Columns

How the internet and fake news work

Bob Howard is a good guy. The Animal Abuse Investigator for Wayne County loves animals, much like myself, and has a strong destain for anybody who abuses animals.

Last week my phone began to ring off the hook and I received numerous e-mails and Facebook messages concerning dogs being left outdoors at 3507 Middle Road in Lyons.

May I add that by the time I began receiving these notices, the problem had already been resolved. That did not matter to a couple of vigilante people hell bent on ruining several people involved in the case. The first person was Bob Howard, who received hundreds and hundreds of calls from people alarmed by half truths and innuendo. After being posted on the internet, Bob received calls from Canada, California, Florida, Montana and just about every part of the U.S. because the internet never dies, but only multiplies comments and stories, Bob, at this writing, is still receiving calls and messages, many of which are not polite in nature.

The man on Middle Road in Lyons is no saint and has been arrested before and paid the price for an animal abuse conviction. Unfortunately, the dogooder named XXXX (I won’t put her through the same gauntlet as she did with the Lyons man and Bob) posted such absurdities as “_ _ _ _also killed a man”. Unless you followed her link and discovered the man was a driver in a truck in an industrial accident, you would think he was a murderer.

I wish some of these people, who you think are doing good for animals, would get out and actually do something good for animals, children, domestic abuse and numerous other social tragedies – with more than internet gossip and innuendos.

Before the posting on the internet and Facebook had appeared, Bob had already talked to District Attorney Mike Calarco and to Sheriff Barry Virts. All agreed there was no reason for an arrest. The postings had stated the dogs had no food, or water. One look at the video and pictures squash the notion the dogs were not being fed. As for no water? There were bowls and buckets with water, but in below freezing temperatures??? There was also what I consider shelters, I feel less than adequate shelters, for the animals, but these were lacking from the video.

Bob had already talked to the Lyons man and he agreed to bring all the dogs inside before the severe drops in temperatures.

Bob, in total frustration, after years of animal responses, wants to chuck the job for all the abuse he has taken.

Wayne County Sheriff, Barry Virts and District Attorney, Mike Colarco, were forced to hold a press conference, to alleviate the mis-information.

Please be careful with postings to the internet. With all the “fake news” circulating within minutes throughout the world, remember that you may be the source.

UPDATE: The Sheriff’s Office sent out the following press release on Friday afternoon:

The Wayne County Office of Sheriff would like to report that the 12 dogs located on Middle Sodus Road in the Town of Lyons have been removed from the property and are in the custody and care of the Wayne County Humane Society. The Society has received numerous threats via social medial and telephone which are being investigated.

The Sheriff’s Office reports that the investigation is continuing with assistance from the Lyons Animal Control Officer, Lyons Code Enforcement, NYS Agriculture and Markets, and the Wayne County Humane Society and the Animal Abuse Investigators from the Wayne County DA’s Office.

The Lyons Code Enforcement Officer has issued a stop work order to prevent the individual from maintaining a Kennel for Commercial Purposes. All the animal have received vaccinations and are properly licensed.

It seems that Bob has received death threats. The Humane Society of Wayne County also received threats of someone threatening to show up and burning the place down.

The dogs were voluntarily turned over for the weekend and until the owner can ensure that the lodgings for the dogs are brought up to standards. With the promised storm, the Sheriff felt this was a sane move in light of all the threats and conditions. A stop work order is being sought to ensure the kennels are adequate for the dogs.

Neither Bob, nor the District Attorney, nor the Humane Society knew the seizure was coming.

My sincere hope is that this is a lesson for all the do-gooders posting on social websites. Please be responsible and knock off the threats to human life and buildings in the cause for animal welfare. Last time I checked, humans were animals too.

What a bunch of jerks live off the social sites; look at what we have become.

  • Melissa Crampton

    I am so appalled by this article, I really have no words. well, yes, yes I do…..When you try to protect a man who, for years, has treated his breeding animals like trash, has been arrested for animal cruelty before, is convicted of drugs, breeds but, most assuredly, does not have a license to do so, leaves his animals in horrendous conditions, most likely they go without vaccinations…..then we have the officials making so many trips out there (only as soon as this all came to light) spending hard earned taxpayers money, several times to “check” on him and talk to him? to help him? ……What in the world do all you people have going on with this gentleman? I can only imagine. I’ve been in rescue for a long time and have seen some pretty horrendous excuses of officials “in” with the bad guys but honestly, THIS takes the cake… OF COURSE animal advocates all over are enraged! More with how you people seem to think all this is ok! Just about everything within this whole nightmare is against the law! …proof of vaccinations please, license for breeding please, photos of very improved areas for these dogs please, proof that he is taking care of these animals well please….until you all can show all of this is done and continues to be done….without ripping off the people of the county by spending their tax money to do so, this will not end. If the dogs are rescued from this person, it will end. Animal advocates did not create this. You all did. By letting this man treat these animals as bad as he did and obviously still does, you will not hear the end of our cries to help these animals.

    • Wayne Times

      So…death threats and threats to the Humane Society are okay? You need help.