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Niagara SPCA Seeks Aid To Pay For Dog's Surgery | News

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Niagara SPCA Seeks Aid To Pay For Dog's Surgery

WHEATFIELD, NY - "This is the victim, Daisy," said SPCA of Niagara Executive Director John Faso, as he tried to calm an excited puppy outside the Rainbow Animal Shelter on Lockport Road in Wheatfield.

Outside of the telltale cast on her right front leg, the 3-month old Pointer-Lab mixed breed appeared the picture of health, and probably was, until an incident that sent SPCA investigators into action last Thursday.

Faso says authorities, acting on a complaint from a neighbor, responded to 709 Townsend Place in Niagara Falls where they encountered a disturbing scene.

"A man had used a wooden dining room table leg and struck the dog multiple times. The dog suffered a fractured leg and a fractured shoulder," Faso told WGRZ-TV.

Chester Harris, 48, who lives in the upstairs apartment at the address is now charged with Aggravated Animal Cruelty, a felony in New York State punishable by up to 2 years in prison.

"The report that I heard was that he said that he was tired of picking up after the dog," Faso said.

A Niagara Falls Police report also indicated that Harris appeared intoxicated and belligerent during the booking process to the point where Falls police could not immediately fingerprint him.

Meanwhile, the SPCA has decided that instead of amputating Daisy's injured limb, a surgeon will try to reconstruct her shattered bones. But the operation is quite expensive.

"Something like that is upwards of $5,000, so we're appealing to the public for help," said Faso.

And while euthanizing the dog was another option, Faso said, "We feel the animal is worth saving. We feel that's what we're here for, ...to protect and preserve the welfare of the animals and we do all we can to help them out."

Faso has only been working for the SPCA for four months, but already knows that even if he were to hold the job for the next 40 years, he will never be able to explain why cases of abuse occur.

"It really takes a different kind of a person to take that kind of physical abuse out on a helpless animal," he said.

Aggravated Animal Abuse was made a felony in 1999 under "Buster's Law". There's a bill now pending to add teeth to it, by requiring those convicted to be placed on an "animal abusers registry" -- much like sex offenders, --and which would bar them from owning pets, or working in pet stores, zoos, or shelters.

Contact the SPCA of Niagara if you wish to contribute to help defray the cost of Daisy's surgery.

Click on the video icon to see Daisy and watch the story from 2 On Your Side Reporter Dave McKinley and Photojournalist Bill Boyer.



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