Ingham County Animal Control Deputy Director Retires Amid Controversy
August 2, 2018
The one-time Director of Livingston County Animal Control who was suspended in a neighboring county has since departed from the role amid ongoing controversy.
At a meeting Tuesday night, the Ingham County Board of Commissioners voted to terminate Animal Control Director John Dinon. He was previously placed on suspension, along with Deputy Director Anne Burns following multiple investigations about poor care of animals at the shelter. Burns was the Director of Livingston County Animal Control until 2010, when she left the job after persistent complaints about her policies on so-called bully breeds and euthanization. Prior to Tuesday’s meeting, Burns informed Ingham County she would be retiring.
The investigation in Ingham County began after the abuse of five dogs came to light following their seizure from a dog-fighting ring last year. A report by the Michigan Humane Society found neglect of the dogs while in the shelter’s care, leading to two of them being euthanized.
The Ingham County Controller conducted an investigation and a report revealed that nearly all persons interviewed acknowledged “deep organizational dysfunction” in the department. Employees conveyed the opinion that Dinon and Burns were not responsive to their suggestions or reported issues and further agreed uniform training is needed. Complaints about non-medical staff handling medical issues were said to be common and various tensions between animal control officers and animal care officer were emphasized. The full report is attached. (JM)