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Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 10:38 pm

Lost dog found in Elba

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, ebla, pets

This dog was found this evening wandering on Mechanic Street in Elba. It has tags, but the village hall is closed until Monday. If it's your dog, call Carol at (585) 757-6856.

Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 10:09 am

Dog reportedly kills 36 chickens in Alexander

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, alexander

A resident on Alexander Road near Stroh Road reports that a neighbor's dog has killed 36 of his chickens.

A deputy is responding.

Friday, July 18, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Photos: 4-H livestock auction at the Genesee County Fair

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, 4-H, agriculture, Genesee County Fair

One of the great annual community events in Genesee County is the 4-H livestock auction at the fair. This year's auction was held last night. The event draws people from throughout Genesee County -- not just farmers and those involved in ag. The event is the culimination of a lot of hard work by 4-H members in raising their sheep, goats, swine and beef. 

Auctioneers from William Kent kept the bids flowing.

To purchase prints, click here.

Monday, July 14, 2014 at 1:17 pm

UPDATED: Dog found in Attica on Friday night - Is your pet missing?

post by Billie Owens in animals, pets

This dog was found in Attica near Dollar General and Thompson Motors. It wandered into Lisa Gautieri's backyard.

"She's super well behaved and great with our two dogs," says Lisa. "I know she has a family that is missing her and worried."

Lisa can be reached at (585) 750-1480.

UPDATE 8:35 p.m.: The dog has been reunited with its family and all is well.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at 4:24 pm

Volunteers concerned about dog confined to shelter while owner's legal case drags on

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, batavia, Genesee County Animal Shelter, pets

Some of the shelter volunteers call him "Boyfriend," which tells you something about how "Foxer" has won the hearts of the people who care for him every day.

The white and brown pit bull is sweet, kind and gentle and gets along well with the other dogs and people he meets.

The only serious issue for Foxer these days seems to be a question of how much longer he's going to be confined at the Genesee County Animal Shelter.

Officially, he's "evidence." 

Foxer, also known around the shelter as "Skully," is caught in a legal battle between his owner, Nina Kelso, and the government that is prosecuting her for allegedly mistreating him.

Kelso's case has been pending in Batavia City Court since Feb. 4 when she was charged with torturing or injuring an animal; failure to provide sustenance; and owning/harboring an unlicensed dog. 

The 29-year-old Batavia resident had another court appearance scheduled last week, but as with her previous court appearances, her case was continued, so Foxer's fate remains unresolved.

According to Batavia's Animal Control Officer James Sheflin, Kelso won't sign Foxer over to the shelter so he can be adopted, and since Kelso's case is still pending, the shelter has no choice but to keep him confined.

He can't even go to a foster home because he's considered evidence. Until his status changes he has to remain in the supervision and custody of the shelter.

And he's getting a little stir crazy.

During those hours he's confined to his cage, Foxer doesn't do much other than spin in circles. 

"In the kennel I think he gets a little bit of anxiety, but as you can see, as soon as he gets around humans he's happy and ready to go," Sheflin said. "I can't speak to how he was before we got him, whether he had a lot of human contact before, so I don't know if it's a separation-anxiety type thing."

Volunteer Brenda Cromwell said Foxer is walked daily and even gets a car ride from time to time, but still he spends about 23 hours a day in his cage.

Healthwise, he's doing much better. When he first came into the shelter (see picture below), he weighed 49 pounds. Today, he weighs 75 pounds.

He was treated by a vet for gastroenteritis. 

"He is food-obsessed and looks forward, anxiously, to his next meal," Cromwell said.

Another dog brought to the shelter a couple of weeks before Foxer was Nessa, owned by Lauren K. Pellegrino. Pellegrino's case, like Kelso's, is still pending, so Nessa remains confined to the shelter, but has adjusted to shelter life better than Foxer. Nessa displays no anxiety issues, but is as comfortable and happy around people as Foxer.

Photo of Foxer taken Feb. 4.

Nessa, above, today, and below, when she was first brought to the shelter.

Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 11:30 pm

Video: Black bear on Alexander Road

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, Alexander Road

Reader Amy Michaels sent us this video of a black bear eating from her bird feeder on Alexander Road.

Another reader reported tonight seeing a black bear in the area of Law Street.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 10:49 am

Trainers specialize in training dogs with aggression issues

post by Julia Ferrini in animals, batavia, dogs, pets

With a bachelor's degree in psychology from the State University of New York at Brockport, Tori Ganino understands the benefits of positive reinforcement in the development of children.

Conversely, this understanding has traversed into her developing business, Calling All Dogs.

She, along with husband Rich Ganino, opened the training and obedience "school" in February, this year. Both hold the belief that positive reinforcement is essential when training dogs with fear and aggression issues. 

“Positive training teaches a dog that something is a good thing,” the Elba resident said. “Punishment techniques only reaffirms fearful behavior.”

Using techniques referred to as "luring," "shaping" and "capturing," Ganino is able to assist dog owners with reshaping their animal’s negative behavior. These training methods use dog treats as a reward system for positive behavior. For example in luring, the owner holds a treat in front of the dog’s nose, brings it back over the top of the dog’s head, the animal then follows the treat and has no alternative but to “fall” into a sitting position; that is when the dog gets the reward. Shaping, though similar to luring, breaks down a command into small steps using treats for the “jackpot” reward. 

“This method rewards the dog for trying, so the dog doesn’t think 'Why am I not winning? This isn’t fun.' It’s a way to make a dog think,” Ganino said.

