The Ontario County Humane Society has provided care for two dogs retrieved from the scene of the standoff Monday in Victor, said Shelter Director Edward McGuigan.
The neighborhood of Jacobs Landing in the village of Victor was the site of a dramatic scene Monday — swarmed by law enforcement responding to a 911 call reporting a man had fired three shots into two vehicles in his driveway on Ketchum Street, then another call reporting that the man had exited the back door of the residence and fired another round, said Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero.
While neighbors were evacuated Monday morning and the area surrounding Ketchum Street was barricaded, in the midst of all the commotion were two dogs belonging to Ryan and Nina Whidden of 34 Ketchum St., said Povero.
For nearly 12 hours, law enforcement attempted to make contact with Ryan, who had barricaded himself inside his residence along with his wife, Nina, according to the sheriff’s office. After law enforcement used such tactics as speaking to Ryan with a bullhorn and utilizing tear gas and “flash bangs” — a device used to disorient people by causing a loud bang and flash of light — Ryan and Nina exited the residence without incident shortly before 9 p.m., and Ryan was subsequently charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, said Povero.
When William McGuigan, animal control officer with the Ontario County Humane Society, arrived on the scene shortly after 9:30 p.m., he said he found the two dogs in good physical condition, but they were frightened.
“They already secured one dog,” he said. “The other dog was still running around the property. ... It was just scared. It didn’t want to be caught.”
McGuigan was able to secure the second dog after it ran into the home and transported the dogs to the Happy Tails Animal Shelter in Hopewell. McGuigan said he believes one of the dogs is an English bulldog and the other is an American bulldog, but he is unsure of their ages.
He said his main priority was “getting them away from the situation and secured in the shelter.”
Povero said the humane society occasionally plays a role during the sheriff’s office’s investigations by taking possession of an animal. The humane society is also called in to assist the sheriff’s office when there is reason to believe an animal may be dangerous, Povero said.
He said law enforcement knew of the presence of the two dogs at the Ketchum Street residence from the beginning of the investigation. The second of the two 911 calls mentioned that Ryan was seen outside with the dogs, he said.
Officers surrounding the home were able to monitor the dogs during the investigation, Povero added.
“We were certainly aware of the dogs,” he said. “We had police officers watching everything, including the dogs.”
Povero said he believed one of the dogs was in the home for most of the standoff with law enforcement — in which he said at least three shots were fired inside the home — while he believed the second dog was outside.
Page 2 of 2 - “From our observation of the dogs, we didn’t consider the dog to necessarily be a threat — either dog — because, from what we’d seen, the best description was that they appeared to be very friendly, playful dogs,” said Povero.
Shelter Director Edward McGuigan said that the humane society’s role was to retrieve the dogs, monitor them and ensure they did not need medical treatment.
“Last night, of course, there was a tremendous amount of police,” he said Tuesday, adding that they were given very little information about what had transpired.
“The dogs appear to be fine,” he added. “We’ll just watch them to make sure they are OK. ... They don’t appear to be afraid.”
Povero said the dogs are not being held for evidence and can be picked up by their owner, Nina, who he said Tuesday is staying with family.