Dog shooting leads to discovery of tax-dollar misuse

By Jenell West, CFE, CPA, CIA; Bill Edwards

Case in Point: Case history applications

The dog had escaped from its home in a small rural county. His frantic owners posted fliers and offered a sizable reward for his return. Two weeks later, the animal control officer spotted the weak Great Dane.

Inexplicably, the officer shot and killed the dog even though it was wearing a collar with identification tags and license. He dumped the body in the local landfill and called the owners to tell them their dog was dead. The owners wanted the dog's body for cremation, but animal control officers told them it wasn't available. The officers ultimately relented and retrieved the body from the dump and returned it to the family.

Citizens and local media coverage questioned why the animal control officer hadn't simply tranquilized the dog, taken it to the animal shelter and contacted the owners.

Many now began to scrutinize the operations of the animal control department, which is part of the county sheriff's office. (Approximately 10 percent of the sheriff's deputies were assigned to the animal control department.) The animal control department received the majority of its funding from a separate millage (taxation) included in the annual property tax assessments, which generated approximately $300,000 of revenue each year.

For full access to story, members may sign in here.

Not a member? Click here to Join Now. Or Click here to sign up for a FREE TRIAL.