Threats spark changes to County Animal Control - WNEM TV 5

Threats spark changes to County Animal Control

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Alleged online threats to employees have caused one local Animal Control office to make some temporary policy changes.

The Genesee County Animal Control has temporarily suspended the volunteer program. Also, the general public will be asked to sign in and provide identification to go into the kennel area.

Animal control officials are not commenting specifically on the nature of the threats, but say they appear to be the result of misinformation posted online.

The changes will not impact people who are buying dog licenses, bringing in animals or conducting other business at the desk.

Online threats forced a local animal shelter to stop its volunteer services.

There are claims that workers at the Genesee County Animal Control Center have had their safety threatened after misinformation about the facility showed up on social media.    

"This is yet just another tactic on their part to try and remove the volunteers from that facility," said Richard Angelo, a volunteer.

Angelo and the other volunteers were told their duties were suspended until further notice.

Volunteers said if these threats were made online, it should be pretty easy to figure out who made them.

"This is technology now that could easily be found. And we as volunteers are interested in who's making this threat," said Roger Gauthier, a volunteer.

Genesee County Commissioner Peggie Adams said there is an ongoing investigation into the threats. They are committed to getting to the bottom of it. 

"Looking at those kinds of things online, it has to be investigated. We have to protect county employees," Adams said.

Angelo said the treat is not the result of internal conflict at the shelter.

"Now if you think any animal loving group of people that spend their free hours going into that shelter to care for those animals would threaten to bomb the building, regardless of how we feel about the employees, director, commissioner Adams, we're not going to threaten to bomb the building," he said.

Angelo said all the groups he works with would never condone violence.

"We do not condone threats on those employees. We are trying to make their jobs easier," he said.

Adams said she hopes this suspension of volunteers will only be temporary. 

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