The following photo of Joseph Ouimet was provided by the Wolcott Police Department.
WOLCOTT, CT (WFSB) -
A former animal control officer accused of animal cruelty faced a judge for the first time Thursday.
Police said surveillance video shows 41-year-old Joseph Ouimet taunting and abusing dogs while on the job.
After receiving reports of the animal mistreatment by other workers and residents, the Wolcott Police Department placed a hidden camera in one of the kennels at the town pound from May 5 to July 10.
"I had told him I had brought someone up there to look at the place to install a camera, so he knew there was going to be a camera up there," said Wolcott Police Chief Eddie Stephens.
Initially, cages and water bowls were not being properly cleaned, police said.
The video showed Ouimet mistreating two dogs by spraying them with a hose and "slamming a dog in between a kennel door several times," police said. Ouimet sprayed a dog in the face with cleaning substance, police added.
"I was appalled when I saw what was going on there. I was appalled," Stephens said. "It was disgusting."
Ouimet resigned in July after learning of the investigation and faces four counts of animal cruelty.
On Thursday, Ouimet appeared in Waterbury Superior Court and his appearance was brief. His case was continued.
Ouimet would not talk to the media after his court appearance, but did not leave the area.
However, he stopped and grabbed his close friend's service dog, which she needs for medical reasons. He cuddled with it in front of cameras.
"I appreciate you asking the questions," Ouimet said. "I can't give a comment."
Kayte Zowine is an animal lover, who wanted to be at Ouimet's court appearance, and she said she was fuming.
"I just think if your job by description is to protect animals and you abuse them instead," Zowine said. "That's possibly even more heinous than regular animal abuse."
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