Former Wolcott Animal Control officer arrested on cruelty chargesPosted: Updated:
The former animal control officer for Wolcott is facing animal cruelty charges after investigators said all of the dogs held at the pound were subject to terrible living conditions while he was in charge and some of them suffered abuse.
After receiving reports of animal mistreatment by other workers and residents, the Wolcott Police Department placed a hidden camera in one of the kennels at the town pound from May 5 to July 10.
"I had told him I had brought someone up there to look at the place to install a camera, so he knew there was going to be a camera up there," said Wolcott Police Chief Eddie Stephens.
Initially, cages and water bowls were not being properly cleaned, police said.
The video revealed Joseph Ouimet, 31, of Wolcott, mistreating two dogs by spraying them with a hose and "slamming a dog in between a kennel door several times," police said. Ouimet sprayed a dog in the face with cleaning substance, police added.
"I was appalled when I saw what was going on there. I was appalled," Stephens said. "It was disgusting."
In video released to Eyewitness news, you can see Ouimet taunting one of the dogs with food while feeding the other animals. Finally, he throws the food over the top of the cage and onto the dirty floor around the dog.
"The cleanliness of the kennels, the treatment of the dogs, the disposition of the dogs, they were different at different times depending on the day," said Animal Control Officer Roslyn Nenninger.
At the time of the incidents, Nenninger was working for another city and checking the dogs on her way home.
After police saw the video, Ouimet met with the town attorney and the police chief. After that meeting, Ouimet resigned from his position as animal control officer on July 16.
Eyewitness News went to the home of Ouimet, but he did not answer.
Nenninger is running the dog pound, which is now merged with Plymouth, and said she is focused on recovery.
"They don't have anything, they have nobody," Nenninger said. "We are all that they have until they find a family. So they don't need to be treated that way."
Since Ouimet resigned, Eyewitness News was informed all of those dogs at the town pound were adopted into good homes.
On Friday, Ouimet was arrested and charged with four counts of animal cruelty. He was released on a $1,500 bond and is expected to be arraigned on Sept. 6.
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