Another Pound in the Magical North Under Investigation by Police

It sounds like at least some of the public employees in Oxford, CT don’t like local resident Vickie Tkacz. Ms. Tkacz is a nurse who also breeds dogs and apparently has trouble keeping her dogs in her yard.

In 2011, two of Tkacz’s Newfoundlands got loose and one of them killed another dog. That same year, a 7 week old puppy named Mia went missing from Ms. Tkacz’s home. She says she searched all over for Mia and called Oxford Animal Control repeatedly to inquire if Mia was there. Ms. Tkacz says she left numerous messages for ACO Cori Wlasuk for an entire week. Those messages were apparently never logged:

After the seventh day, Animal Control Officer Sandy Merry returned Tkacz’s calls and told her that the dog had been adopted because they didn’t hear from Tkacz within seven days, Tkacz said.

Ms. Tkacz reportedly saw a photo of a Newf on ACO Wlasuk’s Facebook page recently and recognized the dog as being from her lines. She believes that dog is Mia and that the ACO was the “adopter” from 2011. Ms. Tkacz filed a police report alleging the theft of the dog. She says she can prove Mia’s identity via DNA testing.

State police are currently investigating the pound and although the details of the investigation haven’t been made public, it presumably has to do with the alleged theft of Mia. First Selectman George R. Temple has closed the pound indefinitely while the investigation continues.

Temple told Tkacz at last week’s [Board of Selectmen] meeting that he sees her dogs roaming from time to time.

“Well I’m sorry I can’t contain them,” she replied. “Give me a ticket, but don’t steal them.”

This is the kind of situation every AC should be prepared to deal with – if containment is the issue, work with the owner to find a solution.  There are always going to be conflicts between AC and some of the residents they serve.  They should be handled in a professional manner by ACOs trained in conflict resolution.

It sounds like in this case AC was perhaps less interested in helping and more interested in punishing, possibly stealing an expensive puppy in the process.    I hope DNA testing is conducted to definitively determine if the Newf living with the ACO is Mia.  And if that turns out to be the case, I hope justice is served.

It is up to AC to lead by example.  If the selectman doesn’t like the behavior of a local dog owner, maybe he needs to take a look at how his town’s AC is demonstrating personal responsibility with regard to dog ownership.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)


9 thoughts on “Another Pound in the Magical North Under Investigation by Police

  1. Interesting. In Rowan Co, NC a couple years ago there were two husky puppies at the shelter. They were held for months on cruelty charges without much in the way of care- not even vaccinated. A rescue wanted them and had been talking to the shelter about it for weeks if not months. The shelter is “first come first serve” with no rescue holds so the rescue had someone in the courtroom so they could be there as soon as the trial ended. They got there when the shelter was opening to pull and were told that “someone” was ahead of them (even though they were first in line) and had already adopted them. And, what do you know, it was one of the ACOs mother. One went to a friend of the ACO (who had apparently promised her for weeks she could have one) and the other went to the ACO. Sadly, the one the ACO had turned up months later in terrible shape and still not spayed. Tell me the fairy tale about the irresponsible public one more time.

  2. Interesting that there’s “no record” of her calling to see if the puppy was there. Wonder what other records have been altered for their convenience?

    1. Presumably the owner could show phone records demonstrating how often she called the pound and even the duration of the calls. I hope the state police request those records as part of their investigation.

  3. Ok, I have to admit that the report on the breeder is making me cringe a bit. And the fact that she’s breeding Newfs who killed another dog makes me cringe even more. But that doesn’t excuse the shelter’s/ACO’s actions either…..

    1. If meeting her in person made the ACO cringe, that should have been a further prompt to help improve the situation. Instead, the response seems to have been “punish the owner via the back door”.

  4. There is a lot more to this story than being told. Ms. Tkacz has a very long history of not obeying local ordinances regarding dog ownership in several Connecticut municipalities. She has always felt she is above the law and does whatever she wants.

    1. OK Withheld, for the sake of argument, let’s say she lets her dogs roam loose all the time, doesn’t pick up after them at the dog park, and whatever other ordinances she can manage to violate. None of that makes it ok for AC to steal her puppy, which is what it appears may have happened.

  5. The ACO did not steal a puppy. Ms. Tkacz could not produce any phone records. The ACO was found guilty of manipulating paperwork so that several dogs could be spayed/neutered before adoption using state vouchers (only about 39% of these vouchers are actually used once animals leave CT pounds, thus adding to the overpopulation problem). As a result of these baseless accusations, the ACO lost her job, her reputation, and the brand new animal shelter she planned, raised money for, and helped to build. The only losers in this case were the homeless animals the ACO could have continued to help after 17 years of her dedicated service.

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