New resolution for vet help at animal shelter

Posted at 11:13 AM, Aug 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-17 11:13:05-04

An update, on the fallout from the investigation of neglect at the Ingham County Animal Control & Shelter (ICACS).

Thursday members of the county's Law & Courts Committee met to talk about putting new rules in place, for veterinarians who take care of the animals.

"At this point and time, ICACS is a kill shelter, period. And it makes me sick. I will look upon these meetings as a waste of time if we keep Dr. Worthington," said one current long-time Ingham County Animal Control & Shelter volunteer.

It's public comments like this, throwing the ICACS veterinarian Dr. Karen Worthington under fire, that led Ingham County Commissioner Bryan Crenshaw to come up with a plan of help.

"We had heard that there were some issues, so I talked to the controllers office about putting together a resolution for this purpose, because I felt that we as a board of commissioners need to support the shelter and if they need that extra help then we should be able to give it to them," Bryan Crenshaw, Ingham County Commissioner told FOX 47's Alani Letang.

A resolution passed at Thursday's Ingham County Law & Court Committee meeting, that would address veterinarian needs at ICACS.

Crenshaw said, "we would hope that if there is a need, that the staff would ask and we could use that money that we've allocated in the resolution for that."

Specifics on who could be brought in will be based on a case by case, but the ICACS staff must let the commissioners know what they need.

Also at Thursday's meeting, the committee planned to discuss who will oversee the new director of animal control. 

County commissioners could choose to retain the authority or give that job to the county controller.

According to an ordinance in 2006, the ICACS director serves at the pleasure of the Board of Commissioners and can be removed by their majority vote.

But the county controller is responsible for day to day supervision of the director.

In 2013 they drafted and passed an ordinance making it the controller's job to terminate the animal control director from his position.

But that ordinance fell short and was never actually put in place

"So if the board wants this resolution to stand, they should do a resolution to publish it, that's one option. If the board would choose to take away the authority of the controller, then it would be a receding resolution," said Teri Morton, Ingham County Deputy Controller.

Commissioners said they thought these ordinances were already set in stone

After listening to a residents concerns, commissioner Victor Celentino said that more change at ICACS isn't the best idea right now.

"Right now we have to really know what we're voting on, right now I don't want to change anything. I want things to just settle down, let these employees get their feet back on the ground and have this issue come to some closure," said Victor Celentino, Ingham County Commissioner.

The committee voted to table the issue for now.