Animal Radio® Headlines
More Dog Carcasses Still Being Found
At Least 100 Shot By Animal Control Officer
(Animal Radio Newsroom - Los Angeles) EXCLUSIVE: Jan. 13, 2010- Last week came news about a Canton, Mississippi Animal Control Officer, Alonzo Esco, who was shooting dogs to reduce the population in the overcrowded shelter. As of Wednesday, more carcasses dumps are being discovered throughout Canton.
Further investigation indicates this isn't the first brush with the law for Esco.
The story, first reported by radio station owner Jerry Lousteau, told of a local animal control officer fired. In a small town, while this is normally news, the undercurrent of why he was fired and the circumstances surrounding it, became the real story.
In this case, Animal Control Officer Alonzo Esco was accused of shooting over 200 dogs, then discarding their carcasses in different rural areas.
Nepotism in government agencies is abundant, and in this case, Esco was the cousin of the previous mayor. During the mayors six years in office, he assigned Esco to two different city departments.
After the revolation that Esco was stealing gas from the fire department, instead of getting rid him, they 'demoted' him, making him an animal control officer, "perhaps thinking that he wouldn’t cause any more trouble," says Lousteau. A new mayor was appointed in July of 2009.
The investigation conducted by the Canton Police Report states that Esco killed over 200 dogs. But, Lousteau says "it's more like 100."
Esco was also an auxiliary policeman, which allowed him to carry a weapon. This is the weapon he reportedly used to shoot the dogs.
It is reported that Esco shot the dogs and then disposed of them in rural areas outside of town over some time, with one body actually being dumped within the city limits. The others bodies have been spread out in many different areas. Some of the bodies of these dogs are still being discovered today.
There is a large stray population of animals in Canton according to Lousteau. "It is thought that Alonzo was under extreme pressure to deal with it. However, he went way outside the policy on how to deal with them. There was actually a mechanism in place to properly handle the situation, but that meant he had to drive to an animal shelter about an hour away."
Alonzo Esco has since been fired for 'improperly disposing of dogs.' The case is being handled by the Madison County District Attorney’s office, and is being treated as a misdemeanor.
There are two petitions to encourage the state of Mississippi to enact a felony penalty for animal cruelty. Mississippi is currently one of a few remaining states where animal cruelty is just a misdemeanor. To sign the petitions, please visit www.wmgoradio.com
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