The owner attempts to get the dog back from an Animal Care & Control worker.

Authorities raided two Sheepshead Bay homes owned by one couple, leading to the rescue of 23 dogs living in deplorable conditions.

Officials from a slew of agencies – including Animal Care & Control, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, FDNY, NYPD, Department of Buildings and Department of Health – descended first on 2713 Avenue Y this morning with a warrant, eventually bursting into the house to find clutter, garbage and 10 poorly cared for Shetland Sheepdogs.

Afterwards, authorities moved on to the pet owners’ primary residence at 4215 Bedford Avenue, where they pulled out 13 more dogs – mostly Shetlands.

According to a volunteer organization involved in the case, the dogs were underfed, anemic and flea-infested. They had also never seen a veterinarian to receive vaccinations or checkups.

The owners are being charged with at least 20 counts of cruelty to animals, according to a representative from the DA’s attorney on the scene. (CORRECTION [2/17/2012]: The DA has not yet filed charges against the couple.)

They were also given fines for various violations related to health and safety matters.

Get more information, and view photos and video from the rescue.

Photo by Erica Sherman

Telling Tips is a series of articles from local experts to help you save money, make better decisions and plan for a better future.

TELLING TIPS: You can read earlier installments of “Tips For The Taxed” here (“Tips For The Taxed I”) and here (“Tips For The Taxed II”).

Here are a few non-obvious considerations.

The NY State 529 College Plan: College isn’t cheap, but you can save a few dollars with the NY State 529 college plan, even if you or your child is presently in college, and you are paying the expenses. The plan allows you to contribute up to $5,000 each year, and an equal amount from your spouse. If you are going to pay tuition, fees, books, supplies, even room-and-board within a few months, just make a contribution to the plan now, and then take out the money in a couple of weeks. Many of you are in the eight percent to 10 percent effective tax range for New York. That means that, by following this suggestion, you can save eight percent to 10 percent on your contribution to the plan, and get the savings back on your tax return. Can you use an extra $800 or $1,000? To compute your effective tax rate, divide your total tax (Form IT-201, line 61) by your taxable income (Form IT-201, line 39). Attention grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends of the family: This savings is available even if the student is not your dependent. (If anyone would like to help me out with my kid’s college, please contact me.)

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My dear old Swanee…

Photo by Boris Shekhman

It’ll soon be a year since we first reported a seal sighting at the dock of the Miramar Yacht Club. The adorable animal was seen just lounging around, getting his tan on. At the time a yacht club member said he has never seen a seal in the waters of Sheepshead Bay; it was unheard of.

Then in March of 2011 there was another seal sighting, but this time it was at Brighton Beach. A month after that it seemed the same seal that appeared at the Miramar Yacht Club resurfaced again in Sheepshead Bay.

Apparently, a Rockaway cruise vessel is taking advantage of the seals’ affable nature, and is giving tours to those who don’t want to wait for them to sun themselves on lonely Sheepsheady Bay marinas.

During a recent American Princess cruise in which a New York Post reporter tagged along, seal-spotters laid eyes on a dozen of the water-bound furballs.

“The nicest part is that they are just as interested in us as we are in them,” said Jack Goldstein, the captain of the American Princess. “Sometimes, it feels like they are staring back at us.”

The cruise leaves from the Rockaways and proceeds towards Staten Island. The vessel stays idle around Swinburne and Hoofman, the two man-made islands off of the Staten Island coast that have played home to the seals for the past 10 years.

Paul Sieswerda, the cruise’s tour guide, says there has been a great increase in seal sightings in Jamaica Bay since 2006.

“There is a growing population of harbor seals in the East Coast,” said Sieswerda.

He has devoted much of his life to the mammal. In the summer of 1976, he kept and raised a baby seal in his bathtub until he was able to find a proper aquarium for the animal. Also, in 1994 Sieswerda cared for a seal named Andre, which was the idea behind the children’s film Andre.

The Manhattan Beach Community Group announced on its website yesterday that they will hold a town hall/debate between Councilman Lew Fidler and GOP opponent David Storobin, both of whom are vying for the seat of former State Senator Carl Kruger. Holding the event on a leap year, the group decided to give it a little twist (and add some humor to what has become a decidedly dirty race). Here’s what they posted on their website:

The MBCG is hosting a town hall/debate between the 2 candidates vying for convicted felon-State Senator Kruger’s seat. Our last debate for the vacated congressional seat attracted over 500 people.

The date is Feb. 29, 2012, the time is 8PM and the place is PS 195 on Irwin Street in Manhattan Beach.

This being a leap year, Manhattan Beach has a long standing Feb. 29th tradition. Doing it backwards, the audience will sit on the stage and the candidates in the auditorium seats. They will have the opportunity to ask us questions to see what we need to improve our lives. We are also working on an electric shock truth machine in case we  hold the debate the traditional way. The position of shocker is available.

Anyway you slice it, what else do you have to do on Feb. 29th. Join us when we meet the two men trying to become our next state senator.

All are welcome from any community. This debate is a public service event from the MBCG.

THE BITE: Ah, how I love to save money. It’s become a compulsion these last couple of years with the economy in the toilet. I like to eat, so I’m always looking out for a lunch or dinner special to raise me from these financial doldrums.

Max’s Burgers and Steaks, located at 367 Avenue X, has a burger lunch special. For only $5.50, you receive a burger that’s grilled to order, hand cut French fries and a can of soda. Not a bad deal at all.

At The Bite, we usually only focus on one item, but since we’re talking about the lunch special, let’s discuss each item individually.

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Photo by Erica Sherman

A pawn shop – apparently named Pawnshop – will soon open at 1727 Sheepshead Bay Road.

The storefront became vacant after the previous tenant, accountant Larisa Komsky, was brutally stabbed on Homecrest Avenue in November.

We stopped by last week and a worker said they planned to be open within the month.

“The sun sun shines on everyone.” – Petronius, Satyricon Lybri 100

Photo by Yuriy Semenov

Source: Rafael Kage/Flickr

Are you a fan of Kingborough’s radio station? Well, we can explain that deafening silence you’ve been getting when you tuned in these last few days.

WKRB 90.3 FM, Sheepshead’s local college radio station hosted by Kingsborough Community College, is currently off the air. According to their Facebook page, the live feed went off air on Friday, February 10, while they renovate the station. They estimate they will resume broadcasting in April or May.

Worry not! Fan’s of the college station won’t miss a beat. Though the live feed will be down you can still listen to an automated version of the station’s playlist by going to

The approximate location of the proposed natural gas pipeline.

After the House of Representatives passed a bill last week approving the construction of a three-mile gas pipeline, running underneath Jamaica Bay through Brooklyn and Queens, environmentalists and local leaders are outraged, claiming they were kept in the dark about it.

“It was done behind the public’s back,” said Ida Sanoff, Chairperson of the Natural Resources Protective Association.

Find out what the plan is, and why environmentalists say they’re being left out of the process.