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Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

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New York Cuffs & Collars – October 17th, 2014

Abandoned fawn

(Rensselaer County)
ECO Brian Canzeri received a call concerning a small abandoned fawn in the town of Brunswick. According to the caller, the fawn had been crying for two days and two nights. The fawn appeared to be less than a week old and was severely dehydrated. Canzeri transported the fawn to North Country Wild Care.  

The battle for freedom

(Chenango County)
ECO Eric Templeton and Lt. Ric Warner responded to a report of a mature bald eagle that appeared to be distressed. The caller stated that the eagle was feeding on a porcupine carcass by a roadway and the complainant was concerned that it would be struck by a vehicle. When the officers arrived, they located the eagle perched in a small sapling in a wooded area near the road. The eagle flew off as they approached; however, it did appear to be injured. The officers were unable to get close enough to capture it so the caller was asked to try to keep an eye on the eagle. The following day the caller reported the eagle was back down on the ground feeding on the porcupine carcass. The officers returned to the scene and located the bird sitting on a downed tree. They tracked it through the woods as it flopped and flew short distances from tree to tree. The officers were able to net the eagle. After removing some porcupine quills from the eagle’s chin and foot, they transported it to the Cornell wildlife clinic for examination and care. An injury was confirmed in the left wing and radiographs of the eagle located what appeared to be shot pellets in its body. Fortunately, no fractures were evident. Blood was drawn for further tests and intravenous fluids were given for dehydration and shock. After a couple of weeks of care and recovery, Warner and Templeton were asked to pick up the eagle and release it back into the wild.

Monkey business

(Genesee County)
ECO Gary Wilson received a call from the city of Batavia animal control officer, who stated that a subject was harboring a monkey. Wilson responded to the residence to find a 15-year-old female Java Macaque monkey, named Vicki Lynn, being kept as a pet. The subject stated that she had obtained it in 1999 when it was three weeks old and did not have a permit to legally possess it. Although it was quite cute and cuddly at eight pounds, Java Macaques are considered dangerous. Since the DEC ceased issuing permits for such animals in 2005, arrangements had to be made to place it in a suitable facility. A primate facility was located in Buffalo where two female Macaques currently reside. Vicki Lynn was ultimately placed there where she will live out the remainder of her life with other monkeys.
Lions and tigers and bears…oh my! (Chautauqua County)
Months of work culminated in the multi-agency search warrant execution of seizure of 19 exotic animals. The seizure stands as the largest in New York state history, with 11 tigers, 3 lions, 3 black bears and 2 wolves seized and relocated to permitted sanctuaries across the United States.
The subject facility got its start as a sanctuary for exotic animals including the big cats. As the decades progressed, the facility moved in a very different direction, resulting in numerous criminal actions being brought against the owners, one of which resulted in their voluntary signing of an agreement prohibiting them from holding a federal permit to possess exotics ever again. The owners’ daughter eventually voluntarily relinquished her federal permit for the animals, resulting in the revocation of the New York state special licenses that had also been issued for their possession. Efforts soon began to find sanctuary placements for the animals. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) made many attempts over several months to get the owner of the facility to cooperate and surrender the animals voluntarily.
After the owner cut off all contact with IFAW, the USDA and DEC’s Division of Law Enforcement were left with no recourse but to pursue a search warrant to seize the unpermitted animals. The search warrant was obtained and executed within days. With a local veterinarian and the veterinarian from the Buffalo Zoo for the care of any medical emergencies on scene, the transfer of the animals commenced.
Once the seizure was concluded and all animals on their way to their new homes, ECO Darci Dougherty issued the owner of the facility four tickets for the possession of wildlife without the required permits. These tickets were pending in Charlotte Town court.

Two for one

(Wyoming County)
DEC central dispatch was notified that a hunter had illegally taken two turkeys in the town of Attica. The complainant had been turkey hunting and watched a pickup truck stop in the roadway, heard a shot, and then watched the truck leave the area. Later, he watched a UTV enter the field, stop by the turkeys and pick up one of the birds. The two individuals on the UTV then left the area. Again, the caller thought this was odd so he walked to check on the remaining turkey and found that it was a hen. ECO RJ Ward responded and located the hen, as well as a fresh shotgun casing lying on the roadway. He then documented and secured the evidence and began patrolling the area in an attempt to find the UTV. He eventually located fresh UTV tire tracks entering a driveway approximately two miles from the location of the incident, and interviewed the homeowner. The homeowner stated he did not hunt this morning, but that a friend who had stopped by earlier did. When Ward arrived at the subject’s residence, he was walking out his front door to dress the large bearded turkey in the back of his pickup truck. The hunter initially claimed to have shot the turkey after calling it in the woods. However, he soon admitted to shooting the two turkeys out of the passenger side window of his truck, killing both the hen and tom with one shot. The charges were returnable to the Attica Town Court.

