DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — Animal control officers in one county are dealing with impersonators. Now they’re trying to let people know how to spot a fake and how to respond if you do.
The impersonators have been trying to take people’s animals. This has been reported in Fithian and Danville. Each time, the description of the person has been a little different, but officials say this needs to stop.
“We’ve had three separate calls,” said Vermilion County Animal Control Director Kasey Snyder. That’s in just a month’s time. All of them were reports of someone impersonating a Vermilion County Animal Control officer. Director Kasey Snyder says the story is a bit different every time.
“One of them, for instance, was a cat that was part of a trap, neuter and release program, was very well-taken care of, but he’s a feral cat. So we would never send anyone for that, really, because they’ve already been to the vet, and they’re healthy and they’re taken care of by the community,” Snyder explained.
So what should a person look for? There are a few key things you should look for to make sure you’re really dealing with animal control.
“Our officers should identify themselves. They have badges. They should be in animal control vehicles, which are white. Ours are labeled with animal regulation on the side, minus one truck. we’re labeled with decals.” If you still aren’t sure who you’re dealing with, you can check with other officials to make sure the person at your door is legitimate. “Our officers are accounted for at all times, whether PD knows where they are or our dispatcher knows where they’re at.”
Snyder says they want to make sure this doesn’t lead to animals getting into the wrong hands.
“You just don’t know what they’re going to use the animals for, why they want to take them. Some people may be thinking they’re trying to do the right thing if they feel like an animals in distress or not being taken care of the way that they want… or maybe they’re doing it for malicious reasons, it’s hard to tell.”
A while ago, animal control took reports of impersonators who even labeled their vehicle to look like an officer.
If you aren’t sure if you’re dealing with a real animal control officer, call (217) 431-2660 to check. You can contact their office during daytime hours or 911 after hours.