Manitoba bylaw officer charged with fraud for keeping animal surrender fees: police
A bylaw officer in Manitoba is facing fraud charges for allegedly keeping the surrender fees when people gave up their pets, according to the Brandon Police Service.
The investigation began on Dec. 24, 2022, when a bylaw officer, who was assigned to animal control duties, went to a home in Brandon and collected a fee for an animal surrender. Police said this money was not turned over to the pound agent.
On Dec. 28, a Brandon police employee learned of this anomaly through a separate investigation and reported the incident to their supervisor. Following preliminary fact-finding and a review, the Brandon police launched an investigation at the beginning of January.
Through their investigation, police said they discovered four similar incidents between March and August 2022, where money was collected for the surrender of animals but was not deposited to the pound agent.
The bylaw officer, a 57-year-old man from rural Manitoba, has been charged with five counts of fraud under $5,000 and five counts of breach of trust by an official. He is scheduled to appear in court on April 24.
None of the charges have been tested in court.
The suspect has been relieved of all responsibilities as an animal control officer, and at his request, has been on unpaid leave since Jan. 25, 2023.
Police note that protocols were in place when these incidents took place, but the bylaw officer did not follow these processes.
A review is ongoing to determine best practices and ensure this type of incident doesn’t happen again. Based on this review, the bylaw supervisor will be examining animal control calls for service on an ongoing basis.
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