Police probe sheds new light On ICACS

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INGHAM COUNTY, Mich. (WILX) - New details Wednesday that led to the prosecutor's decision to not file charges against the Ingham Animal Control and Shelter's (ICACS) former leaders.

We first reported on October 3, 2018, there would be no criminal charges against former ICACS Director John Dinon and Deputy Director Anne Burns.

The decision not to prosecute has many animal advocates questioning how far the special prosecutor dug into the case.

According to the Mason Police Department investigation summary, the department reviewed three different reports and handed it off to the prosecutor and some said that wasn't enough.

"Lazy is a kind word to put it. It's very inadequate, I think the reports lack so much of the information," said Connie Kapugia, Advocates for Reform at the Ingham County Animal Control & Shelter.

Mason Police Department was assigned to conduct an investigation into ICACS and any possible criminal acts by former leaders Dinon and Burns.

They looked at reports from the Michigan Humane Society, the Ingham County controllers office and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD).

From there it was passed off to the Michigan Attorney General's office who appointed a special prosecutor in Shiawassee County.

"I think we lack prosecuting attorneys that have the experience, the knowledge, and willing to go full length to prosecute for animal abuse and neglect. So I think we have a problem within judicial system as far as that goes and our animals are the ones that suffer from it," said Kapugia.

Advocates said they are frustrated that they have more documents than county officials.

"There were so many details that were left out, but then again had one looked close enough and had reviewed some of the FOIA documents we would've had a much different situation," said Christy Lawrence, Advocates for Reform at the Ingham County Animal Control & Shelter.

Shiawassee prosecutor Deana Finnegan previously said in a statement that the five dogs of concern were never deprived of food, water or care. Furthermore, their deteriorated condition was due to whipworm.

"That is the biggest distractor that we've had in the MHS report and the controller report and here we go again with the special prosecutor mentioning whipworms that were not the issue," said Lawrence.

Kapugia added, "it's a scapegoat, it's an excuse to drop it."

According to the documents News 10 has from an outside vet, whipworm did not cause their poor condition.

"It indicates to me that this prosecutor may not have had really done the full work of reading all the reports and gathering the proper info and also educating themselves the difference between starvation and whipworms," said Kapugia.

News 10 has reached out to the Shiawassee prosecuting attorney for a comment on this topic, and she has not responded yet.
News 10 has talked to the detective with Mason Police who said if the prosecutor had asked for provide more information than Mason would provide it. Which he says is standard practice.

Director John Dinon has been terminated from his position on July 31, 2018. Deputy director ann burns retired.

Jodi LeBombard is now the director of the shelter, her start date is October 15, 2018.