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A new procedure has been put in place at the Onondaga County Justice Center to care for the pets of people who are arrested.
Now during the booking procedure inmates are asked if they have pets at home. If the inmate answers yes they will be allowed an additional phone call to contact someone to care for their pets. If they have no one to call the local SPCA will intervene. After hearing inmates pleas for someone to care for their pets Deputy Melissa Robar brought the idea to her superior officer.
"Being a pet lover you worry about what will happen to them and there really was no one to reach out to to help them at the time. So we brainstormed and figured out we nned to so something. We have programs to help the elderly, and children, so we needed to help the pets that are left behind," Robar said.
Under Sheriff Warren Darby is an avid animal lover and says pets do not have to needlessly suffer.
"Generally speaking the animal had no part in putting that person in jail or committing any kind of act that would cause that. The pet is a victim if you will," Darby said.
This is a unique addition to the booking procedure and the first of its kind in the country.
"Our goal would be to share this with correctional facilities nationwide to be able to start this as being a program that everyone starts doing," said Chief Custody Deputy Esteban Gonzales.