An Otsego County man is accused of promoting child pornography.
New York State Police say they arrested 56-year-old Francesco Carotenuto of Schenevus after finding him in possession of images of child exploitation.
New York State Police say Carotenuto is charged with (Class D) felony Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child and Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child.
Investigators say they found images consistent with child sexual exploitation via the internet.
Authorities say while they were at the man’s property in the Town of Maryland they found what they say were other violations, but involving animals.
Troopers say they found seven adult dogs on Carotenuto’s property that lacked adequate food, water or shelter.
The dogs were turned over to the care of the Otsego County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The discovery of the dogs has resulted in Carotenuto also being charged with New York Agriculture and Market Law of Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals. That count is a misdemeanor.
The officers had responded to Carotenuto’s home on September 8. There was no information given as to what prompted the start of the investigation.
According to the news release from the New York State Police, Carotenuto was arraigned at Otsego County Central Arraignment and Processing. He was sent to the Otseto County Jail. Bail was set at $20,000 cash or $100,000 bond. The authorities say the Schenevus man’s case was being handled in the Town of Maryland Court.
Anyone who suspects incidents of child exploitation or who witnesses incidents of animal cruelty are encouraged to contact local law enforcement officials.
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MCDOWELL COUNTY, W.Va. (WVVA) – A McDowell County woman has been ordered to serve one year behind bars in an animal cruelty case. Police said Crystal Copley of Anawalt threw puppies into a creek to drown. She was charged back in 2020. Copley reached a plea deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to a pair of misdemeanor animal cruelty charges.
Animal rights activists who have been following Copley’s case say they’re happy with the results of the trial.
“The main thing here is that people are aware that our judges, our elected officials, our sheriff’s departments. They’re tired of this and they’re not going to put up with it,” said Karen Mays with ALIVE Animal Services.
Mays says other animals were taken from Copley and fostering them was a group effort among other animal advocate groups.
Rumors that U.S. Senate candidate Mehmet Oz abused puppies during his time at Columbia University have been rampant lately on social media.
The claim almost sounds made up — as if detractors wanted to find the least defensible thing about the Republican nominee for senator from Pennsylvania. But is it valid? Like many internet memes, there appears to be some truth mixed with possible exaggeration or assumption.
Allegations that spread over the past few days, like a now viral tweet that explicitly states Oz himself “pumped injections into puppies hearts without sedation” are incorrect. No documents from the time corroborate the claim, and neither do people who were there.
“It wasn’t him that did the euthanasia of the puppies,” Catherine Dell’Orto, then a postdoctoral veterinary fellow at Columbia, told Billy Penn. Dell’Orto was the one who blew the whistle on studies that she says “were very badly done.”
The Senate candidate was in fact the director of a research program at Columbia when it agreed to settle animal abuse claims with the USDA.
Dell’Orto believes the settlement amount was too small — just $2,000 — and based on a faulty internal review. She said her claims about the abuse of dogs were ignored, both by the USDA and Sulli Popilskis, the head veterinarian involved in the research.
Popilskis, now at the City University of New York, told Billy Penn he didn’t recall the details of the allegations.
“It’s a very unfortunate issue, it’s easy to publish anything and have it spread,” he said, in regard to the current social media uproar. He added that he has the “greatest respect” for Oz as a cardiovascular surgeon, saying Oz has “always been on the frontline of advancing [heart health].”
The Oz campaign did not respond to a request for comment. So what’s the full story? Here’s what we know.
What was going on at Columbia?
In 2002, when Oz was the director of the Cardiovascular Institute at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center of New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Dell’Orto went public with allegations of animal mistreatment in medical research testing, and activism nonprofit People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) waged a public campaign.
The primary allegation was abuse towards primates, according to the now-archived website columbiacruelty.com and a later student newspaper op-ed by a PETA-affiliated doctor recounting the circumstance. This fits with the recollection of Dell’Orto, the post doc at the time.
But it was the treatment of puppies that inserted Oz into the controversy. The 62-year-old first gained renown as a cardiovascular surgeon, and has contributed to multiple studies on cardiac function in dogs.
At Columbia, the experiments in question were meant to “model human cardiac failure,” per Dell’Orto. The dogs’ hearts were paced quickly for “six to eight weeks,” and then various treatments attempted to bring them back to proper heart function.
“There was no [humane] endpoint, major, multiple survival surgeries for these dogs. They suffered quite a bit prior to death, and a lot of them were just found dead in the cages,” Dell’Orto said.
“He was the principal investigator on these experiments,” she said of Oz.
