It sounds like at least some of the public employees in Oxford, CT don’t like local resident Vickie Tkacz. Ms. Tkacz is a nurse who also breeds dogs and apparently has trouble keeping her dogs in her yard.
In 2011, two of Tkacz’s Newfoundlands got loose and one of them killed another dog. That same year, a 7 week old puppy named Mia went missing from Ms. Tkacz’s home. She says she searched all over for Mia and called Oxford Animal Control repeatedly to inquire if Mia was there. Ms. Tkacz says she left numerous messages for ACO Cori Wlasuk for an entire week. Those messages were apparently never logged:
After the seventh day, Animal Control Officer Sandy Merry returned Tkacz’s calls and told her that the dog had been adopted because they didn’t hear from Tkacz within seven days, Tkacz said.
Ms. Tkacz reportedly saw a photo of a Newf on ACO Wlasuk’s Facebook page recently and recognized the dog as being from her lines. She believes that dog is Mia and that the ACO was the “adopter” from 2011. Ms. Tkacz filed a police report alleging the theft of the dog. She says she can prove Mia’s identity via DNA testing.
State police are currently investigating the pound and although the details of the investigation haven’t been made public, it presumably has to do with the alleged theft of Mia. First Selectman George R. Temple has closed the pound indefinitely while the investigation continues.
Temple told Tkacz at last week’s [Board of Selectmen] meeting that he sees her dogs roaming from time to time.
“Well I’m sorry I can’t contain them,” she replied. “Give me a ticket, but don’t steal them.”
This is the kind of situation every AC should be prepared to deal with – if containment is the issue, work with the owner to find a solution. There are always going to be conflicts between AC and some of the residents they serve. They should be handled in a professional manner by ACOs trained in conflict resolution.
It sounds like in this case AC was perhaps less interested in helping and more interested in punishing, possibly stealing an expensive puppy in the process. I hope DNA testing is conducted to definitively determine if the Newf living with the ACO is Mia. And if that turns out to be the case, I hope justice is served.
It is up to AC to lead by example. If the selectman doesn’t like the behavior of a local dog owner, maybe he needs to take a look at how his town’s AC is demonstrating personal responsibility with regard to dog ownership.
(Thanks Clarice for the link.)