The one-time Director of Livingston County Animal Control is facing suspension in a neighboring county.

The Ingham County Law and Courts Committee voted Thursday to recommend the suspension of Animal Control Director John Dinon and 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 being targeted for more than a year by animal activist groups upset by policies on so-called bully breeds and euthanization.

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. Many of those who spoke at the meeting described an atmosphere at the shelter of low morale. One longtime volunteer alleged that after expressing her concerns about animal care, Burns told her the staff was "sick and tired" of her being a "drama queen."

Dinon told commissioners that while he thought they were making appropriate decisions at the time concerning the care of the dogs, in retrospect it was clear they did not. The recommendation to suspend Dinon and Burns with pay is not binding, but can be acted on by the Ingham County Controller at any time. He indicated he was waiting for all of the investigations into the shelter to be completed. (JK)