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Animal Control Officer Is Fired



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Animal Control Officer

Is Fired

By Kendra Bobowick

Animal Control Officer Carolee Mason faced the option recently to resign or get fired.

“I took fire,” she said Wednesday. “Because I’m going to fight it.” As of Tuesday, the town no longer employs Ms Mason. “I am very upset,” she said. “I do it from the heart, I am all about the animals.”

First Selectman Joe Borst was reticent to speak at all about the firing. Was Ms Mason formally let go? “Yes,” he said. Did he fire Ms Mason himself? “I am afraid so,” he confirmed. Carolee Mason was not part of a union. Concerned about speaking further regarding reasons behind the decision, the first selectman said only, “It’s a personnel matter.” Anticipating legal ramifications, he explained, “If she decides to file a lawsuit, we can’t say anything. It’s a personnel matter is all I can say.”

Alluding to reasons why she may have lost her position is one remark in a letter from Ms Mason’s son Anthony. In his letter to The Bee Wednesday afternoon, he wrote, “Some of the reasons for her getting fired were so sickening.” (See this week’s Letter Hive, “A Good Dog Warden Gets Fired.”) Ms Mason also could not clarify what went wrong. She knows only that the town received complaints about her, which prompted an investigation, raising questions about her paperwork.

In his letter, Anthony Mason speculated, “There are some organizations in this town who I feel have had a say in her getting fired …” He asks if politics had anything to do with his mother’s job. Both he and Ms Mason wonder if matters including a new dog pound could be part of the problem.

The first selectman again claimed that he could not address these questions at this time.

Distraught for the past two weeks, Ms Mason hopes that her son’s letter will let people know they will not find her at the pound. “He wants people who I help in town to know … the people in town I did adopt to [the pets] have a great home.” Her son wrote, “If anyone has been down to the pound in the last five years, then you know what a amazing job she has done not only for the animals, but also for the people of this town.”

She said Wednesday, “I love my job. I love it.” Again saying she will appeal the decision to fire her, Ms Mason added, “What can I say? I do this from the heart.” Hopefully, her son’s letter will let people know, she said.

Ms Mason had served the dog pound since 2004 and became the animal control officer in 2006. In that time she was involved with several emotional rescues, including Blue, the Sheltie that had escaped her owners and lived outdoors for several years before local volunteers caught her.

Local pet lover Karlyn Sturmer had set a trap for the elusive dog and at last caught her. She had help and support from Animal Center of Newtown President Monica Roberto. Ms Sturmer, a volunteer with the center, had engaged in a long crusade to save the dog, and received additional assistance from Ms Mason, who later transported the dog and trap together to the veterinary hospital. Assistance from the public was also critical in Blue’s rescue.

Another dog that marks the public’s memory is Pom-Pom, the Pomeranian that had required rescue and immediate medical attention. Ms Mason had to drive to The Animal Emergency Clinic of Danbury to pick up a male Pomeranian in 2006 that had been abandoned. The dog was badly abused and afflicted with what appeared to be a chemical burn over the dog’s back and sides.

The dog had been discovered near the Exit 9 commuter lot. Today Pom-Pom has a new home.

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