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Stratford Animal Control Double-Killing, Double-Billing at Milford Pet Center?

'This was an intentional method of committing fraud,' alleges a former officer.

 

Financial documents obtained by a show the apparent double-billing of 13 cats for veterinarian services in September 2011.

Nine of those cats were charged twice for euthanasia treatments on the same day, documents (attached in photo gallery) show. 

The 13 cats were seized in an animal cruelty case at an Albert Avenue home on Sept. 2, 2011. Two additional cats were taken from the home as well, but only charged for one veterinarian visit each at in Milford; i.e., there is only one invoice for each of the two cats.

All 15 cats were euthanized within four weeks of the search and seizure, according to a monthly officer’s report signed by Rachel Solveira (also provided in photo gallery).

"This was an intentional method of committing fraud," says Michael Griffin, who served as Stratford's chief municipal animal control officer for 15 years until retiring about six years ago. "This is off the charts...it's falsifying records."

Photos of the invoices and matching purchase orders obtained by Griffin via a Freedom of Information Act request to the town's financial department are included in the photo gallery of this article. The Stratford Police Department is currently .

The 15 cats are labeled in the invoices from Snowflake as patients 11-114 through 11-128 (marked with stars in photo gallery). Each invoice has a corresponding purchase order signed by the head of the town's purchasing department.

Documents show that with four of the cats (11-115, 11-124, 11-125, 11-128), each was charged $130.50 for vet services on either Sept. 9 or Sept. 8, before being euthanized on Sept. 22. The town was billed $45 for each euthanasia treatment.

"Why are you examining these cats you're going to put down?" says Griffin, alleging animal control knew it was going to euthanize the animals before the Sept. 8 and Sept. 9 visits. "Why spend almost a third of (about $10,000) on 15 cats?"

What follows is a case-by-case look at the billing for the treatment of three of the cats, per the attached documents.

Cat 11-114

Two invoices from Snowflake, both dated 9/8.

Invoice number 49199 details following services, totaling $76.50: Office Exam ($25); Feline Sedation ($15); Euthanasia ($45); Shelter Discount 10% Off (-$8.50). Matching purchase order number 92560 (dated 10/25) verifies $76.50 payment.

Invoice number 50739 details following services, totaling $90: Office Exam ($25); Feline Sedation ($15); Euthanasia ($45); Shelter Discount (-$8.50); Feline Boarding ($13.50) Matching purchase order number 92888 (dated 12/1) verifies $90 payment.

Cat 11-115

Two invoices, one dated 9/9, the other 9/22.

Invoice number 49163 (dated 9/9) details following services, totaling $130.50: Office Exam ($25); Rabies Vaccine 1 Year ($20); Feline Distemper Vaccine 1 Year ($20); FeLV/FIV/HW Triple Snap Test ($25); Bartonella Test ($55); Shelter Discount 10% Off (-$14.50). Matching purchase order number 92560 (dated 10/25) verifies $130.50 payment.

Invoice number 50384 (dated 9/22) details following services, totaling $76.30: Feline Sedation ($25); Euthanasia ($45); Shelter Discount (-$7); Boarding ($13.30). Matching purchase order number 92888 (dated 12/1) verifies $76.30 payment.

Cat 11-116

Two invoices, both dated 9/7.

Invoice number 49172 details following services, totaling $135: Office Exam ($25); Rabies Vaccine 1 Year ($20); Feline Distemper Vaccine 1 Year ($20); FeLV/FIV/HW Triple Snap Test ($25); Feline Sedation ($15); Euthanasia ($45); Shelter Discount 10% Off (-$15). Matching purchase order number 92560 (dated 10/25) verifies $135 payment.

Invoice number 50385 details following services, totaling $148.30: Office Exam ($25); Rabies Vaccine 1 Year ($20); Feline Distemper Vaccine 1 Year ($20); FeLV/FIV/HW Triple Snap Test ($25); Feline Sedation ($15); Euthanasia ($45); Shelter Discount 10% Off (-$15); Boarding ($13.30). Matching purchase order number 92888 (dated 12/1) verifies $148.30 payment.

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Snowflake Pet Center referred comment to Stratford Animal Control, which directed Patch to the Stratford Police Department, who said Deputy Chief Joseph McNeil was not available for comment.

bob August 07, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Crooks and heartless scumbags .
User August 07, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Clearly looks like Griffin is out to cause trouble for the shelter, and also to make snowflake pet center look bad. After looking breifly over the above article and pictures, it appears that 1. they are not exact duplicated receipts. Some have boarding on them, while the 2nd receipt for the same animal doesnt have boarding on it. Maybe one of them was suppose to be disposed of and not submitted because of revisions? Maybe Snowflakes billing software doesnt allow them to open up closed bills, and they had to generate a new invoice number to recreate a new bill to submit to the shelter because the first one was suppose to be voided? Take into consideration that Snowflake Pet Center has been a huge part of the animal industry for over 40yrs. I read the paper every day, i've seen more good articles about them helping different town / city shelters, rescue groups, charitable events, and then on top of all that, being the "Go To" place for grooming, boarding, and vet care. Griffen really needs to find something else better to do with his time because harassing a local business like Snowflake and "probing" the shelter seems like a big waste of time, when it could have easily been a minor mistake. Who is he to use the work "intentional"?
Dolly August 08, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Why were the cats killed is my question after only 4 weeks? And why does the Stratford Animal Shelter ONLY use Snowflake. Someone really does need to look into this.
Tiffany August 09, 2012 at 04:47 PM
i am sure that there are people out there that would have loved these cats and not killed them 14 days is not long enough to place them in homes.
Cheryl Craig Smith August 13, 2012 at 12:09 AM
The cats might have been sick? that would make sense to euthanize them. Why not check into the back ground of the former animal officier, why is he going after a small business and the place he use, yes USE to work for. It seems funny to me that he is going after them both. Snowflake has helped alot of people, remember the poor dog that was stabbed, they helped that dog and he is doing great!!

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