About six years after retiring as Stratford's chief animal control officer -- a position he held for 15 years -- Michael Griffin is now leading an investigation into malfeasance at the current operation.
Griffin said he's brought his case to the Town Council and chief of police, who said he'd look into the allegations.
"It all seemed too cozy to me," Griffin said of the relationship between animal control, a Stratford nonprofit animal group and a Milford kennel.
What follows is a letter to the editor submitted by Griffin. Documentation of his findings are included in the photo gallery.
A number of weeks ago I asked .
After having spent this past week looking through Freedom of Information copies of the activities and financial transactions between the Stratford Animal Control Office, Stratford Animal Rescue Society (STARS), and Snowflake Kennels located in Milford -- who seem to have developed a very cozy working relationship -- the answer seems to be nobody.
Snowflake Kennels does the majority of the vet work for both the Town and STARS, which I have questioned in the past as we have at least 5 extremely competent vets right here in Stratford.
This is how it works, STARS brings dogs and sometimes cats to the shelter, of which there is no record of where they came from or any history of shots, etc. They are then impounded, given an imp. #, and sometimes even advertised as a lost dog or cat.
Any vet services is done by Snowflake including but not limited to, all shots, spay/neuter, micro-chip, grooming, and any other additional services. These fees are then billed to the Town. These bills were originally supposed to be paid by STARS as was originally agreed to by the Town in 2002 and as it is still listed on its website when STARS is asking for donations.
In 2011, STARS brought in 48 dogs in this manner and then adopted 43 of them. After the proper waiting period (7 days after ad.), STARS then buys back the dogs from the Town and becomes the new owner of the dogs. Forty-three dogs were purchased in this manner.
The Town paid $4,077.00 for these 43 dogs between 06/14 and 10/30/11. Nineteen of these dogs were then brought back to Snowflake at various times, after they had been bought by STARS, treated by a vet, and that was also billed to the Town.
In one case, imp. #258 was bought by STARS on 11/09/11 and brought back to Snowflake on 12/08/11, treated again by a vet and the Town was charged an additional $99.00.
In another case, on 09/02/11, ACO's impounded 15 cats in a cruelty, search and seizure incident. Between 09/08 and 09/22/11, all 15 of these cats were euthanized by Snowflake.
Did I mention that these cats had an owner and lived in Town? The Town was then billed for the euthanasia and disposal of all 15 of these cats. The only problem was that the Town was billed for each cat twice as if there were 30 cats. This bill came to almost $3,000.00.
I submit that the Animal Control Office has been guilty of misfeasance, malfeasance, dereliction of duty, and for conduct unbecoming of an officer of the law. I have passed all this information along with the physical evidence to the proper authorities. Stay tuned for more to come.
Stratford Animal Control could not be reached for comment late Tuesday.