UPDATE: Animal Control director ousted, deputy retires


UPDATE: Ingham County Commissioners voted Tuesday night to fire animal control director, John Dinon.

In addition Deputy Director, Anne Burns, announced she would retire by the end of the week.

Both of them are under investigation over the treatment of dogs seized from a dog fighting ring last summer who were later found to be in poor health and had to be put down. 

They were suspended without pay last week.

Two investigations were done. One by the Michigan Humane Society, which detailed disturbing accounts from medical records and shelter staff about the way some dogs recovered in a dogfighting ring were handled – and a second internal report released Tuesday night by the county.

That report found there to be “deep organizational dysfunction” at the shelter.  

In that report done by the Ingham County Controller, employees reported fighting between animal care employees and officers.

A private veterinarian said deputy director Burns never seemed to be able to accommodate without Dinon’s approval.

There was also a break down of email messages showing examples of the way management operated during the time the fighting dogs were being held.

In July, Dinon said he takes responsibility for the situation, at the time he thought they were making appropriate decisions.

During Tuesday night’s meeting, commissioners also voted to turn their internal report over to the Board of Veterinary Medicine to investigate veterinarian Karen Worthington.

“We’re going to start over again and it’s going to be tough. I think that people think that somehow this is going to be easy but it’s going to difficult. We need to focus on our new shelter. We need to focus on standard operating procedures and to focus on day to day operations,” says Ingham County Chairperson, Carol Koenig.

ORIGINAL STORY: The Deputy Director of the Ingham County Animal Control announced plans to retire by the end of the week.

Anne Burns had been suspended by the county last week and was under investigation because of questions about the way some animals were treated. 

The Michigan Humane Society found that lack of oversight, training, and response to critical health issues contributed to the suffering and neglect of five dogs.

A report commissioned by the county about the ICAC also described it as “dysfunctional.”

This story will be updated – and reporter Alexandra Ilitch is at a county meeting where the new report is to be discussed. She’ll have that story on 6 News at 11.

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