The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development released a violation notice saying they have sufficient information to believe that the Ingham County Animal Control Shelter has violated the the Pet Shops, Dog Pounds, and Aminal Shelteters Act, MCLO 287.331 et seq.
In accordance to the statue, the Department may impose an administrative fine up to $1000 for each violation.
The investigation took place on July 27, 2018. The Department has evidence that the ICACS operated an animal control shelter not properly registered with MDARD. That finding was due to the shelter using a service garage connected to the sheriff’s office after 47 dogs connected to a dog fighting ring were seized. But the garage was never inspected by the state.
Ingham County Commissioner Bryan Crenshaw said that finding blindsided him.
“Not knowing that that had to be registered by the state of Michigan, the auxiliary shelter, is troubling,” he said. “Because our director of the Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter should know the rules, regulations and laws that pertain to animal care and sheltering.”
They also failed to sanitize primary enclosures for dogs often enough to prevent a disease hazard. And last, they failed to provide a sufficient number of employees to maintain the properly care for the animals.
Former shelter director John Dinon told state investigators, at the time the animals were seized, the shelter’s staffing levels were higher than ever. But Animal Control Specialist Michele Jelinek told investigators the staff was overwhelmed, and kennels weren’t sanitized on a regular basis as a result.
Crenshaw said the board of commissioners are working to make things right.
“People should know the Ingham County Board of Commissioners are committed to correcting the wrongs that were at the shelter with the previous administration,” he said.
6 News reached out to Dinon and former Deputy Director Anne Burns, but did not hear back.
The shelter’s interim director, Andrew Daenzer, as well as officials with MDARD, declined to comment.
Crenshaw says commissioners will appoint a search committee to find a permanent director for the shelter at their board meeting Tuesday, August 28.
For more information: http://bc.ingham.org/Portals/BC/mdard.pdf