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Letter: Pictures Enjoying Warm Weather

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. 

 

Stacey Tranchina


News

Driving rain and cold temperatures could not keep Long Islanders from coming out to support the first annual DogFest Walk ‘n Roll, a fundraiser for Canine Companions for Independence. Held for the first time at Marjorie Post Park in nearby Massapequa, dogs of all breeds and sizes came with their humans with one goal in mind; to raise funds for CCI.

 

Event organizer Yvonne Dagger, past president and now board member, discussed the importance of the event. 

It’s been more than 50 years since the Farmingdale High School class of 1964 roamed the halls of their beloved high school, but that doesn’t mean that the memories have faded. The class—the first to graduate from Farmingdale High—came together on Saturday, October 18 at the Marriott in Islandia to celebrate all of the good times past and make new memories as a class.  


Sports

3rd Grade Division

The Giants and Jets met for the 2nd time this season, with the Giants again getting the victory over the Jets.  Jalen Gordon scored late into the 1st half for the Giants, which turned out to be the only points in the half.  The Giants shut the Jets down for both halves, keeping the offense off the board.  The Jets strong point this weekend was the defense, with Kyle June and Jake Kuller picking up the weekly William June Foundation awards.  In what is turning into a rough offensive season for the Jets, these awards continue to remind the boys of the perseverance and determination of the award’s namesake and his “never say quit” attitude.

 

—Submitted by Paul Caputo


William Merola, a member of the Farmingdale School District’s wrestling program, was recently selected to attend the third annual U.S. Marine Corps Summer Leadership and

Character Development program, which is limited to 150 sophomores and juniors throughout the nation.

 

Over the summer, from July 20-26, Merola attended the third annual Marine Corps recruiting command summer leadership and character academy at the USMC base in Quantico. 

 

The SLCDA (Summer Leadership and Character Development Program) educates high school leaders about Marine Corps Officer Programs by participating in classroom academics, ethics training, accelerated college prep, physical fitness training, a field exercise, a community service component and a field trip to Washington, D.C.


Calendar

Networking Event - October 29

Halloween Parade - October 31

Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair - November 2


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com