Illinois ACO Charged with Animal Cruelty

Last weekend, a Macon Co ACO with several years of experience had his AC vehicle parked outside his home.  The stench emanating from the truck in the 90 degree heat was overwhelming enough that a neighbor called the police.  Sheriff’s deputies came to investigate and discovered a dead groundhog next to a live 4 week old kitten.  The animals had been in the truck for 2 days.  The kitten was taken to a vet for treatment and is now reportedly doing well in the care of the AC director.  The suffering of the kitten is terrible to contemplate but possibly pales in comparison to the suffering of the groundhog:

Police are still investigating details of the case and couldn’t say for sure if the groundhog had also been dead when it was placed inside the truck.

“At this point, I am not 100 percent sure either way,” said Lt. Jeff Scheibly, who oversees animal control. “It may have died in the back of the truck.”

The ACO reportedly told police he knew about the groundhog being in the truck but “was unaware he had left the kitten” there.  He was arrested and charged with one count of animal cruelty.  Jail time is described as “very unlikely”.  An internal disciplinary hearing will determine if the ACO receives anything from a reprimand up to termination.  He has been suspended with pay.

If the investigation reveals the groundhog was alive at the time he was placed in the truck, I hope a second charge of animal cruelty will be filed against the officer.  And if this ACO is found guilty, I hope Macon Co does the right thing and terminates him.  I’ll post an update on this case if I come across one but please help me by looking out for developments on this story.

(Thank you Clarice for sending me the link.)

Note:  The original title of this post incorrectly identified the state as Georgia and has been corrected to Illinois.

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12 Comments

  1. If it hadn’t been for the rotting marmot, the kitten would have been a goner.

    Here’s hoping the groundhog was a roadkill that the ACO picked up (is that part of their job description?) and that accident saved the kitten.

    I’m trying to conjure a scenario in which an ACO would be collecting a live groundhog, and not coming up with it. Unless someone live-trapped it in their garden. Around here, that’s not something animal control deals with.

    Reply
  2. Fun Is Best

     /  May 26, 2012

    AC usually aren’t responsible for road kill. I would think it was live when placed in his truck, otherwise he would of taken it to a dumpster or wherever they dispose of their killed dogs/cats immediately as he would surely be aware of the stench of dead bodies.

    His heartlessness of leaving a kitten or any animal, forgotten, in the back of his truck disqualifies him of any position working with animals.

    Does anyone have an address to the local DA? I’d like to leave my vote of being relieved of duty, permanently.

    Reply
  3. Why would one want to leave a dead animal in the back of his vehicle, so maybe it was alive when he picked it up? He should not be an ACO.

    Reply
  4. mikken

     /  May 26, 2012

    Something tells me this is not the first time this guy has done something like this…

    How the hell do you “forget” a kitten for TWO DAYS???

    Reply
  5. Sue Boggs

     /  May 26, 2012

    COME ON, GET REAL…A SUSPENSION WITH PAY IS NOTHING BUT A PAID VACATION, NO ONE SHOULD “GET PAID” FOR BEING CRUEL TO ANIMALS, NO MATTER WHAT KIND!!!!!!

    Reply
  6. Brandi W.

     /  May 26, 2012

    This didn’t happen in Georgia, it happened in Decatur (Macon Co.), Illinois.

    Reply
    • Thank you Brandi! Will correct. Clarice sent me two links about stories in “Macon” and I worked on both (the second one is scheduled for this morning and takes places in Macon, GA). It’s not in any way Clarice’s fault but I mixed them up so I appreciate your comment.

      Reply
      • Brandi W.

         /  May 27, 2012

        You’re welcome! I only knew because it happened near my home town and I read about it in the paper. Thank you for highlighting the story!

  7. S B.

     /  May 26, 2012

    Fire the bastard. He does not need to be in contact with animals ever again.

    Reply
  8. It's Me

     /  May 27, 2012

    It’s impossible for this guy not to know a dead groundhog was in his truck. Dead animals smell to high hell, especially in animal control trucks. It’s impossible that this guy did not know a kitten was in his truck. Kittens make noise. He’s a liar and should be charged with animal cruelty and fired. If he isn’t lying, he’s dumb as a box of rocks and needs to be charged with animal cruelty and fired. If I was his Supervisor, I would check all of his radio transmissions, call logs, complaint logs, mile logs, etc and see where he was, what he was doing..I would also give him a drug test to see if he was under the influence of something that might explain for his lack of awareness.

    Where is NACA when stuff like this happens? Why don’t they publically condemn bad animal control officers and emphasize the need for excellent training, as well as competent employees?!

    Reply
  9. Jessica C

     /  May 27, 2012

    Yeah I doubt either of them were dead before entering the vehicle, due to the smell and general nastiness, so basically he is lying and it was just neglect. This guy needs to be fired! Im sick of hearing stories like this. I mean, I can understand forgetting an inanimate object in the car like a phone or wallet, but a live/breathing animal??? Come on!

    Reply

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