AP-- An animal control officer has been suspended without pay after placing a dog inside a freezer used to store euthanized animals, not realizing the animal was still alive.
William Henry Roberson was arrested Friday and charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty. The Dothan Eagle reports that
Roberson believed the dog was dead when he put it in the freezer, but an investigation found the dog was unconscious. The animal was discovered still alive but later died.
Officials would not say for how long Roberson is suspended. He has worked for the city for 21 years, including 14 years as an animal control officer.
On Friday, August 22nd the Dothan Police Department arrested William Roberson, on charges of Animal Cruelty.
The arrest followed an investigation of allegations that a live animal was placed in a storage freezer at the Dothan Animal Shelter. Roberson is presumed innocent until proven guilty and if found guilty in a court of law, the charge of Animal Cruelty is a misdemeanor offense which is punishable by fines and up to one year of jail time.
After a thorough investigation by the Internal Affairs Division, it was determined that Roberson placed what he thought to be a deceased animal into the freezer, yet it was later determined that the animal was unconscious and appeared deceased. There was actually one live but unconscious animal in a cage and one deceased animal in a different cage in the same room but Roberson overlooked the deceased animal.
On August 26, 2014 Roberson attended a determination hearing during which these facts were revealed. The case was presented as a violation of City of Dothan personnel rules and regulations regarding misconduct, a major offense. The recommendation of the Internal Affairs Division was in compliance with disciplinary actions of the City of Dothan rules and regulations.
Internal Affairs Investigators say that as with any personnel matter the current disposition of the case regarding disciplinary actions is confidential.