A New York state animal control officer was arrested after selling a stolen animal and telling the owner the animal was dead, authorities said.
Scott Casterline, 51, was arrested Thursday and accused of stealing the dog, a nine-year-old Yorkshire terrier named Hope, and later selling it while he worked as an animal control officer, according to a Steuben County press release. sheriff’s office.
Casterline first discovered Hope after she was found wandering outside in the Steuben area, located about 60 miles east of Syracuse in upstate New York, and taken to a local animal shelter.
But instead of attempting to reunite Hope with her rightful owners, Casterline immediately sold the dog and informed the dog’s owners that she had died, police said.
“It is alleged that Mr. Casterline, acting as a public servant, took another person’s property, a dog, sold that property and falsely reported the death of that dog,” the County Sheriff’s Office said. Steuben in a press release.
Police then began investigating the dog’s alleged death. Through phone inquiries, police determined that Hope was not in fact dead, but had new family in Ohio, WENY reported.
Casterline sold Hope to a whole new family, who didn’t realize the dog was stolen, authorities say.
Hope’s new family treated the dog very well, Steuben County police told WENY. The dog was even vacationing in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York with her temporary owners.
However, Hope’s original owners shared their joy at finding their pet – who they thought was long gone.
Jeannine Staller, the dog’s owner, wrote a post on Facebook about being reunited with her “beloved” dog.
“We are finally able to share with you all the news that our beloved dog, Hope, who was presumed dead 5 months ago, is actually alive and back home!!” Staller wrote.
“The pain we endured for 5 months grieving her tragic death was horrific…The moment they showed up at our door with her was nothing short of a miracle! Staller added.
Casterline faces multiple charges, including official misconduct, misuse of property and issuing a false written statement.
Casterline was previously hired as an animal control officer by the city of Corning, New York, but resigned a few months ago, WENY reported.