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Animal Control Officer of the Year Award
  • Advisory ID: 09-00*
  • Advisory Date: 3/19/2009
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  The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) awarded a Montgomery County Animal Services Officer with the Animal Control Officer of the Year Award for 2008.

On Friday, March 13, 2009, Animal Control Officer Cara E. Thomas was presented with the award during the ceremony. Officer Thomas was nominated for her commitment for aggressively enforcing Montgomery County and Maryland State animal cruelty laws. Throughout the last year, Officer Thomas conducted several investigations on individuals who neglected, abused, and killed animals. In January, she charged a Germantown man for running over and killing a horse. In July, she charged a Rockville woman for tying a dog to a vehicle in a parking lot. They both pled guilty and paid fines. In addition, in October, she arrested and charged a man for beating his dog to death. Most recently, she has conducted an extensive investigation into a horse cruelty case in Poolesville. Officer Thomas was able to coordinate the seizure and care of four badly neglected horses. Both of these individuals are awaiting trial.

Since being hired in 2002, Officer Thomas has possessed great enthusiasm and willingness to make the Animal Services Division an integral part of the Montgomery County Police Department. Due to her dedication, Officer Thomas has made our community a safer place for both animals and people. She makes herself available to the public by attending annual events such as National Night Out, the Recreation Department’s Pool Pooch Party, and teaches an annual class for dog bite prevention. She also attends career days at various county schools and open houses at the police department’s district stations.

Officer Thomas graduated from the University of Maryland College Park in 2001 and received a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in biology. During college, she worked part time with the Virginia Tech Equine Department, interned for the Center of Disease Control in Atlanta, State of Maryland Animal Health Lab, and the University of Maryland’s Poultry Science Department. Before being hired in the Animal Services Division, Officer Thomas worked for the Montgomery County Humane Society, two veterinarian hospitals, and received extensive training in her field.

COG was formed in 2000 to provide a forum for the animal service field to address public safety and health concerns regarding animal care. The committee has worked on developing a dangerous dog ordinance model, animals in disaster planning, reduction of wildlife/vehicle collisions, and conflict resolution and rescue.


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Last edited: 5/19/2015  

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