After trying to bring attention to the issue through internal channels at Columbia and then the USDA, Dell’Orto said, she contacted PETA in 2002. She first told them about the treatment of macaques and baboons — and followed up later with details about the pups.
A 2003 letter from Mary Beth Sweetland, then director of PETA’s Research & Investigations Department, describes an incident involving a number of puppies:
“According to the complainant, a litter of fully conscious puppies was placed in a plastic bag and killed with an intracardiac (IC) injection of expired Beuthanasia-D…. According to the complainant, the puppies cried out as they received the IC injection because it is, of course, very painful and should not be done without first anesthetizing the animals.”
Oz is not mentioned in a series of these letters until after the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Columbia reached a settlement for $2,000 in the spring of 2004.
The settlement was based on an internal investigation by Columbia’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. The USDA accepted their findings, but Dell’Orto believes the review itself was faulty.
“That internal review had investigators on the committee that were also complicit in this type of poorly designed, cruel animal experimentation,” she recalled.
The committee’s findings, listed in the settlement agreement, don’t all pertain to dogs. The ones that do are dated October 2003:
“Pups whelped from a dog being used in a research study were euthanised with outdated euthanasia solution; drug use logs indicate the pups were not properly sedated at the time as claimed by person administering euthanasia.”
“Dog exercise plan does not provide evidence that plan is approved by the attending veterinarian.”
Documented breaks from protocol found in a November 2003 review include “the improper administration of an injectable euthanasia agent.” This violation didn’t explicitly mention dogs, but the misuse of euthanasia wasn’t alleged in the case of the primates — their reported abuse came from the conditions of their containment and experimental practices, some of which they were not properly anesthesized for.
Oz’s culpability, and the fallout
Administering euthanasia is rarely, if ever, left to department leaders or directors like Oz was at the time, Dell’Orto acknowledged. But she still feels he’s culpable.
“When your name is on the experiment, and the way the experiment is designed inflicts such cruelty to these animals, by design, there’s a problem,” she said.
“Dr. Oz … is responsible for the extreme suffering endured by dogs used in his heart experiments,” the letter states. “Columbia’s IACUC appears to have approved these highly invasive and stressful experiments without demanding a humane endpoint for the animals.”
In the letter, Sweetland recaps the last 29 days in the life of a dog used in one of Oz’s experiments, based on what she describes as 6,313 records from the dog’s file. After weeks of improper eating, urination, bowel movements, and wound care, the last day is described.
“Day 29: Does not want to come out of cage, right hind leg swollen; catheter out; chewed through [tube], not eating, breathing very labored, no stool, tried to feed-will not eat anything; p.m. [Mehmet Oz] took for last experiment” (brackets PETA’s).
The USDA did not follow up on the later allegations from 2004, and neither did Columbia’s internal review.
According to a letter published by PETA, when Dell’Orto took her worries to then-head veterinarian Popilskis, replied “‘You still don’t understand do you? It’s all political.’”
The letter explains that “Dell’Orto understood this to mean that Oz could do whatever he wanted without being questioned because of his celebrity status.”
Asked about this by Billy Penn, Popilski noted that PETA is not a reliable source of information. The organization does have a reputation for being overzealous, if not dishonest, in its claims. But Dell’Orto was impressed with their professionalism when she worked with them.
“I didn’t find them lying about anything. Everything I had documentation [on], what I said, that is pretty much what they regurgitated and tried to get into the news.”
The result of the fairly light USDA settlement fine may have had a more subtle impact, Dell’Orto said: affecting future research grants for Oz: “I believe it was the NIH [National Institutes of Health] that stopped funding a lot of Dr. Oz’s work.”
For years, suppressing the vulnerable seemed to be the norm in this conventional society. Haven’t you seen a street dog getting beaten up for no reason or a donkey being tortured for self-sake? Famous social worker Karan Mankar strictly criticizes these acts and expresses his thoughts on being generous to these unspeakable animals.
Seeing the rising number of violent crimes against animals, numerous organizations and individuals have come to the vanguard to protect them. However, there seems to be no end to this crime. Yes, it’s a crime. And shedding light on this, Karan Mankar wrote on his social media, “Torturing and murdering animals seems like a new hobby for some people. While they perform the act, the majority prefer to stay silent. But witnessing the crime silently makes you a partner in crime.”
Karan Mankar further discussed how our constitution serves justice to everyone and how it has incorporated certain rules for such people and their heinous acts. This includes IPC Sections 428 and 429, for any person who commits mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming, or rendering useless any animal shall be punished.
