Investigation into Animal Control Staff – Today, the City of Aransas Pass Police Department released two City Animal Control Officers (ACO’s) from employment. The event resulted from an internal investigation after one ACO admitted to stealing several hundred dollars from a citizen.
Early this morning, Tanyalouise “Tanya” Haleua approached police administration to report that she stole money from a citizen. Tanya reported that she took the money while working in her ACO capacity. The case was assigned to Assistant Police Chief David Perkins for investigation.
Assistant Chief Perkins discovered that a citizen unknowingly dropped the money while visiting the animal control shelter located at 601 N. Avenue A in Aransas Pass, Texas. Tanya found the money, pocketed it and later denied finding it when the citizen returned in search of it. The following day, the citizen returned again and inquired about the lost money. Once more, Tanya denied finding the citizen’s money.
Over the weekend, Tanya reported what she did to Catherine Shusta, former ACO supervisor. Catherine, in turn, failed to immediately report the matter up the chain of command and left the matter in Tanya’s hands. Today, both were released from employment. In addition, a warrant for Tanya’s arrest was issued for felony theft by a public servant. Tanya’s arrest is still pending.
Both Tanya and Catherine began employment with the City of Aransas Pass back on July 9, 2014. During that time, the city had completely revamped animal control operations, and both were hired to carry out the new mission of animal control. On September 17, 2014, management of animal control operations was turned over to the police department. During the ensuing months, much progress had been made and many improvements were coming along as expected.
We are now pursuing qualified personnel to fill this void. As we continue our search, only animal control emergencies will be handled. Typical day-to-day animal control operations will cease until staff can be hired and properly trained. For at least the next thirty (30) days, we will not be accepting any animals at the facility.
I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. I want to assure you that we are working diligently to get our animal control services back up and running.Chief Eric Blanchard