CHARLES CITY COUNTY, VA. (WTVR) –We first told you last month about an investigation into the actions of local animal control officer Frank Bates, who shot a family’s young dog several times in the face.
The dog died and Charles City County residents have been outraged since.
Tuesday night county leaders heard from residents who say they want the officer fired– and those who defended his actions.
Bates was investigating a dog complaint from the neighbor. The sitter of the 18-month old lab, Sharon McGein, believes the shooting could’ve been prevented.
“This dog could’ve been contained,” the owner of the dog said. “He could’ve written me a ticket.”
McGein said she would have preferred that course of action, because her dog would still be alive.
Bates has worked in the county for more than 30 years. On Tuesday night some residents accused Bates of being untrained, verbally abusive, and violent to animals.
Others denied such allegations and said Bates is courteous, professional and always on time.
A couple of week ago Zach Trogdan, Charles City County Administrator, told CBS 6 that citizen have questioned him how a yellow lab breed like Axel could have become aggressive.
Additionally, Charles City County Sheriff’s Captain Jayson Crawley said he wrote the owner’s daughter about the incident— not as a county employee — but as a private citizen.
“I am tired of seeing the unprofessional and lack of supervision in which he [the officer] has shown ever since I have known him,” Crawley wrote in the email to McGein.
McGein told CBS 6 she wants to file charges against the officer. The county administrator and Virginia State Police are looking into the allegations.
“I hope that people know that any allegations, we don’t take them lightly,” Trogdan said. “Nothing is ignored.”
Trogdan would not go into details about the allegations or if Bates faces any disciplinary action.
CBS 6 spoke with a County Board of Supervisor who would not comment on the allegations against Frank Bates. Bates was not at work Wednesday, and county officials would not say why.
But we’re told State police are investigating the dog shooting.
CBS 6 made several attempts to contact Bates about the allegations including his home. But we were confronted by his dog, and turned around.
CBS 6 also filed a Freedom of Information Act, and the report says that Charles City County has no Standard Operating Procedure for Animal Control.
At the hearing Residents sounded off on a number of allegations that include lack of training, firearms certification, animal cruelty, abuse and even the other death of animals.
CBS 6 asked the County administrator if that needs to change?
“If that’s something that will help improve the public perception as well as operational,” said Trogdan, then, “Yeah, absolutely.”