DOBSON — County residents are urged to be on the lookout for fraudulent animal control officers who may be seeking to take their dogs, according to officials with the Surry County Animal Shelter.
According to Health and Nutrition Center Spokesman Thomas Williams, over the past six months several cases of fraudulent officers knocking on county residents’ doors have arisen.
“We’ve had at least three incidents where people have been posing as animal control officers and knocking on people’s doors,” he said. “They have been insisting on seeing paperwork on the residents’ dogs.”
In one incident the perpetrator was described as a male driving a green Ford Ranger. The second incident was reported as a male suspect driving a black Ford Ranger.
“The third involved a white full-size Ford pickup occupied by both a male and a female,” Williams said.
And the suspects are doing their part to look appropriate, according to the spokesman.
“In some of these incidents, they’ve gone so far as having a magnet on the side of the door saying they were with animal control,” he said.
According to Williams, the county’s animal control officers are always in uniform.
“They’re very identifiable by their uniforms and by our white pickups,” he said. “Our trucks have baskets or carrying cases in the back.”
Williams said the fraudulent officers are being aggressive with the victims.
“They’re pretty convincing, and they’re being very forceful in the way they approach people and knock on their doors,” he said.
While an exact number isn’t known, in some cases they’ve actually left with people’s pets.
“They haven’t been recovered to the best of my knowledge,” said shelter Director Gary Brown.
The matter is under investigation by the Surry County Sheriff’s Office.
“We want any citizens with questions or concerns to call the Animal Shelter at 401-8481,” Williams said.
Any residents who believe they might have been a victim of the fake officers should report the incident to the sheriff’s office at 401-8900.
Reach Keith Strange at email@example.com or 719-1929.