Animal Control Officer Sacrifices Job to Save Dog

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Joliet Township animal control officer Bryan Jones received very bad news last week: the 14 year veteran was fired from his job for coming to the defense of a shelter dog that had been labeled as dangerous.

Bryan Jones and Chewy

Having worked with dogs for so many years, Jones said he was convinced that in this case, the label did not fit. He maintained that the dog was specifically afraid of just one vet technician at the center, and he was concerned that the dog would be put down for what he believed was an isolated incident. He first noticed a “caution: I may bite” sign on the dog’s cage at the end of February: after worrying for days that the dog would die, Jones took it home with him on March 2. He did not complete an application or notify any of the shelter’s staff before doing so.

Township Animal Control Director Sarah Gimbel was made aware of the situation and sent Jones a text on the 5th of March asking if he had the Chihuahua. He replied in the affirmative. Jones had the week off and spent it caring for the dog. On March 9, Gimbel called him and demanded that he bring the dog back. He refused.

When town officials were later notified that Jones had taken the animal, they gave him the option of quitting or being fired, and asked him to return the dog. Jones told them they could keep the job, but that he had no intention of turning the dog over only to see it put to sleep. Knowing the fate that awaited it, Jones was unwilling to negotiate with the town at the expense of a life.

That steadfast determination has paid off. On Monday, township officials decided to let him keep the dog.

“Our position at this point is not to pursue the return of the dog. We feel he will take good care of the dog,” township attorney Franklin Burkey said. “He has the dog. We’re not going to have a back and forth on it. We’re going to bring it to an end.”

Jones, who has named the dog Chewy, was understandably relieved when he heard the news.

“Wow, cool. I’m just excited now,” Jones said. “He’s been doing great. This will be good. It’s sad that it had to end this way, but at least the animal’s safe.”

Burkey said the township will send Jones his final pay minus adoption fees. The town will also reimburse Jones for neutering and microchipping costs, services that the center typically provides free of charge for every adoption.

0 thoughts on “Animal Control Officer Sacrifices Job to Save Dog”


  2. The more I read about shelters, the more I am concerned for animals’ safety and well-being. Too bad the officials did not listen to this young man beforehand. All would be better off now.

    • Eric, There are no-kill shelters that are doing good work. They receive no money from any government agency. They work with animals and make them feel safe. When an animal learns to trust humans again. These animals become man’s best friend again. These no kill shelters depend on adoption fees, donations and fund raisers to survive. I am from Erie, PA and we have at least 3 no kill shelters. The community has been very aware of their good works and support them. I feel that other communities should become aware of how these no-kill shelters run. Here in Erie the Dog Warden takes the animals to the no-kill shelters. The animals are housed for at least 2 days in hopes that their owner will come get them. After that time they “fixed” the animal and have them checked by a vet to make sure that they are medical ok and ready to be adopted. Then they are put up for adoption. Thousands of animals have been able to find new forever homes!! This is just another indication of how private sectors work better than government agencies!! And at no cost to the taxpayers!!

  3. I think it’s the officials and not the workers that we should be leery of. I know several shelter employees and officials. The employees for the most part do love animals but once in a while you’ll run into some one who has no business being back there. They are hostile towards the animals and the poor animals feel this. The other bunch (officials) think of it as a job, don’t get dirty and don’t really like animals.

    God bless you Bryan Jones! You will be richly rewarded for putting this precious little dog’s life ahead of your job and SHAME on the shelter and you too Township Animal Control Director Sarah Gimbel!!!

  4. This makes me wonder what the intentions of this shelter really are. Do you want to find these dogs good homes or not? Someone should review their protocal and process!!!

  5. I agree with almost all of the comments. Apparently, once a dog is labeled dangerous, there is no chance of adoption which is probably why Bryan Jones didn’t go through proper channels. Many dogs bite if they feel threatened, particularly small dogs. If shelter workers aren’t trained in the proper way to handle different breeds, they shouldn’t work there. I have always believed that if dogs don’t like some people, the people have a problem, NOT the dog. Dogs are excellent judges of people! I think Bryan should replace the current director. He has a heart for animals which you MUST have in that job!

    @the Animal Shelter director-rehire Bryan if only for good PR. People are watching! He is good for the shelter.

    • This Hero, this good human, is OUT of work ! Call his Bosses’ Boss -m Lets get him back where he belongs. We need as many people with hearts in Animal Control as possible. I posted the phone # and email. JUST CALL AND COMPLAIN !!


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