An employee of the City of Casper Metro Animal Shelter has been charged with theft following an independent investigation. Michael Gaylord, a kennel technician and six-year employee of Metro Animal Shelter, has been charged with two felony counts of theft.
The internal investigation was launched in April of 2021 following a citizen complaint concerning an unissued receipt from a transaction at Metro Animal Shelter. That investigation uncovered numerous unaccounted receipts and discrepancies in financial reports at the Shelter. CPD requested the findings be turned over to an outside, independent agency for further investigation. As such, the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigations (DCI) launched its own investigation into the suspicious activity.
In doing so, DCI obtained additional evidence of theft by Gaylord. Ultimately, investigators believe that over the course of six years, Gaylord stole at least $5,970 from Metro Animal Shelter. The investigation confirmed that the theft of cash monies consistently occurred through the misappropriation of small cash transactions, generally five or ten dollars at a time, occurring over time, and which occurred during customer transactions for small purchases of items such as licenses, fees, or other products wherein the customer did not want a receipt for the purchase. In 2019, the Casper Police Department took over operations for Metro Animal Shelter. Over the last two years, the Department has worked diligently and invested heavily to organize and restructure the business operations of the Shelter.
This initial finding was made, in part, due to the attentiveness of the newly appointed Superintendent of Metro Animal Shelter.
“The Casper Police Department is releasing this information publicly in line with our long-standing commitment to transparency,” said Casper Chief of Police Keith McPheeters. “The citizens of Casper deserve honest, hard-working public servants. When one of our own falls short of the high standards we set for ourselves, we feel it necessary to inform the community and make the changes necessary to prevent this type of behavior from taking place again. Our community can trust that the Department has no tolerance for employees who do not uphold the highest levels of professionalism, a standard our citizens expect and deserve. We look forward to continuing to pursue operations in such a way that the Casper community can continue to be proud of their Police Department.”
Immediately upon receipt of the citizen complaint that originated this investigation, the Casper Police Department leadership implemented new policies and procedures surrounding how monetary transactions are conducted and recorded at Metro Animal Shelter. This includes increased checks and balances, oversight, and accountability to ensure an incident such as this never happens again.
The team at Metro Animal Shelter continues to be a dedicated group of professionals who work tirelessly to protect and serve the citizens and animals of Casper. Together, they are committed to improving business operations to ensure the integrity of their profession, and that service to our community remains the top priority.
The Casper Police Department is dedicated to the protection and safety of our community through the highest standards of professionalism in police services.