AZ: Retired ACO Steals from Shelter Pets

Teri Moore, an ACO in Camp Verde, AZ with 17 years on the job, retired on June 2.  One of her duties during her employment had apparently been a Sunday visit to the local Wal Mart to pick up donated food for the pets at the pound.  After her retirement, Ms. Moore allegedly continued to visit the store for 3 Sundays in a row, representing herself as the pound’s ACO, and take the donated pet food.  Someone tipped off the police and she and her associate, Leroy Fringer, were arrested and charged with felony counts relating to fraud and possession of stolen property:

When arrested, Moore and Fringer were found in possession of 300 pounds of cat and dog food, as well as an unspecified quantity of cat litter, horse food and chicken scratch, according to Martin.

I was wondering if anyone at the pound noticed that the food for the animals seemed to be short by several hundred pounds.  Someone was feeding the animals, right?  I was curious to see how many animals this place has so I looked around online a little.  The website doesn’t list any animals for adoption or give a whole lot of info, although it does clarify that the pound is open to visitors “by appointment only” through the marshal’s office.  AC does have a Petfinder page, as does a “friends of” group, but there are no animals listed on either.  I did find a page for the pound on Adoptapet but it lists only one animal.

Anyone know anything about the Camp Verde pound?

21 thoughts on “AZ: Retired ACO Steals from Shelter Pets

  1. In 2010, the last year for which I could find budget actuals, they took in $1,808 in adoption fees. Their average adoption fee is $88.20. So they likely adopted out fewer than 21 animals in 2010.

  2. Wow. They also received $5,240 in donations that year. Not sure if that was cash, or if it included the in-kind (such as the food from WalMart), but that’s a lot money for a shelter that saved fewer than 21 animals.

  3. Sorry, those figures are actuals for 2008/2009. But check this out: the total expenditures that year for Camp Verde Animal Control were $114,397, with two full-time employees. So they spent over $5,447 for every animal they saved. Yeesh.

      1. I’m sure that’s how they look at it. But maybe they could be persuaded to look at it as an expense that they could take off their books by contracting it out to a non-profit.

  4. What a sad situation. Steeling from the animals…even if the facility didnt need the food there are always people in any community that need food.

    Just an aside..”dog pound” is an old derrogatory term just like “dog catcher.” I

  5. I googled a little bit–this town is small and the shelter is tiny with only 11 dog kennels and 9 cat kennels. They mention getting dogs back to their owners as their main mission, followed by adopting any that they can’t send home or can’t find an owner for.
    No mention of a stray hold law or euthanasia. All the pets have to be spayed/neutered before adoption but the town doesn’t have mandatory spay/neuter. They require licensing–it’s inexpensive and is used to get lost pets back to their owners. The PF site has some “happy tails” listed but no current adoptable pets–maybe they need a vol for that job. Camp Verde is only about 20 miles from Sedona–in the heart of tourist country. And there’s a casino on one of the local reservations. Nobody has escaped the recession but the median income for a family there is around $37,000. I don’t think the shelter pets have been starving–more likely just a rotten employee getting away with whatever she could. BTW, local humane society says on their PF page that they need kitty litter and kitten food–if the pound had a surplus that’s where it might have done some good instead of lining the pockets of a dishonest worker.

    1. That’s why i was wondering about the capacity at this place. It makes me wonder if a place that size really needed more than 100 pounds of food a week in donations. IOW, maybe the donations had been getting diverted for years, with only the amount needed to feed the pets at the pound being actually brought there. Just speculating.

  6. I wonder if she was selling the dog food and supplies on E-Bay or Craigslist! If they do not have many animals at their own place, they had to be doing something with the food and supplies. Do these cities and/or counties ever do audits on their departments? It would be easy enough especially for a small place like this. As an accountant, I am appalled-what a waste of taxpayers money!

  7. Wow! This story makes me wonder about what is getting, or not getting, to the animals as well. I live in AZ (but not in Camp Verde) and it is a pretty small town. Not too many people go/live there, that I know of. So only having like 20 animals total kind of makes sense to me.

  8. Doesn’t sound like a very good situation. They are probably selling the animals to labs for animal testing and/or dog fighting rings and/or murdering them. If I lived in the area- or closer thant 2,000 miles away, I would be asking some series questions. Someone needs to stand up for the animals.

    1. What?! I don’t think anyone is suggesting here that dogs are disappearing from this small–and from all I can tell well-meaning–shelter. Just because a now-retired ACO stole some donated petfood doesn’t mean the shelter is selling dogs to research labs or dogfighters or murdering dogs. I don’t understand the leap from the blog post about the former employee to your comment? The shelter only has 11 dog runs and 9 cat cages.

  9. I don’t know about the *shelter* but I know a little bit about WalMart’s policy on donating. Animal Control locally was getting hundreds of pounds of all sorts of stuff weekly. Stuff they didn’t really need/want to feed! Many years ago, they just gave it away to employees. Then, for a while, they had ACO’s deliver it to families and kennels in need in the area. Then, they gave it to Love Inc. (Love In the Name of Christ) to distribute for them. I applied to Love Inc. for some kibble when I was low on funds last year. It took three days to actually reach a real person on the phone, and then I was grilled as to my worthiness for having a bag of free kibble. (What would Jesus do?) When they found out how much money my husband made, they not only refused me outright, they made me feel about two inches tall and slimy besides. When I explained that the rescue dogs were *my thing* and that my husband was plenty busy keeping the lights on, the fuel tank full, and the car and house payments up to snuff, she basically hung up on me. Yea, so much for compassion. No wonder people don’t like to ask for help.
    Anyway, I later found out that local Animal Control couldn’t be bothered with free stuff from WalMart anymore and they let a local rescue take over the deal. Although she (an elderly gal who works full time) was hard pressed to make the weekly pick-up appointments and store or distribute the vast quantity of donations! Not sure who gets the stuff now.

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