NEW DELHI: A New York state animal control officer, Scott Casterline, 51, has been arrested for allegedly selling a stolen pet, a nine-year-old Yorkshire terrier named Hope, while working in his official capacity. Instead of reuniting Hope with her owners, he reportedly sold the dog and falsely informed the owners that she had died. Casterline discovered Hope when she was found wandering in the Steuben area, took her to a local animal shelter, but chose not to follow proper procedures, as per authorities. He was taken into custody on Thursday and is now facing charges related to this incident, according to a statement from the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office.“It is alleged that Mr Casterline, acting as a public servant, took another’s property, a dog, sold that property and falsely reported the death of that dog,” the Steuben county sheriff’s office said in a press release.A subsequent police investigation was initiated regarding the reported demise of the dog. Following phone inquiries, it was ascertained that Hope had not passed away but was, in fact, residing with a different family in Ohio, as reported by WENY. Casterline had sold Hope to this new family, who were unaware that the dog had been stolen, as per the authorities.Hope’s new family treated the dog very well, Steuben county police told WENY. The dog had even been on vacation to the Adirondacks, back in upstate New York, with her temporary owners.The original owners of Hope expressed their immense happiness at the reunion with their pet, whom they had thought was lost forever. Jeannine Staller, the dog’s owner, took to Facebook to share her heartfelt post about being reunited with her cherished pet.“We are finally able to share the news with all of you that our beloved dog, Hope, who was presumed dead 5 months ago is actually alive and back home!!” Staller wrote.“The pain that we’ve endured for 5 months mourning her tragic death has been awful … The moment they showed up at our door with her was nothing short of a miracle!” Staller added.Casterline is confronting several charges, including official misconduct, misappropriation of property, and providing a false written statement.Casterline had previously served as an animal control officer under contract with the city of Corning, New York, but he resigned a few months ago, Reported WENY.