CRITTER CONTROL Franchise Employee Charged with Animal Cruelty
CRITTER CONTROL Franchise Employee Christy Clark Charged with Animal Cruelty.
According to the Westerly Sun, Rhode Island Critter Control franchisee Christy Clark was charged with cruelty to animals by the state Department of Environmental Management.
Apparently, Christy Clark forgot that she had left a raccoon she had trapped in the back of her truck and went out of town for a week.
According to the Westerly Sun,
The animal died a slow death after surviving for six days “baking in the hot sun with no food or water,” said Thomas Gulluscio, Westerly’s animal control officer…
The formal charges came after a neighbor heard the animal crying and scratching from the back of Clark’s Critter Control vehicle in the days after Clark left the raccoon with no food or water. The neighbor went to the Westerly police station on Sunday, June 9, and talked to Officer Tony Allicchio, expressing concern about the manner in which animals are disposed of at the Lorraine Road location.
Gulluscio said he investigated the incident the next day, nearly a week after Clark left, and found the raccoon dead in the back of the truck. Gulluscio said he sent a report of the incident to the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which passed it along to DEM’s criminal division. Gulluscio said he was informed that the animal had been alive on Sunday but died on Monday.
In a follow-up article, A.J. ALGIER of the Westerly Sun reported:
The woman, Christy Clark, 36, of 14 Lorraine Road, pleaded no contest to state Department of Environmental Management charges before Judge Madeline Quirk in 4th Division District Court on Wednesday.
Clark was charged with misdemeanor cruelty to animals. The department said she willfully authorized or permitted that animal to be subjected to unnecessary torture, suffering or cruelty. A charge of holding an animal in captivity for purposes of release or disposal for more than 24 hours was dismissed.
A plea of no contest means that a defendant agrees that there would be enough facts for conviction had the case gone to trial.
The charge was filed, meaning that if Clark stays out of legal trouble in the next year, it will be expunged from her record.
Clark was ordered to pay $500 to the victims fund and lost her Nuisance Wildlife Control Specialist License for six months.
Another person at her address is also a Critter Control franchise owner, but DEM Enforcement Officer Mark Saunders said the suspension pertains only to Clark’s license.
The animal died a slow, horrible death, said Thomas Gulluscio, Westerly’s animal control officer. He said the raccoon “survived six days baking in the hot sun with no food or water.” He said that Clark, when questioned later, had admitted to forgetting about the animal.
We have been unable to find a company statement or response to what would seem to be a rather sensitive PR issue for Critter Control.
From the Westerly Sun article it would seem that the RI franchise received a slap on the wrist and is still allowed to operate without consequence.
As there seems to have been no apology or statement from Ms. Clark issued, the coverage gave the impression (correctly or incorrectly) that this franchisee is indifferent to the suffering of the animals in her care, and is allowed to continue to operate with only temporary repercussions.
We have asked the Critter Control franchisor:
1) What disciplinary steps, if any, has the Critter Control franchisor taken in regards to Ms. Clark’s animal cruelty charge? Is she in violation of her franchise agreement? Has she been issued a warning?
2) Has Critter Control corporate issued a statement regarding this unfortunate incident? Has it communicated to the press, customers and/or its franchisees?
3) Has Critter Control of Rhode Island issued a statement or apology regarding this unfortunate incident? Has Ms. Clark issued an apology or statement? Has Critter Control RI communicated to the press, customers and/or its franchisees?
4) Is Ms. Clark related to CEO Kevin Clark?
We look forward to their response.
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One thought on “CRITTER CONTROL Franchise Employee Charged with Animal Cruelty”
I had received this message from Critter Control CEO Kevin Clark regarding this story. It appears that i neglected to share his comments. My apologies to Mr. Clark.
“Ms. Clark is not related to myself, and she is not a franchisee or owner. She was an employee of one of our franchisees, and if you read the full story there was a simple miscommunication that lead to this unfortunate incident. She has apologized in court, feels terrible about the incident, and accepts full responsibility for the mistake. The RI DEM has fined her and suspended her license for six months, and any further disciplinary actions are between her and the franchisee.
“Critter Control is the leader in providing humane animal control solutions in N America, offers CritterSafe certifications to technicians (i.e. advanced humane animal training), and works with major animal welfare organizations to improve humane and environmentally sound animal control procedures in the industry. This was an isolated, unfortunate incident, among the over 100,000 wildlife damage problems we deal with annually. An internal message is being sent in our Critter Chatter newsletter today to help avoid similar future incidents.
“Thank you for your concern and posting our comments.
“Kevin Clark, CEO”