Dogcatcher resigns after ultimatum

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Faced with an option to resign, Lewisburg's dogcatcher is working out a two-week notice since he was indicted last month on theft and official misconduct charges.

Christopher Neal Owens, 36, of Belfast, was indicted by the Grand Jury on Sept. 23 in connection with an English bulldog he allegedly took home from the shelter and tried to sell.

"He gave a two-week notice. It ends Wednesday" next week with the city pay period, City Manager Eddie Fuller said when asked for a reason. "It's really not by choice. I gave him an option to resign. He admitted wrong-doing."

Owens said he was called to a Buchanan Street house where he was asked to remove an English bulldog with no tag.

Fuller said Owens told him he took the dog home to sell and make money.

Owens was transferred to the stormwater office Sept. 11. A message was left Tuesday at that office's phone.

Ignoring the charges, Fuller offered good words for Owens.

"He's been a good animal control officer... worked well at the pound," Fuller said. "He's made some major improvements...

"He requested partitions ... to heat an area so dogs weren't in freezing conditions," Fuller said. "And there was an addition ... so people could view the dogs."

Also during Owens' tenure, "He put dogs on PetFinders ( trying to find dogs homes."