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Pet Matters… aka Pets Matter



Horse Rescued After Falling Into Collapsed Cesspool


Suffolk County Police officers, local business owners and first responders helped rescue a horse that fell into a collapsed cesspool.

Suffolk County Police Third Precinct Officer Brian Magill responded to a call of a horse which was trapped in a large hole in the backyard of a residence, located at 436 Oceanside St., Islip Terrace, New York, at approximately 3:50 p.m. on November 30. The horse, a 6-year-old gelding named Santino, escaped from his barn and began grazing on grass in the backyard of the home when he fell into a collapsed cesspool. Santino’s head was approximately 4 feet below ground level in the hole that measured approximately 6 feet in diameter. Santino was up to his neck in water and waste when police arrived.

Upon arrival, Officer Magill coordinated efforts and immediately sought out heavy equipment from local businesses and first responders. Islip Terrace Fire Department arrived and pumped out waste and water that was threatening to drown Santino.  Michael Barasso from Barasso & Sons, located at 160 Floral Park St., Islip Terrace, responded with employees and a pay loader that was used to excavate a ramp that allowed rescuers access to Santino. Suffolk County Police Emergency Service Unit officers, Islip Town Technical Rescue Team, Islip Terrace Fire Department, Islip Fire Department, Central Islip Fire Department and the SPCA responded and aided in the rescue. Charles Gandolfo of Higbie Collision, located on Higbie Lane, West Islip, responded with a tow truck equipped with a lift boom and stood by in case efforts with the pay loader failed.

Santino was examined at the scene by veterinarians and does not appear to be injured. Santino’s owner, Angelo Buonomo, 67, of 14th St., West Babylon, purchased the American Quarter Horse two years ago in Louisiana, the day before he was scheduled to be slaughtered.



FREE Halloween Pet Contest And Parade October 29


SETAUKET, NY, October 6, 2017 — Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn has announced the region’s largest Halloween pet costume contest and parade will be held on Sunday, October 29, 2017 beginning at 12:00 p.m., Holiday Inn Express Stony Brook, 3131 Nesconset Highway, Setauket, NY.  Suffolk Barkfest is free and open to the public.  The Halloween-spirited celebration requires guests to bring their dogs and other pets dressed in costumes for a chance to win prizes. The event is sponsored by the Suffolk County SPCA and Save-A-Pet.

  For further information about Suffolk Barkfest 2017 contact Holiday Inn Express Stony Brook at (631) 471-8000

Suffolk County Offering Free Rabies Vaccination For Dogs, Cat And Ferrets

Suffolk County Offers Free Rabies Vaccination Clinic

The Suffolk County Department of Health Services (SCDHS) and the Suffolk County SPCA will offer free rabies vaccinations* for dogs, cats and ferrets as follows:

Sunday, October 15, 2017

11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Four Seasons Sunrooms

5005 Veterans Memorial Hwy.

Holbrook, NY 11741


Rain Date: October 22, 2017 - For rabies vaccination clinic information call: SCSPCA at (631) 382-7722

*Although the clinic is available to all county residents, the quantity of vaccine is limited and available only while supplies last. All dogs must be on leashes and all cats and ferrets must be in carriers.

Rabies, a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous system, is most often seen among wild animals such as raccoons, bats, skunks and foxes, but any mammal can be infected with rabies. Pets and livestock can get rabies if they are not vaccinated to protect them against infection.

New York State and Suffolk County laws require that all dogs, cats and ferrets be vaccinated against rabies. Vaccinating pets not only provides protection for the animals but also acts as a barrier to keep the rabies virus from spreading between wild animals and people.

Although no raccoons have tested positive for the rabies virus in Suffolk County since 2009, three to six percent of the bats that are tested annually are positive for rabies.   

The Suffolk County Department of Health Services recommends the following precautions to protect your pets and your family from possible exposure to rabies:

·        Do not feed, touch or approach wild animals, or stray dogs or cats.

·        Be sure your pet dogs, cats and ferrets as well as horses and other livestock animals are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations. Vaccination protects pets if they are exposed to rabid animals. Pets too young to be vaccinated should be kept indoors and allowed outside only under direct observation.

·        Keep family pets indoors at night. Do not leave them outside unattended or let them roam free.

·        Do not attract wild animals to your home or yard. Keep your property free of stored bird seed or other foods that may attract wild animals. Feed pets indoors. Tightly cover or put away garbage cans. Board up any openings to your attic, basement, porch or garage. Cap your chimney with screens.

·        Do not transport or relocate any wild animals.

·        Teach children not to touch any animal they do not know and to tell an adult immediately if they are bitten by any animal.

To keep bats from getting into buildings, batproofing techniques should include:

·        not leaving unscreened doors open to the outside

·        not leaving unscreened windows open to the outside

·        making sure windows have screens, chimneys are capped, and electrical and plumbing openings are plugged

·        sealing up all openings larger than 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch square into the attic, basement, walls, or occupied areas of the house

·        using materials such as expanding spray-on foam, caulk, wire mesh, wood that fits tightly, steel wool (around pipes that enter buildings), or polypropylene bird netting, to seal or cover gaps and holes

Report all animal bites or contact with wild animals to the Suffolk County Department of Health Services at (631) 853-0333 weekdays, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  Animal bites or contact with wild animals can be reported to the Department at (631) 852-4820 outside normal business hours. If possible, try to contain the animal that so it can be tested.

For more information on rabies, visit the New York State Department of Health website at http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/rabies/rabies.htm, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/rabies/



DEC Invites Public To Submit Comments On Draft Mute Swan Management Plan

Mute Swan Hearing on Long Island Rescheduled for Oct. 26

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today that the draft mute swan management plan public hearing for the Long Island region has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 26, 2017, at the Suffolk County Water Authority Education Center in Hauppauge.

This hearing will give the public an opportunity to provide feedback on the revised plan. The original public hearing, planned for September 19, was postponed due to inclement weather.

DEC reminds the public to submit comments via email or mail. Due to the later hearing date, DEC is extending the public comment period to December 13, 2017.

These comments will be equally weighted as comments received during a public hearing.

Information on upcoming public hearings and how to submit written and email comments:

Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 6 p.m.

Suffolk County Water Authority Education Center

260 Motor Parkway

Hauppauge, NY 11788

Written comments on the revised management plan can by submitted by writing to: Bureau of Wildlife - Mute Swan Plan, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754; or e-mailing Wildlife@dec.ny.gov (subject line - “Mute Swan Plan”).

The DEC draft plan can be found on DEC’s website.


NYSDEC - Mothballs Not To Be Used To Repel Animals And Wildlife

Use Pesticides Responsibly, Read the Label!

Every year the NYSDEC Bureaus of Pest Management and Law Enforcement receive dozens of complaints regarding the use of mothballs to repel domestic animals and wildlife in urban settings. Label directions state mothballs are to be used in tightly closed containers to kill clothes moths and other fabric pests. Mothballs are not effective in keeping “unwanted visitors” out of vegetable and flower gardens, interior walls of buildings and/or drop ceilings.

Besides, the use of mothballs in any manner other than is listed on the pesticide label is illegal and dangerous!

Why Should I Be Concerned?

  • mothball active ingredients are either paradichlorobenzene or naphthalene
  • the vapors from mothballs are toxic 
  • Incorrect use and long-term exposure may cause health problems, harm children and contaminate soil, water, and plants 

To learn more about mothballs visit the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC).

Questions? We’re here:  pestmgt@dec.ny.gov  or  518-402-8748