The final straw came when “Bonnie and Clyde” were locked in the slammer for hours last month because no one was around to pick them up.


Police knew they couldn’t handle the shaggy-haired vagrants alone. They called a neighboring community for backup.


And Manny Massa responded.

The final straw came when “Bonnie and Clyde” were locked in the slammer for hours last month because no one was around to pick them up.


Police knew they couldn’t handle the shaggy-haired vagrants alone. They called a neighboring community for backup.


And Manny Massa responded.

“I thought it was kind of amusing,” said Massa, who sprung the frisky duo and brought them to a city shelter for safekeeping.


Massa, Taunton’s Animal Control Officer, said he was happy to help out a colleague by relieving the town of the stray yellow lab and tan terrier mix that were found roaming Broadway.


Police jokingly dubbed the two dogs “Bonnie and Clyde” after they were picked up on Broadway and put in the jail cell, Chief Lou Pacheco said.


But selectmen said the incident reflected the increasingly spotty response to calls by part-time animal control officer, Jennifer Arruda.


Arruda, 27, who had served as Raynham’s dog officer for more than three years, was hired when she was working at Towne Kennels on Carver Street and was in the area most of the time.


Even then, Arruda pointed out her position was “part-time.”

She told the Raynham Call two years ago that her telephone answering service informed callers “this is a part-time position so don’t expect an immediate call back.”


She referred emergency calls to the police department.

But Town Administrator Randall Buckner said the coverage had been less reliable since the former Taunton resident moved to Rhode Island and began work in Plymouth.


Police had been inundated with non-emergencies calls about stray or lost dogs and cats.


After the canine lock-up incident, police Sgt. Brad Carr e-mailed Chief Pacheco, saying the situation was getting difficult for the patrol officers.


“Thankfully we haven’t had to deal with dangerous dogs that need to be snared in a dire emergency,” Carr said.


Buckner said he told Arruda a few weeks ago she wouldn’t be reappointed when her term expired on June 30.


“She wasn’t available and it wasn’t working out,” he said.

Last week, the board appointed Fred Sylvia of North Main Street to the job.


“Jen has done a good job for us but it’s time to find someone local,” Buckner told selectmen.


“It’s no one’s fault. I think the time has come,” Selectman Donald McKinnon said.