Capturing on the other hand, rewards a dog when it’s “caught” in an acceptable behavior like lying down. The animal is rewarded with a dog treat or other positive motivation, like petting or playing catch with its favorite ball.

Tori developed an interest in positive dog training methods when she adopted a dog from a shelter who had a negative experience with a person. Furthermore, she had a negative experience when she took her dog to a basic training course, then a second negative experience with a different trainer. 

“I knew that my dog had outward aggression and the techniques used by the other trainers were not helping me or my dog,” she said. “I needed to be an advocate for my dog and find training strategies that use positive reinforcement as a method for obedience.”

To develop her ensuing passion as an advocate for dogs with fear or aggression issues, Tori went to Animal Behavior College via an online course. In addition to classwork and tests, she had to also volunteer at a local shelter or training facility as well as intern with a certified trainer for seven sessions.

“The course taught me the basics, but I wanted to learn more,” the certified trainer said. “It was a great start though.” 

Tori interned with a trainer near Irondequoit for one-and-a-half years. During that time, she continued reading, watching videos and asking “lots of questions,” but she credits the hands-on experience for her enthusiasm to help other dogs and their owners. 

“I am constantly learning and updating my knowledge with books, seminars and other trainers,” Tori said.

Calling All Dogs can also prepare a dog to earn the Canine Good Citizen Certificate. Upon completion of this “rigorous” training, owners can have their dogs test through AKC.org to receive a certificate assuring that the dog is a “really good dog."

“However, emergencies happen and I am here to help,” Tori said. “One client adopted a dog from a shelter, brought the dog home and the dog bit her husband. This happened later at night, I was there the next day to work with the dog.”

Behavior adjustment helps a dog change its thought process, kind of like Pavlov’s Law. Another method is called "Clicker Training" -- work first, then rewarded for work.

“With fear, anxiety and aggression, we take the behavior out of the dog and make it excited that that person or object is really okay,” she said. “It also works with anxiety or fear of sounds such as thunder.”

Ganino also volunteers at the Genesee County Animal Shelter with Volunteers 4 Animals. There she teaches group classes with the volunteers to work with dogs to help them become more adoptable.

“We recently worked with one dog with barrier problems,” Ganino said. “He had a fear with people coming near his crate. We helped make him excited for people to be there.”

Currently, Calling All Dogs holds private lessons in both Genesee and Monroe counties. However, group classes will be starting in the near future at the Tractor Supply on East Main Street, Batavia. While their “ultimate goal” is to open their own building to foster, train and socialize dogs, the business does host Moderate Day Care sessions. 

“It’s like taking your dog on a play date with 10 to 15 other dogs,” Ganino said. “They need to socialize. It’s good for them mentally as well as physically.

“We encourage our clients to do the research,” Ganino said. “Communication is the key between me and our clients; call, text, e-mail; anything to keep the lines of communication open.”

Ganino stresses that her training techniques are based on positive methods, using tools that physically and mentally exercise the animal. She also emphasized that dogs want to learn and owners need to make it fun and get dogs excited about training. According to the dog trainer, oftentimes owners become impressed with what their dogs can do.

“Our business motto is ’Training for all breeds!’ There are always breeds being discriminated against for aggressive personalities,” Ganino said. “For this reason some major training chains do not allow them in their play group or training classes.

”Right now the breed being targeted the most is the pit bull,” Ganino continued. ”We accept all breeds. Every dog can learn and deserves the chance to.”

For more information visit CallingAllDogsNY.com or to volunteer at the Genesee County Animal Shelter visit www.vol4animals.org.

Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Photos: Black bear on Lake Road, Pembroke

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, bears, pembroke

David Thuerck submitted these photos of a black bear he spotted on Lake Road, Pembroke.

 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 8:44 pm

Cat owner looking for lost orange tabby

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, batavia, pets

Maria Yefremenko says she is desperate to find her orange tabby, which has been missing since the night of May 20. The cat has green eyes and was last seen on Walnut Street in Batavia. He has a small tear in his left ear and small black spot on his right paw. Contact Maria Yefremenko either by e-mail at myefrem@gmail.com or call/text (585) 479-5229.

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Couple rescues lost Chihuahua on Vine Street

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, batavia, corfu, pets

Ed and Leslie Carney rescued this Chihuahua on Vine Street. Leslie said not even animal control could catch the dog when it was running around in the street. Finally, it got tired and came to take a nap next to her cat on her back porch. The Carneys let it into the house and have had it for two days now. They're hoping the owners will contact them. The dog didn't have any tags. They are at 33 Vine St. or can be reached at (585) 343-0256.

UPDATE: Here's another lost dog, pictured below. This one was found on Genesee Street in Corfu by Rachel Doktor. She said, "she was walking in the middle of the road. Her fur is knotted and matted, looks like she's been without care for a few weeks." I've asked Mary to provide contact information we can share, but in the meantime, I wanted to get this posted.

UPDATE: Here's Rachel Doktor's number -- (585) 297-2241. If the owner isn't found, Mary is looking for a foster home for the dog. If interested, call her.

UPDATE Saturday, May 24: We called Rachel to see about getting the dog pictured below some badly needed grooming. She told us that the day after she found the dog she had it professionally groomed. Its fur was so matted and knotted and neglected for so long that it deformed the animal's paws. So now the toes curl upward. The good news is the dog is all spiffed up and has been adopted by a nice lady.

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