverhead Brake Service on Tuesday morning when an employee came into work and found them on the ground, at first thinking the small animals were rags behind a truck located on site.

Gross said the kittens – only one of whom was old enough to open its eyes – were put there between 5 p.m., when the business closed the night before, and 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

Whoever is responsible faces a felony charge of animal cruelty, which carries up to two years in jail for each animal killed.

Gross called the culprit – or culprits – a “danger to society.”

“This never ends unfortunately,” he said. “Obviously this is very disturbing.”

The chief stressed the importance of spaying and neutering animals, to reduce a stressful domestic animal population.

Any tips given to the Suffolk SPCA will be kept confidential.

12/31/12 10:00pm
12/31/2012 10:00 PM
Amityville arrest SCPA Riverhead puppies Swaneka Danzler

NORTHCAROLINA.ARRESTS.ORG PHOTO | Swaneka Danzler in 1999, when she was 18.

Update: An Amityville woman is facing animal cruelty charges for allegedly dumping two mange-ravaged puppies in Riverhead on Dec. 18, Suffolk County SPCA officials announced Sunday.

One of the puppies later died on Christmas Day.

Swaneka Danzler, 21, admitted to SPCA investigators that she dumped the puppies in a window well of Riverhead Animal Hospital about 1 a.m. on Dec. 18, officials said, crediting SPCA officers with making the arrest.

According to online court records, a woman by the same name and year of birth was arrested by Suffolk County police on Aug. 4, though the exact charges were not listed. She is due back in court Jan. 24, the records show.

She was also arrested in North Carolina in 2009, according to an arrests database in that state.

Local SPCA officials were able to confirm the name and birth date of the woman arrested in N.C., whose photo appears above, as a match.

She was issued a field appearance ticket and will answer to the charges in court, officials said.

Prior Coverage: Christmas wasn’t a magical time for all on the North Fork as one of two pit bull puppies left in a window well at the Riverhead Animal Hospital last week lost the fight for his life after succumbing to infections caused by the severe mange on his body.

“It is with great sadness that we have to report that brave little Nicky passed away Christmas Day,” North Fork Animal Welfare League executive director Gillian Wood Pultz wrote on suffolktimes.com Wednesday morning. “He had been hospitalized since coming under our care, but his poor body was just too ravished by the neglect he had endured.”

The tiny 10-to 12-week-old puppy, who in the overnight hours Dec. 18 was abandoned at the Riverhead vet along with another dog, Noel, was suffering from mange so severe that the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said an examination revealed his skin was peeling off.

“He was just unfortunately allowed to get way too sick before his owner did anything,” Ms. Wood Pultz said. “He was skin and bones; literally raw meat.”

At the time of their hospitalization, Nicky began receiving intravenous fluids because he was took weak to eat or drink, according to the Suffolk County SPCA.

SPCA investigators are now searching for the owner of the dogs.

“This is a blatant act of cruelty and abandonment and we will do everything we can to see that those responsible are apprehended,” SPCA Chief Roy Gross said.

Anyone with information can contact the Suffolk County SPCA at (631) 382-7722.  All calls will be kept confidential.

The other puppy, who is also believed to be 10-to-12 weeks old is doing “good,” Ms. Wood Pultz said. “Noel’s on the couch in my office right now,” she said this morning.

Donations to help with her care are much appreciated and should be made to the North Fork Animal Welfare League, P.O. Box 297, Southold NY, 11971. directed to the Nick and Noel Guardian Angel Fund.

gvolpe@timesreview.com

SPCA COURTESY PHOTO | The two pit bulls abandoned at the Riverhead Animal Hospital Dec. 18.

12/25/12 1:13pm
12/25/2012 1:13 PM

SPCA COURTESY PHOTO | The two abused pit bulls dropped off at the Riverhead Animal Hospital last week.

The hunt is on for the person responsible for dumping two pit bulls in a window well at the Riverhead Animal Hospital overnight Dec. 18.

The Suffolk County SPCA is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for dumping the puppies, who were suffering from severe mange and were near death.

SPCA Chief Roy Gross said examination revealed the mange was so severe on the male that its skin was peeling off.

“These puppies are going to require extensive veterinary care before they can be adopted,” the SPCA said in a press release. “The male is receiving intravenous fluids because he is too weak to eat or drink.”

“This is a blatant act of cruelty and abandonment and we will do everything we can to see that those responsible are apprehended,” Chief Gross said.

Anyone with information can contact the Suffolk County SPCA at (631) 382-7722.  All calls will be kept confidential.

The puppies are now being cared for by the North Fork Animal Welfare League, P.O. Box 297, Southold NY, 11971. Donations to help with their care are much appreciated and should be made to the above address directed to the Nick and Noel Guardian Angel Fund.

11/11/12 9:50am
11/11/2012 9:50 AM

SUFFOLK SPCA COURTESY PHOTO | A photo of the alligator found in Southampton this weekend.

Another alligator has been found in Suffolk County, the Suffolk County SPCA announced Sunday morning.  This time, the reptile was found in a window well of a home on Hampton Street in Southampton.

