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Common Council hears concerns about dog abuse

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Common Council hears concerns about dog abuse
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Members of the Syracuse Common Council are tackling the recurring issue of animal abuse. A public meeting was held on the heels of three pit bulls being rescued in the city. Our Iris St. Meran tells us how the conversation went and what advocates would like the city to do.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- It's a problem without a solution currently. Syracuse's parks and recreation committee took up the issue of animal control Thursday, their first point being about registering your dog.

Syracuse Common Councilor Bob Dougherty said, "At this time, we can't do online registration, but what we can do is online renewal. So we're hoping to get people to renew their registration online."

The second was to hear from the public about the growing animal abuse problem in Syracuse. In the past few days, three pit bulls have been found in different locations visibly abused and malnourished.

Cuse Pit Crew President Stefanie Higgins said, "What we really want to see happen is a task force being created with the City of Syracuse. At this point, there are several dogs being abused, abandoned, neglected and a lot of them are ending up in our city shelter and then being euthanized."

Dougherty says approximately 500 dogs were put down last year, a majority of them were pit bulls. That number doesn't sit well with some dog owners.

"When animal control catches a dog that's either loose or has a complaint about it. If no one claims it that dog is killed. I don't want my tax dollars to go to kill healthy dogs," said dog owner Phil Prehn.

Some other concerns that were brought up were illegal dog fights and backyard breeders. Syracuse does have an officer that works on animal control and abuse issues. Dog advocates say it's a step in the right direction, but more steps are needed.

"What we're really pushing for is that she can also become full time. She is really overwhelmed by the amount of abuse and neglect she is seeing," said Cuse Pit Crew co-founder Nicole Heath said.

They hope sharing these concerns will help reduce and eventually prevent the incidents of abuse from occurring.

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