“However, corruption has spread its roots everywhere and in every field. Though there are several such punishments, I wonder why they aren’t followed often. It’s my heartfelt plea to the responsible authorities that these laws should be followed,” said Karan Mankar. He is very sympathetic when it comes to animals. You will often see him feeding stray dogs and other pet animals. He also undertakes several activities for the betterment of these animals.
Addressing his adherents and common citizens of society, Karan Mankar says, “Keep your eyes peeled and ears open wide. Whenever you see such an incident, report it to the nearest police station. Use social media to expose these individuals and their awful deeds. We can together make this place safe for ourselves and the living animals around us.”
“We’ve been seeing a huge jump in cases since COVID,” said Officer Mark Jones, Animal Friends Community Resource Officer and Humane Society Police Officer.
Jones said they’ve seen a spike in cases of animal hoarding, lack of veterinary care and neglect. He urges anyone who is struggling to take care of their animals to reach out for help. You can contact Animal Friends or donate by visiting https://www.thinkingoutsidethecage.org/.
Meantime, Luffey urges anyone who sees, hears or suspects animal abuse to come forward and report it. She is grateful for the anonymous caller who helped alert officers to the husky who was allegedly being abused by Lundy.
“Animal neglect and abuse is a crime,” she said. “Give that animal a voice. Many animals suffer in silence. We need to be their voice.”
The injured husky was transported to Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center, where she remained for treatment as of Monday afternoon.
Lundy is charged with cruelty to animals and aggravated cruelty to animals. Channel 11 knocked on his door on Monday, but no one answered.
Lawrenceville shooting leads to discovery of marijuana growing operation inside home
… research, three Kremlin-run animal labs still remain eligible … prevent waste, fraud, and abuse. Congress has begun to … the Accountability in Foreign Animal Research Act to permanently … defund all adversarial nations’ animal experimentation labs. Thankfully, in …
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author(s) do not represent the official position of Barbados TODAY.
We all more or less agree that the major problem we have in Barbados with the enforcement of our animal legislation stems from the lack of capacity of those authorised persons to know what to do.
Therefore the government needs to create a steering committee, to create standard operating procedures (SOP) and implement these SOPs across multidisciplinary teams such as Environmental Health, vets, the police and shelters. In addition, we need more authorised persons to be able to enact the legislation.
Questions the steering committee needs to address include:
Once an animal is seized what happens to the animal? Government vet services are a little more advanced in this, having dealt with a few livestock cases, so maybe they can help set up procedures. Perhaps also they can set up a memorandum of understanding whereby shelters can help with dogs seized?
Can the judicial system then ensure these animal cases are handled swiftly due to the nature of the situation? If so, how? Maybe in some instances, penalties can be given with an agreement made for improvements in the level of care. Some re-homed.
Some sadly euthanised. Do we also need another department outside of AnimalControl to deal with animal cruelty and with a database created just for this (switch up roles or expand them)? Animal Control may need to restructure into something else long-term.
If we want to see enforcement, we need to address all of this and more. Proposals have been put forward by many, but who starts the ball rolling in training and implementation?
Let’s consider public funding or other means, to help facilitate our animal laws being enforced, otherwise, some form of income needs to be generated for this purpose.
We cannot keep talking about the problem without implementing procedures.
We cannot keep expecting shelters to ‘jump in’ to save animals, they should just be supplementing the work of the government.
We do need to understand this is a societal, economical, and psychological issue that affects, responsible pet owners, livestock farmers, workers involved in animal husbandry,shelters, volunteers and children, and especially those who due to economic deprivation, subject their animals to neglect as there is no assistance (education) for them with things like low-cost vet care.
We cannot expect a change in behaviour without education occuring that is able to resonate with all demographics at the community level (we need to educate at the ground level and not just through infomercials).
We need to move away from the limited belief that there is a culture around a fear of animals’ in Barbados because some of the strongest animal welfare advocates today are local people and they also take up the largest market in pet ownership and care.
Speak with dog trainers to see the influx and growing trend of Barbadians wanting to learn how to train and socialise their dogs. Speak with the Barbados SPCA and ask them how busy they are with their neutering and clinics.
Therefore, data indicates that Barbadians are becoming more aware of their responsibilities to care for their pets and livestock. But all this good is undone, by our punitive efforts to enforce animal laws when needed and deal with those that still inflict abuse on their animals due to negligence, lack of education and those who are systematic animal abusers.
Let’s collectively keep advocating that for once and for all our government can create a steering committee and remedy this issue.
