Why ICACS dogs sent to outside vet?

Posted at 10:10 AM, Jul 25, 2018

One of the questions that keep surfacing is why dogs, under Ingham County's care, were sent to outside vets for cruelty and neglect exams.

In fact, it came up again at Monday night's Ingham County Animal Control Advisory board meeting.

"They (staff) did not tell this vet that those animals had been in our shelter for months and so she assumed they had just been seized and said whoever has been caring for these dogs is guilty of neglecting them," said John Dinon, Director Ingham County Animal Control.

Director John Dinon is referring to Skully and Jonah who were taken to Southside Animal Hospital, under the recommendation of Deputy Director Anne burns. This was done after animal control officers noticed the dogs were thin Dr. Joyce Heidman of Southside has said on more than one occasion, that knowing the dogs were in the care of the shelter "would not have changed my findings."

"We should have provided complete history's, the two vets made their conclusions on incomplete information. The staff that took them didn't want to tell them they had been our care because they felt they made had been biased, I don't think that the right approach," explained Dinon.

Dr. Heidman has 30 years experience and has been working with ICACS for the last 10 years.  She said in a statement obtained by FOX 47, that she doesn't call it incomplete information. She said the dogs' ID number and their age are enough to do an exam and come to the same findings.

However, repeatedly Dinon blames the both dogs' thin condition on whipworm.

"Those kennels are not that far away from the deputy director is and where the veterinarian is, I feel that someone could walk through--that's the job description for both of them. I don't understand how nobody could be looking at this dog," said an ICACS advisory board member.

"It was known the dogs had whipworm and were being treated for it," said Dinon.

Dr. Heideman found that not only were the dogs emaciated but they had "inedible material embedded in the gums", "sticks, grass, and stones in the colon mixed with feces, " all red flags that may be due to inadequate feeding or inappropriate feeding methods, according to Dr. Heidman's statement.

Dr. Heidman concludes that her findings did not support whipworm "as being the sole cause of these dog's condition."  And it is "unlikely whipworms were the cause, that these pets became emaciated that quickly," according to Heidman.

"And even if it is only four dogs, its still four dogs that you would arrest someone for if they were doing it on the street, so we can't lose sight of that," said Beth Contreras, ICACS advisory board member.
"That is not true, part of the Michigan Humane, is would you recommend criminal charges and they would not," responded Dinon.

Skully and Jonah have been adopted out.