Former Jasper County animal control officer charged with theft, misconduct

2014-06-16T18:00:00Z 2014-06-17T20:42:19Z Former Jasper County animal control officer charged with theft, misconductSarah Reese sarah.reese@nwi.com, (219) 933-3351 nwitimes.com

RENSSELAER | The Jasper County sheriff's animal control officer was removed from her duties because of allegations she bought items for her private pet care business using department funds, police said.

Paula Wilcox, 48, of Star City, Ind., is accused of ordering about $1,186 in pet care supplies under the county's billing system and taking them to her business in Rensselaer.

The Jasper County Sheriff's Office began investigating last month after receiving a tip. Police obtained receipts for items billed to the Animal Control Shelter, but did not locate the items there, according to a news release issued Monday by the Sheriff's Office.

Police obtained a warrant to search Wilcox's business and found numerous items that had been billed to Jasper County, police said.

In an interview with police, Wilcox admitted to the thefts and said her original intent was to help pet owners by selling the items to them at cost and not making a profit, police said.

Charges against Wilcox that were submitted to the Jasper County prosecutor's office included 12 felony theft counts and one felony count of official misconduct, police said.

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