Animal control officer resigns after dog’s death

SMITHFIELD, Utah (AP) — A Smithfield animal control officer has resigned after an impounded dog died of dehydration in an unshaded outdoor kennel during one of the hottest parts of the year.Smithfield police Sgt. Travis Allen told the Herald Journal of Logan and the Salt Lake Tribune that the officer “forgot” to transfer Paula and Kara Purser’s 4-year-old Labrador retriever named Lola from the city’s temporary holding facility to the Logan animal shelter.The dog was picked up only a few hours after she left the Pursers’ yard June 23. The officer then took the dog to the city’s temporary holding facility with an intent to transfer her to the Cache Humane Society shelter in Logan, Allen said. City protocol allows lost or abandoned animals to be placed in the temporary kennel for up to 48 hours.The same officer found the dog dead Monday morning when he returned to work.”He got sidetracked and forgot to take the dog to the shelter,” Allen said, adding the animal ended up spending the weekend in the kennel.The officer’s name hasn’t been released. He resigned of his own volition after being on the job for about five months, Allen added.”Obviously, he’s just destroyed,” Allen said.Paula Purser said while she has received a letter of apology from the officer, she wants criminal charges filed against him.”I’m sure he’s feeling bad,” she said. “He’s lost his job over this. I accept his apology, but I just feel like they didn’t follow the protocol.”Because the dog didn’t have tags or tracers, Allen said police had no way to find the owners before the family contacted them.The family contacted the police department after a resident notified them Wednesday – nearly a week after the dog went missing – that the animal had been picked up by the officer.”My mom went (to the police department) thinking that she was going to get our dog,” Kara Purser said. “Instead she was told what had happened. The police chief took full responsibility for it, but I almost wish (Lola) was hit by a car after I heard how much she suffered.”

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