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CNY SPCA launches campaign against animal cruelty

County Executive Joanie Mahoney, center, announces the SPCA’s “Captains Against Cruelty” month with SPCS treasurer Nick Pirro, back right, SPCA executive director Paul Morgan, far right, and members of the board.

County Executive Joanie Mahoney, center, announces the SPCA’s “Captains Against Cruelty” month with SPCS treasurer Nick Pirro, back right, SPCA executive director Paul Morgan, far right, and members of the board. Joe Genco

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney and the Central New York SPCA announced their “Captains Against Cruelty” campaign against animal cruelty Monday at the SPCA headquarters in Syracuse.

The campaign will be a month-long community effort to raise awareness and funds for the CNY SPCA, which is the only organization in the county with certified cruelty investigators who look into complaints of neglect, abandonment or violation of animal rights. These cruelty investigators answered 1,623 cruelty calls in 2011 and seized 441 animals, according to a release prepared by the county executive’s office.

Nick Pirro, treasurer and board member of the CNY SPCA, worked with the board to develop the idea for this campaign as a way to get some financial help from members of the community.

“We are asking people to become a captain against cruelty and raise a dollar a day for the month of April,” Pirro said. “Every dollar counts. If a person can only raise five dollars, that’s acceptable.”

Paul Morgan, executive director of CNY SPCA, members of the SPCA board of directors and “Princess,” a recently rescued pit bull, were present for the announcement along with Mahoney.

Princess had almost starved to death when the SPCA rescued her four months ago, and today she is back to full health thanks to the organization’s efforts, Pirro said.

Mahoney credited Pirro, a former county executive, for creating awareness and getting the county involved in animal cruelty prevention.

“A case like Princess does a good job of focusing people for a couple of weeks on, but they don’t realize that this is an issue that happens thousands of times a year in Onondaga County. Animal cruelty happens day after day after day, and we can’t let up,” she said.

Anyone can become a “captain” and collect donations for the SPCA by filling out a form available online at cnyspca.org.

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