INGHAM COUNTY, Mich. (WILX) - The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) has completed their investigation into the Ingham County Animal Control & Shelter (ICACS).
On August 21, 2018, MDARD sent a notice to county controller Timothy Dolehanty alleging that the shelter violated three acts; Pet Shops, Dog Pounds, and Animal Shelters Act, MCL 287.331 et seq. (the Act). An informal hearing a was held on August 28, 2018, where county officials and members from ICACS had a chance to dispute and bring evidence to MDARD. According to MDARD during that meeting, ICACS did not dispute the allegations outlined in the August 21st notice.
During the meeting, ICACS explained the actions it's adopted to address future violations and provided a plan for large intake situations.
Based off MDARD's investigation, MDARD determined that ICAS violated the Act as follows:
1. By operating an animal control shelter not properly registered with MDARD in violation of MCL 287.336(1).
2. By failing to sanitize primary enclosures for dogs often enough to prevent a disease hazard in violation of R 285.151.33(1).
3. By failing to provide sufficient number of employees to maintain the prescribed level of husbandry practices required by Regulation 151 in violation of R 285.151.35.
Based on these violations and pursuant to Section 9b of the Act, MDARD is imposing the following administrative fine:
1. A fine of $1,000 for operating an animal control shelter not properly registered with MDARD
2. A fine of $1,000 for intentionally failing to sanitize primary enclosures for dogs often enough to prevent a disease hazard
3. A fine of $1,000 for failing to provide a sufficient number of employees to maintain the prescribed level of husbandry practices required by Regulation 151.
Based on ICACS's actions and plan moving forward after past violations the Department is deferring $500 of the total fine, only if ICACS follows its operating procedure for large intakes for the next year. If ICACS fails to do so over the next year, the $500 will be due immediately following the Department's written notification.
The administrative fine of $2,500 is due by October 31, 2018, payment due to MDARD.
ICACS has the right to an evidentiary hearing regarding the violations and the administrative fine. The request must be made in writing and received by October 11, 2018.
An Ingham County Board of Commissioner has told News 10's Alani Letang that a decision has been made for a permanent ICACS director, and a conditional offer will be made to the candidate pending successful completion of background/references checks.
Out of respect to the candidate and their employer, they cannot say who the offer is being made to.
The investigation into whether criminal activity was committed under the reign of the former director and deputy director, is ongoing by the Mason Police Department. News 10 is told there is no timeframe as to when it will be done.
Click below to read MDARD's report from 8/21/2018:
LINK: MDARD Report
Click below to read the Ingham Co. Controller's report:
LINK: Controller's Investigative Report of ICACS