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Double-Killing, Double-Billing at Stratford Animal Control? (Documents)

'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.

k-9 lover August 14, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Why is it that the town chooses to name the animals as defendants rather than the owners?
k-9 lover August 17, 2012 at 02:33 AM
Jerkwater berg....aka Stratford,a town for all seasons that offers more from forest to the shore.....love it
Joseph Pedoto August 17, 2012 at 11:59 PM
k-9 lover: Just wondering, you have such a negative opinion of Stratford: do you live here? And if so, why? If it's such a "jerkwater berg" why don't you move to someplace nicer like Greenwich or Ridgefield? You've also posted against the proposed dog park. If you're really a k-9 lover, you must know that dogs are pack animals. They would prefer to live in group of 6 to 10 dogs, instead of being cooped up as a single dog in a suburban home. Why would you oppose a place where dogs (and humans) could meet and socialize?
Debbie October 12, 2012 at 12:04 AM
Update for all those that bad mouthed Mr.Griifin....The double billing did happen and the Town has been reimbursed for the over payments.He found this and unfortunately the people in charge did not! He was thanked for his information.
stick lee October 27, 2012 at 02:06 AM
.......or have they?

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