Illinois

White County, IL Dismisses Animal Control Officer

White County animal lovers are seeking answers, after their animal control officer was let go. But the county council says it’s less about the job and more about social media.

Workers at public and non profit shelters are concerned, not only for the future of these animals, but for their public servant.

“It’s guaranteed after the 30th that these dogs will be put down in 7 days, ” says Wayne Spicer, as he’s trying to spare the ones here in his final days as the county’s animal control officer.

For him, there’s nothing else he’d rather be doing than working with animals in need, and he encouraged others to share in that passion.

“When he took over they are not euthanized after seven days. They have clean cages, they’re fed and watered properly. Running space in the back now, and volunteers willing to help because he was doing this,” emphasized volunteer Madison Helsel

According to Wayne Spicer, that’s where he got in trouble with the county board, even with trying to get legal backing.

“They felt like anyone who came out and volunteered their time was a liability.”

Something he said he tried to address, without luck. He says the board had different animal priorities.

“I was told there would be no more dog walking, no more volunteers, and we would euthanize in seven days, like we had done in the past. That hasn’t happened in the three year’s I’ve been here.”

But the council agrees that the issue was not with his performance.

“He’s been great. He finds homes for dogs, he does a good job,” conceded Donald Puckett, Chair of the White County Board.

The council took issue with Spicer’s social media posts directed toward the animal control officer for Carmi.

“He’d been warned before to stop and keep it positive,” added Puckett.

Spicer gives a different characterization: “Whenever they told me I couldn’t walk the dogs any more, I got on Facebook and asked the people, ‘call your county board members. Explain to them how important it is to walk these dogs.’ They need to be walked.”

While posts and comments from the “Friends of White County Animal Shelter” meet this summary, there is one directed toward Carmi city animal control from May.

The board president says that this post–and one from December–were enough to terminate his contract on June 30.

That city animal control officer denies knowing anything about it.

“I don’t get on Facebook or read Facebook,” Linda Aud stated.

But some of our conversation indicated that things were less than cordial.

“Mr. Spicer–you better take anything he says with a grain of salt,” she told us.

For Spicer, he says all he wants to do is help.

“I love my job. I take my job very serious. That’s what I wanna keep doing.”

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