'If you See Something, Say Something' Campaign Targets Animal Abuse
Articles and Media Coverage From Animal Defenders of Westchester (ADOW)

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'I​f you See Something, Say Something' ​​Campaign ​​Targets​​ Animal Abuse

FROM Lanning Taliaferro, Patch.com
June 28, 2016

A Yonkers-based organization offers tips for people to take action when they see animals mistreated.

After witnessing recent cases of suffering that went unreported, the Yonkers-based Building Hope organization is launching a program mirroring the famous ad campaign to raise public awareness about terrorism and suspicious activity.

"If you see something, say something" also applies to incidents involving animals, said Kiley Blackman, founder of Animal Defenders of Westchester.

Building Hope members have begun distributing flyers to police stations, libraries and schools, with a billboard in the works; these flyers urge people to be be aware, realize when animals are in danger - and act to intervene, not just hope 'someone' does something.

Here are their tips for when to call the authorities:

  • If you see an animal repeatedly tied up outside without food or shelter
  • If you see an animal with cuts and bruises
  • If you hear an animal crying or barking in a vacant lot or building
  • f you see an animal roaming the street unattended
  • If you know that an animal is abandoned or being abused

The flyer also provides contact information for law enforcement agencies handling this issue.

Campaigns for greater awareness of animal sentience and suffering - and what can be done about it - have produced enormous benefits in other areas, Blackman said.

As a result of raised awareness, several states now have, or are in the process of enacting, “Good Samaritan” hot car laws—laws that allow private citizens to take matters into their own hands...and several citizens have done exactly that.

People are more willing to take direct action, Blackman said.

The concept for the current campaign occurred to BH President Kay Pistone Carucci when she read of a recent Yonkers neglect case of two pitbulls living in an alley without food or water.

"Neighbors who took pity on the dogs threw food into the alley - but they should have made a phone call to the authorities," Carucci said. "That would have stopped the needless suffering and tragedy of one of the dogs dying after having to fight for the food scraps. It occurred to me that people may not realize they can just make a brief phone call - yet still protect their own safety concerns. This campaign will have a profound effect on lessening neglect and abuse, merely by 'pointing the way.' "

Blackman is joining forces with Carucci to promote this campaign.

"This concept is so simple, yet incredibly necessary," Blackman said. "People either think there's nothing they can do when they see animals in distress - or they just don't know what the options are. This campaign urges the public to not look the other way, to be pro-active on the animals' behalf, even if it just means an anonymous phone call. The animals can't speak up or help themselves, but they suffer pain, fear and hunger just as we do. People understand this, and decently try to provide a bit of food...but why not actually intervene, stop the sorrowful misery they're seeing. There is power in knowledge: Don't just say 'Someone should do something.' People can change the world for helpless beings with a phone call; this is a wonderful way to help people understand change is in their hands."

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