We are not expecting overnight change, but we are expecting change. We know animal abuse is a global issue, however, this doesn’t mean we can just talk about legislation, make amendments and do nothing to help these creatures we are caretakers of.
Let there be accountability for those “authorised persons” as there are in any other job role. We can do better and must do better as part of being self-actualised human beings.
Gail Hunte – Trustee for Action for Animals Barbados (AFAB) Creative Entrepreneur/Author/Animal Welfare Advocate.
Susie was found with severe second and third-degree burns over most of her body in Greenfield Park in south Greensboro. Her ears were burned off and she had a broken jaw and teeth.
Despite the horrible abuse she suffered, Susie became a certified therapy dog. She went to schools, hospitals and churches to bring messages of kindness, respect and responsibility to children and adults.
Susie won the American Humane Hero Dog Of The Year award in 2014.
Susie’s inspiring story was made into a film “Susie’s Hope” in 2013.
Lawrence remembered Susie’s legacy in a Facebook post on Friday:
“To all my family, friends and fans whom I have loved and so adored. This is Susie, today I crossed over to The Rainbow Bridge. I passed peacefully from my mom’s loving embrace into God’s. I am no longer in any pain. I want you to know my mommy and daddy did everything in their power to keep me here as long as they could. In January, I was only expected to live a few weeks, but through my mom’s determination and unwavering care, I have had 9 amazing and unforgettable months! We have had so much bonding time in the past 9 months that I will always cherish. My mom never left my side other than to go to work and slept with me every single night. We even got to go to the beach together and boy did I love that trip! My mom said we will take this journey one day at a time into the next chapter of our lives. She promised me that when I was ready that she loved me enough to let me go despite her wishing that I could live forever. Last night, I let her know that I was ready to cross over and put away my worn-out body and step into my new body with no more scars and no more pain. As hard as it was for my family, they decided that they would honor my wishes! I want to thank each and everyone one of you for all of your love and support for me and my family over the past 13 years. It’s been an amazing life for me, one full of love and adventure. I have never wanted for anything, my mommy saw to that. Mom and Dad loved me unconditionally and have always been there for me. The first chapter of my life story was painful for me, but boy did it get so much better. My wish is that all animals could have a wonderful home full of love and joy like I have been blessed with! Even though I went through horrific abuse, I was adopted by two of the most kind, loving and compassionate people and I’ve known only love for the past 13 years! My family and I have so many cherished memories and no abuse could ever take away from me! My mom said that looking at my scars every day reminded her of all the love and forgiveness animals have towards people! She was right. I was adopted into my wonderful home in 2009 at Christmas time and my mommy put a big red bow on me and said I was her special Christmas present. Mom and Dad were the best presents that I could have ever imagined! She prayed that she would be able to adopt me as we shared similar stories of abuse. I brought healing to her just like she brought healing to me. She was attacked by a dog and I was attacked by a human just 9 months apart and we both survived and found each other. We helped each other heal and it was meant to be. My life has never been the same. It started out with me and Babygirl, but I ended up with lots of rescued siblings along the way. My life has been one of total happiness and completeness and one that I and my mom will cherish forever. We were an amazing and unstoppable team and did so much good for other animals giving them a voice through Susie’s Law! My abuse led to other animals being protected and my Mom and I helped pioneer Susie’s Law with others in the community. We wanted animal abusers to go to jail and now they will! We also decided to start our own nonprofit, Susie’s Hope, dedicated to protecting and standing up for animals, giving them a voice! We expanded into rescuing and finding homes for unwanted, abused and neglected animals in the community as well as across the country. We teamed up with Eve Roser who helped make that happen and we became a team. We have helped thousands of animals over the years and I give many thanks to my special friends, Robin Hudson, Eve Roser, Robin Munden, Deborah Hodges and so many more. I won the American Humane Hero Dog Award in 2014 and that was such a fun adventure and honor. My mommy and I will always be proud of my movie, books and stuffed animals as they are great tools to get the word out about Susie’s Law and what I went through. So pull out the movie, snuggle up with your Susie dog and read my books when you feel you are missing me. I will always be with you! I just want to say that you all must keep fighting for animal rights in my honor! Never let abuse go unnoticed, keep reporting when you see an animal mistreated, neglected, abused or tortured. If my abuse had gone unnoticed, I wouldn’t have lived as long as I did and accomplished so much to help other animals like me. I am so thankful to everyone who saved my life, and has been involved in my life in any way! I have had so many wonderful friends over the years and I will never forget you all and all the love that we shared! I LOVE ALL OF YOU SO MUCH! Until we meet again, be kind and love one another. God Bless!”