A former employee of the Cherokee Village Animal Control has been charged in Sharp County after reportedly stealing Xanax from a chihuahua.

According to the affidavit for warrant of arrest filed Nov. 20 in Sharp County Circuit Court, in October, a report was made that 47-year-old Mark Anthony Slinger had been falsely obtaining a Schedule IV medication prescribed to one of the animals.

Slinger was employed by the City of Cherokee Village as an assistant to the Animal Control Officer and in April, he took home a Chihuahua mix dog to foster the dog until ti could be adopted.

Shortly after taking possession of the dog, he took it to a local veterinary clinic claiming the dog was suffering from Separation Anxiety.

Initially, Buspirone was prescribed for the dog, however; a week later, Slinger returned and stated the medication was not working and Alprazolam (Xanax) was prescribed.

Between April 27 and July 10, Slinger received three prescriptions with four refills each for 30 doses of .5 mg Alprazolam (Xanax).

On Aug. 7 and Sept. 11 Slinger requested renewed prescriptions, knowing he no longer had control or care of the Chihuahua.

Slinger received five fills of the prescription for a total of 150 doses between Aug. 7 and Oct. 2.

On Oct. 10, it was discovered the fraudlent prescriptions for Alprazolam became known and on Oct. 10, Slinger met with the head of Animal Control and admitted to misuse of the prescriptions.

Slinger was advised of his rights and questioned by investigators.

He admitted to fraudulently obtaining the last two prescriptions of Alprazolam (Xanax) for his personal use.

As a result, Slinger has been charged with two counts of controlled substances – fraudulent practices, a class D felony.

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Lauren is a an award-winning journalist who decided after 10 years of newspaper experience to venture out. Hallmark Times was born.