GALLIPOLIS — Gallia Dog Warden Laurie Cardillo is warning area residents that a man driving a grey pickup truck may be reportedly impersonating and falsely claiming to be an animal control officer about Gallia County.
“I had a girl contact me (Tuesday) and she wanted to know if we had a guy working here who drove a truck. I was like no. Why?” said Cardillo. “She said this guy in a grey Ford F-150 showed up at her cousin’s house and said he was with animal control and asked her about dog tags and told her she had 10 days to get dog tags and he would be back. They didn’t think anything about it and she told her cousin and she felt that didn’t sound right.”
Cardillo posted a warning on the Gallia Canine Shelter’s Facebook page and within a half an hour of doing so, the warden said the Gallia 911 Communications Center had received a call reporting another person with a similar truck description in the Bidwell area. The individual driving also reportedly gave a similar statement about dog tags to a resident.
“I’ve seen several comments on my (social media) post saying the same thing,” said Cardillo. “I tell people that if he comes by, ask to see his county ID and to see his warden badge. I’ve asked people to try and get a picture of him as well…It’s possible he’s trying to profile dogs to potentially go back and try to get the dog…There’s big money in dogs.”
The warden said that many people think that potential dog thieves are looking to steal their animals to turn them into “bait dogs” but that often isn’t the case. With nearby states having more stringent spay and neuter laws, demand for dogs as pets is higher and “It’s nothing to take a mix breed dog up to say New York or surrounding states that have those laws and get $300 for a dog,” said Cardillo.
“The more dogs you can take in one load,” said Cardillo of dog trafficking,” the more money you can get.”
If one were to steal and sell 30 dogs on a transport at $300 a dog, that’s potentially $9,000 made off of stolen animals.
Cardillo said she has no male colleagues at the canine shelter and that her white truck is clearly marked as a county vehicle. She has served as the Gallia Dog Warden since 2014.
The shelter now also offers microchip identification services for area pet owners for $15 a dog.
“The reason I did that was to hopefully cut down or deter on the number of dog thefts in the county,” said the warden.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.