Dangerous reptiles

(Erie County)
DEC police investigators and ECO Mark Mazurkiewicz recently concluded a two-month investigation that included the execution of a search warrant at a residence in Buffalo. The investigation was in response to a complainant regarding the illegal possession of dangerous reptiles in South Buffalo. Following numerous leads as to the reptiles’ whereabouts, they were all successfully located and three people currently face charges in conjunction with this case. A South Buffalo woman was charged with three counts of prohibited possession of endangered species (Massasauga rattlesnakes), two counts of prohibited possession of threatened species (Timber Rattlesnakes), and two counts of prohibited possession of wild animals as pets (beaded lizard and American alligator). A town of Darien man was charged with prohibited possession of endangered species and prohibited possession of threatened species in connection with hiding/harboring these reptiles. A town of Boston man was charged with prohibited possession of a wild animal as a pet and violating a DEC permit condition for taking in the alligator. All three subjects were scheduled to appear in Buffalo City Court.  

Truck detail

(Suffolk County)
ECO Tim Fay teamed up with NYSDOT and the Suffolk County Police Highway Patrol Motor Carrier Safety Unit to conduct truck inspections in the town of Brookhaven on State Route 25. The detail checked for safety violations, conducting 14 inspections and issuing 28 tickets. Several trucks were put out of service for numerous safety violations. Fay checked for air quality and other environmental violations and issued a total of nine tickets for violations, including no heavy duty vehicle inspection, leaky exhausts, leaking noisome and unwholesome substances onto the roadway, possession of pesticides with an unregistered business and one waste transporter for permit violations. DEC’s Region 1 continues to make inspection details such as this a top priority to deter the operation of unsafe commercial vehicles and to combat air and water pollution.

Truck drivers beware!

(Westchester County)
ECO Peter Jackson joined the New York State Police and Pound Ridge PD on a commercial vehicle detail. The detail focused on inspecting commercial vehicles for compliance with all applicable laws.The Westchester County Department of Consumer Protection and Department of Solid Waste were present at the detail as well. During the course of the detail, Jackson found 11 separate violations of environmental conservation law, resulting in nine tickets issued and two written warnings doled out. The offenses included pesticide violations, air quality violations and solid waste violations.

Illegal auto body shop

(Suffolk County)
ECO Matthew Krug responded to a location in Central Islip with local town code enforcement officials to address a complaint of an auto body shop being illegally operated at night in a residential area. At the house there were over 30 cars in the backyard in various states of disrepair. There was a garage located in the rear of the residence used for spraypainting cars. Outside the garage were drains with oil sheens running into them. The residential property backed up to town of Islip property and the drains built next to the garage ran into a dry well placed on the town property, along with various other garbage dumped on the town property. The man who lived at the residence and operated the auto body shop was issued five field appearance tickets for unlawful disposal of solid waste, operating an air contaminate source without permit, pollution of waters of the state, discharge without a permit, and aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree, as he had driven his car up as the officer waited with a suspended driver’s license.

Caught using Brush Hooks

(Essex County)
Lt. John Ellithorpe looked down the LaChute River and spotted a small motorboat among the flooded dead timber along Lake Champlain. The lieutenant took to the woods and crept to a good vantage point. Using binoculars, he was able to determine the two men in the boat were checking set lines. After an hour of checking and setting new lines off of tree limbs and brush, the two subjects returned to the launch in the village of Ticonderoga. Ellithorpe followed them to a local residence and interviewed them. The two admitted they were setting “brush hooks” and were directed to produce their fishing licenses. Neither subject possessed a fishing license, a registration for the motorboat or any life jackets. ECO Terry Chase arrived and wrote the violations and stated these might just be his last tickets before he retires. Follow up with the Essex County Probation Department revealed that both subjects are on probation and had failed to notify their case officer of the incident. Both men may face imprisonment for their violations and for breaking the terms of their probation.
Open burning leads to animal cruelty (Jefferson County)
ECO Brassard responded to a Jefferson County 911 call of an opening burning incident that led to a wild grass fire in the town of Philadelphia. When Brassard arrived on scene the fire department had already extinguished the fire. The fire started when a male individual, burning garbage at his address, let the fire get out of control, which caused it to spread to the adjoining field. Brassard met with Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies and found that what started as an open burning complaint quickly turned into a laundry list of other violations. The violator in question had also just shot his two dogs behind his house because he was in the process of moving and did not want to take them along. The pistol used to shoot the dogs was found to be illegally possessed, and both the subject and his wife were both found to be in violation of orders of protection against each other as they were in each other’s presence. Brassard determined that the dog shootings occurred within 500 feet of the house next door and charged the violator with shooting within 500 feet of a dwelling, and also charged the violator for the open burning of garbage (both misdemeanors). The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department charged the violator with criminal possession of a firearm in the fourth degree, two counts of animal cruelly, and second degree criminal contempt of court returnable to Philadelphia Town Court.

 

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