Chief Roy Gross of the Suffolk SPCA said that this is the ninth alligator found in Suffolk County in the past several weeks and that it could not survive the cold weather.

One of the previously located alligators was discovered in Wading River.

The alligator found this weekend appeared healthy and was transported to the Star Foundation.

Chief Gross said that anyone with information should contact the Suffolk County SPCA at (631) 382-SPCA (7722).

“These are only the ones we know of,” Chief Gross said of the discoveries.  ”Those responsible will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

09/16/11 1:47pm
09/16/2011 1:47 PM

DIANNE BOOTH COURTESY PHOTO | Chester a Hillcrest Stables in Calverton.

Four months ago, Chester, a horse rescued from Abess Farm in Calverton, was so emaciated his ribs were visible and his hair was falling out in clumps, officials said.

But today, Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals officials announced he is “spry and alert.”

The Suffolk SPCA also released a photo of the horse that shows a muscular animal with a beautiful, thick coat and a healthy mane.

He has been cared for at Hillcrest Stables on Middle Road in Calverton since his resuce.

“They literally nursed him back to health,” said Suffolk SPCA Chief Roy Gross.

Chester and two dozen horses and ponies — two of which were found locked in a barn with no food or water — as well as goats, a sheep and a pig were found underfed and neglected on the Roue 25 farm in April, officials said.

Authorities were granted access to the property by a law firm overseeing foreclosure proceedings there and charges were later filed against that farm’s owner, Marie Tooker, authorities said.

“I don’t ever remember seeing a horse in such poor condition; this is not your standard backyard cruelty case.” Chief Gross told the News-Review when Chester was rescued.

Chester’s story has been chronicled on a Facebook page, Chester Gets A Second Chance.

vchinese@timesreview.com

VERA CHINESE PHOTO | Chester, shortly after his rescue in April.

08/27/11 5:05pm
08/27/2011 5:05 PM

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Dogs at the SPCA's storm shelter for pets at Suffolk Community College in Northampton

The local shelter for humans at Riverhead High Shelter had had about 120 people in it Saturday evening planning to ride out Hurricane Irene, most sent from Patchogue where there was no more room.

Meanwhile a shelter set up for pets at Suffolk Community College in Northampton was full.

The Suffolk County SPCA  set up two pet-friendly shelters in Suffolk County, one at the Eastern Campus of Suffolk Community College in Northampton and the other at the Brentwood Recreation Center, according to Chief Roy Gross of the SPCA. They are for people who decided to leave their homes during the storm but couldn’t bring their pets with them.

“At last count, the Brentwood site had only about eight animals, and they’ve got all the support services over there,” he said. “We got the majority of it here.”

He said there was no more room for any more pets at the Suffolk Community College site, and anyone seeking to shelter a pet should go to the Brentwood Recreation Center on 99 Third Avenue, Brentwood.

The Northampton site had about 40 pets sheltered there as of Saturday afternoon. Most were dogs and cats, but there also awerere a few birds and hamsters. They were all in cages.

The people sheltering their dogs at the Woodlands Building in SCC can take shelter at the Peconic Building on the same campus, Chief Gross said.

“We take a picture of them with their animal and get identification and they have to wear an arm band with their name and number on it. We want to make sure we know who’s responsible for each animal if somebody comes in to walk it or something,” he said.

The Eastern Campus also has the SPCA’s Mobile Animal Spay-neuter Hospital (MASH) parked outside the Woodlands buiding during the storm.

The pet-friendly shelters are staffed by the SPCA. “We’re here 24-7 for the duration of the storm,” Chief Gross said.

There are shelters for humans being run by the American Red Cross at Riverhead High School, Hampton Bays High School and several schools in Southold Town but those shelters do not accept pets.

Both Riverhead and Southampton Town have issued mandatory evacuation notices to residents in mobile homes and people living in low-lying areas near the water, although officials in both towns say they are not forcing anyone to evacuate.

10/12/10 6:07pm
10/12/2010 6:07 PM

The Suffolk County Legislature unanimously approved a bill Tuesday to create a law establishing a county registry for animal abuse offenders, the first of its kind in the nation.

The new law allows the county to create a public registry of convicted animal abusers, in which the names, aliases, addresses and photographs of animal abusers would compiled in a searchable database, much like the state’s sex offender registry. The convicted abusers would pay a $50 annual fee for upkeep of the registry, and those who fail to register would be charged $1,000 or face jail time.

A public hearing for a second bill, which would require pet stores and animal shelters to check the registry before allowing anyone to purchase or adopt an animal, was tabled for a later date.

If approved, that law would prohibit pet stores from selling an animal to a convicted abuser.

Roy Gross, who heads the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said his group, which deals with over 2,000 animal abuse cases in the county per year,  believes the animal abuse registry will help to save animals.

“Most serial killers began as animal abusers,” he said. “It’s a known fact: people who hurt animals hurt people too.”

jennifer@northshoresun.com