YONKERS, N.Y. – A new “If you see something, say something” campaign paid for by local animal rights advocates will urge Westchester residents to report instances of animal cruelty and neglect.
Building Hope for the New Yonkers Animal Shelter, a volunteer organization that works with the animal shelter to improve the lives of stray pets, was to unveil its new ad campaign at bus shelters across Yonkers on Tuesday, according to a statement from the organization.
The group said the campaign is expected to spread to other parts of the county but provided no timeline for when those advertisements will appear.
Released in conjunction with Signal Outdoor advertising, the first ads are to appear at the bus shelters at Central Park Avenue south of Fort Hill Road, Nepperhan Avenue north of Ashburton Avenue, and Riverdale Avenue south of Main Street, according to the organization.
According to the statement, Kathleen Pistone Carucci, the organization’s president, said planning for the campaign began after she realized that cases of animal neglect often go unreported.
Pistone Carucci and others with Building Hope said the campaign was intentionally mirrored after the popular ad campaign urging people to come forward about terrorism concerns on public transit and elsewhere.
“Animal abuse is not only literally beating an animal. Neglect is also abuse,” said Julie Serenson, a Building Hope executive board member. "Addressing this problem and speaking up is the right thing to do and everyone's moral obligation since the animals are voiceless victims as helpless as children.”
Kiley Blackman, founder of Animal Defenders of Westchester, said the excitement surrounding the new campaign drew her into working with Building Hope.
“The SPCA recently made an arrest in a horrific neglect case in Yonkers, that left an abandoned dog dead of starvation in the street when no tips came in,” Blackman said in the statement. “The SPCA reiterated that this animal's needless, sad death could have been avoided, had the cruelty been reported.”