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From Animal Defenders of Westchester (ADOW)

We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.



October 10, 2013

Kiley Blackman
[email protected]

Westchester County, NY October 10, 2013   Animal Defenders of Westchester (ADOW) and its adjunct Westchester4Geese, hereby announce our endorsement of incumbent Rob Astorino in the upcoming election for Westchester County Executive.  
The current administration, under Rob Astorino, has been responsive and welcoming to our communications and requests for assistance on animal protection issues in Westchester County, for well over a year now, beginning  in 2012,  before any election issues were on the horizon.  Beginning in Nov 2012, we requested and were granted a series of meetings with representatives of the county executive's office about the killing of geese at the Sprain Lake Golf Course.  These meetings were covered by major market media sources, including Fox News. WPIX, WCBS,  NY Newsday and News 12.  The outcome was the willingness by the county to work with us to avoid further geese slaughters...and the discovery, by the county, of a device called 'The Goosinator', which humanely disburses geese from the golf course.  
Upon our request, county representatives graciously showed up in the evening to the Geese and Wildlife Summit, an event we held on June 20,  to educate the public and local officials about living in peace with wildlife and the various humane disbursal methods that are available; we had asked the county to demonstrate the Goosinator, which they gladly did, bringing along the 'father' of the Goosinator to discuss its effectiveness, which was covered by NY Newsday, The Journal News and News 12.  The county has always been a prompt respondent to our queries; even when the outcome was not what we preferred, as when we requested their intervention in the anti-geese slaughter effort we fought in mulitple separate venues.. but they always responded, always tried to work with us, and were always willing to discuss the issue, whatever it was. We are also in talks with CE Astorino's office to bring the first-ever, much-needed county endorsed Trap/Neuter/Release initiative to Westchester County, with county support, as has been done in Putnam, Yorktown and several other venues. 
In contrast, unfortunately, our attempts to reach out to New Rochelle challenger Noam Bramson have been completely ignored, despite media evidence that animal protection was a viable,important issue for voters here; Two separate invitations to the Geese and Wildlife Seminar garnered no response from Bramson, without even the courtesy of an polite acknowledgement of any kind, while representatives from Mamaroneck, Larchmont and Scarsdale showed up  in support, and others at least RSVP'd.   Furthermore, attempts to ascertain New Rochelle's position on possible geese 'culls' there were ignored.  In addition, though most animal shelters have 'issues' in addition to being overcrowded, we believe Mayor Bramson might give more attention to the one in his venue, which tells people who've found stray cats to 'put them back in the street' - an inhumane, highly questionable recommendation from an agency mandated to protect animals - and which utilizes the troubling 'temperament training' methods of a 'trainer' who blithely recommends slaughter for a starved, abused animal who tries to protect his food dish.  
Kiley Blackman, founder of Animal Defenders of Westechester and Westchester4Geese, said  'There is a burgeoning group of Westchester resident voters who care about animals and will not tolerate them being killed or abused for any reason. The victories against geese slaughters in Scarsdale, Mamaroneck, Yonkers and Larchmont were won by Westchester residents in conjunction with many other advocates from all over New York, and clearly indicate the concern for humane treatment of our wildlife etc, and they've shown their willingness to demonstrate their support.
'We have been basically pleased and encouraged by the responsiveness and respect afforded to us by County Executive Rob Astorino's office for our humane animal advocacy and protection causes.  Though of course we'd prefer the geese to be left alone, we understand that we need to work together with segments of the community who don't enjoy the presence of the geese as we do - and we will, so long as they avoid killing them.  In all our advocacy efforts the county, under the leadership of Astorino, has been receptive and gracious; again, this does not mean we've gotten all our requests granted - for example, they know we are vehemently opposed to the current bow hunt of deer in five area parks and we still urge them to implement the birth control program being used by Hastings - but they communicate with us in a timely and open fashion, indicating their willingness to discuss and consider our position.  We always want more  for the animals - always; but at least with Mr, Astorino's office we have assurances that his 'door is open' for us, our causes will be listened to, given serious consideration and granted whenever possible.  His office has provided a voice for the voiceless and for this reason we support his candidacy in Westchester.'

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