Animal Control Officer Stole Dog, Got State and Town to Pay for Care: Police

The employee allegedly took two purebred dogs home from the pound before the required waiting period

An Oxford, Connecticut, animal control officer accused of stealing a dog and forging documents to get free veterinary care for two of her dogs has been arrested, police said.

State police have charged Cori Wlasuk, 44, of Southbury, with third-degree larceny and second-degree forgery. She allegedly failed to impound two dogs she took home from the pound for the required period of time and had the state pay for a dog's care.

Police started investigating Wlasuk after a resident complained at a town hall on Dec. 17, saying the animal control officer had stolen her 7-and-a-half-week-old purebred black female Newfoundland and Wlasuk stole a purebred female brown Newfoundland in 2014, according to state police.

Police began investigating and determined that someone turned the Newfoundland puppy in to the shelter and Wlasuk took her home, rather than impounding her for the mandatory seven days, police said.

She used a friend’s name to adopt the puppy, according to police, and used the same name on a voucher so the state paid to spay the dog. 

Wlasuk is also accused of keeping the dog at the shelter so the town would pay the puppy’s veterinary bills.

Wlasuk was not immediately available for comment. She denied the allegations when they were first raised in December, according to the Republican-American.

Oxford First Selectman George Temple said Wlasuk has been suspended without pay and her future with animal control will be discussed during the next board of selectman meeting, which is set to take place on May 1.

Police also investigated the allegations in the 2014 case and said Wlasuk failed to impound a female purebred Newfoundland then as well, and instead brought the dog home.

Wlasuk allegedly told the dog’s owner that she wanted to buy the Newfoundland, paid cash and directed the dog’s owner to sign an owner surrender form. Police said the form turned the dog over to the town even though the dog was at Wlasuk’s home.

Wlasuk is accused of misusing the state’s voucher system in that case as well and getting the state to pay for spaying and the town to pay vet bills.

Wlasuk turned herself in to police on Sunday and was charged with two counts of third-degree larceny and five counts of second-degree forgery, police said.

Bond was set at $5,000. Wlasuk was released and is due in court on May 5.

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