Thursday, 13 March 2014 00:00
Pictures published in the most recent Farmingdale Observer showing Main Street on a warm weekend were a welcome relief to seemingly endless snow-filled pictures. The photo of a young man with a dog was made even better by its caption; “Rocco, the friendly pitt bull and his guardian Gerard Lombardo.”
In 10 simple words, this caption expressed two very basic, and yet very significant, principles which animal welfare supporters have been trying to bring to the mainstream for many years: First, that animals are more than just property which is “owned;” and Second, that dogs’ temperaments cannot be pigeon holed based upon their breeds.
Although it is contrary to what any person who loves their pets knows, by and large New York State law treats animals as personal property, not as the sentient beings that they are. For instance, in cases involving animal custody disputes, judges most often examine indicia of ownership of the animal (who paid for the animal, who obtained its license, who regularly bought the food and paid the vet bills, etc.) rather than the best interests of the animal, as is done in cases of child custody disputes.
There are exceptions to this, most notably laws which prohibit cruelty to animals. So, while you may smash a lamp that you own against a wall without suffering any legal repercussions, if you were to do that with an animal, you would be subject to criminal prosecution and you likely would be charged with a felony if the animal involved were a companion animal, as defined in the pertinent statute. New York State law also allows for the establishment of pet trusts so that people may leave money for the care of their pets, appoint a person to care for their pets and appoint a guardian to ensure that the animal is cared for well. There is no similar law trust relating to any other type of “property.”
By identifying Gerard Lombardo as the friendly pit bull’s guardian, not owner, the caption expressly recognized what many of us feel. . . that while we care for our pets and protect them, we do not own them because they are more than just property.
Similarly, by describing the dog as a “friendly pit bull,” the caption contradicted the misconception that pit bulls are a mean breed of dog. Any person who works with dogs can affirm that it is the person who trains, or fails to train the dog, and not the breed of dog or even the dog itself, who is responsible for a dog’s bad behavior. New York State recognizes this principle, too, by making it illegal to pass a law or ordinance which singles out any specific breed of dog for special (usually restrictive) treatment. Thus, it is illegal for a governmental licensing authority to charge a higher fee to license a pit bull, German Shephard, Akita or other breed of dog often thought of as “dangerous” than it charges for other breeds of dog. Similarly, it is illegal to prevent residents from “owning” certain breeds of dogs.
I am just one Farmingdale resident who tries to make a difference for animals, but I wanted to express my very heartfelt thanks to whomever supplied this Friday’s Farmingdale Observer with the photos and their thoughtful captions. You have done more to promote animal welfare than you can possibly know.
Saturday, 30 August 2014 00:00
There was a time when people knew what they were eating. Frozen meals, fast food chains and ingredients impossible to pronounce were non-existent. Instead, simple ingredients and meals were all made from scratch.
Joann P. Magri, owner of The Divine Olive, is keeping this way of eating alive. Offering hungry customers with a choice in quality foods and ingredients, Magri encourages customers to make their own meals. With shelves stocked full of 18-year-old vinegars straight from Modena, Italy, to extra virgin olive oils infused with various herbs and flavors, the Divine Olive features a variety of organic and vegan products, all 100 percent natural. It even has handmade spaghetti and fresh bread, which perfectly pairs with all of their other products.
Friday, 29 August 2014 00:00
It’s a cute little ‘bug.’ What it represents, however, is anything but cute.
An unusual-looking Volkswagen is toodling around Long Island this month. Painted to resemble the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), the VW Beetle is part of efforts by the US Department of Agriculture to eliminate the pest, which can destroy 70 percent of an area’s tree canopy, according to the agency. Initially, officials held hope for complete eradication from about 23 square miles of LI designated as infested or at risk by 2016. Instead, this “landcape-altering pest” is spreading.
Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:00
It will be difficult to top the exhilaration of being crowned Nassau County Champs, but the 2014 Farmingdale Dalers will begin their defense of the title on Sept. 13 at rival Massapequa—whom they beat to claim the crown.
“The attitude is that we have to prove it again,” said Head Coach Buddy Krumenacker, who has been at the helm since 1993. “But I think we’ll be okay,” he added.
Thursday, 21 August 2014 00:00
Register now as classes fill up quickly and you don’t want to miss out on the chance to join in trapeze workshops at Eisenhower Park’s I.FLY this fall.
“I.FLY was designed to give kids and adults the ability to fulfill their dreams of being in the circus,” says instructor Anthony Rosamilia. “Flying through the air never gets boring. At I.FLY, we help people create lifelong memories.”