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Thread: Ingham County Michigan's shelter in the news again!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Ft. Wayne, IN

    Ingham County Michigan's shelter in the news again!

    I got this email from one of my lists and thought since we had a thread pertaining to this a few months ago you guys might be interested. I emailed this moron again too. I hope their system crashes again!

    Grebner has one word for animal activists: ‘Fanatics’
    Apparently, Ingham County Commissioner Mark Grebner doesn’t have a lot of
    patience for activists who are trying to make the county stop selling animals
    from the shelter for research: “They are a “bunch of fanatics,” Grebner

    Mark Grebner
    “They’re similar to the right-to-life extremists who occasionally
    assassinate a doctor who conducts abortions,” he said in an interview.

    Grebner said that the campaign, led by an organization called the Friends of
    the Ingham County Animal Shelter, has made elected officials waste time and
    energy and added that commissioners are now receiving mail from Detroit,
    Alaska and Brazil.

    “Those are not my constituents,” said Grebner.

    He said e-mails to the county from activists a few months ago were so
    voluminous that they crashed the computer system.

    Could Grebner be getting carried away?

    Possibly. The chief of the county’s management information systems says he
    doesn’t recall any lobbying effort that shut down e-mail communication.

    Grebner may be confused, too. At least he appeared to be in his attempt to
    link FICAS with an organization that he said was linked to a fire at MSU.

    “Most of the stuff that FICAS does is under one umbrella with PETA” – People
    for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. “PETA was linked to the MSU
    Agricultural Hall fire bombing. They haven’t fire bombed me yet, and I’m not
    going to be threatened by these people.”

    Roger Fleming
    Grebner was apparently confusing two incidents. Earth Liberation Front took
    responsibility for the 1999 Agricultural Hall fire. In 1992, a radical group
    called the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) took responsibility for freeing
    laboratory animals and setting a fire at Anthony Hall. In this second case,
    PETA issued a press release on ALF’s behalf, describing the alleged terrible
    conditions in which animals were kept.

    Responding to Grebner’s accusations, Linda Fausey, the attorney for FICAS,
    said the volunteer organization was not involved in criminal acts on the MSU
    campus. “It’s getting slanderous. It’s Grebner’s problem if he cannot
    distinguish between people blowing up buildings and people rescuing animals.”

    Fausey said the real issue was that people wanted to know why pets are being
    sold for experiments and why these research facilities aren’t able to raise
    their own test animals. Fausey said concerned residents also wanted to know
    why Ingham County has tried to “destroy” FICAS, which she called a
    productive animal rescue volunteer group.

    Allie Phillips
    Friends of the Ingham County Animal Shelter was suspended from doing
    volunteer work in February because the shelter director, Roger Fleming,
    claimed it had destroyed a “relationship of trust.” Fleming accused the
    nonprofit organization’s founder, Allie Phillips, and two other activists of
    involvement in a scheme to get back an animal that the shelter had sold for
    research. Phillips, an Ingham County assistant prosecutor, was then suspended
    and later fired by Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings for her role and unwillingness
    to apologize.

    The turmoil between FICAS and the shelter began in 2001, when the Board of
    Commissioners voted 10-3 to continue releasing animals to research
    laboratories for the purpose of medical research. County Commissioner Mike
    Severino of Holt, who voted against the practice, supports the animal
    activists in their current struggle.

    “They’re a bunch of concerned citizens,” he said, defending the group
    against Grebner’s accusations. Severino also stated that the shelter
    currently violates Ingham County’s animal adoption policy. Resolution 01-111
    favors that animals be placed in adoptive homes and made available for
    adoption. The option of selling animals to dealers or euthanizing them should
    be done only when other efforts fail. But volunteers report several instances
    when pets were killed only shortly before adoption groups arrived.

    Mike Severino
    “It becomes very clear that all the problems stem from one source-the shelter’
    s director Roger Fleming-because he seems to have a personal vendetta with
    Allie Phillips,” Severino said. Severino,and Holt Commissioner John Nevin are
    forming a Pound Animal Welfare task force to investigate shelter practices.
    However, they haven’t yet managed to convince their colleagues to make the
    task force part of the commissioners’ Law Enforcement Committee, giving it
    official legal status.

    Including Ingham County, there are only eight of the 83 counties in Michigan
    sell animals to “Class B dealers” (dealers who also purchase dogs from
    unlicensed sellers), who in turn sell them to research facilities. Ingham
    sold 26 dogs and 21 cats to these middlemen dealers in 2002.

    County Commissioner Lisa Dedden said animal advocates did a good job at
    making the Board of Commissioners and the public more aware of such
    shortcomings at the shelter, “and I hope they continue calling public
    attention to these issues.”

    Although Dedden would prefer the complete ban of selling animals to dealers,
    she voted in favor of the October 2001 resolution that allowed the practice
    to continue, except in instances of product testing because she reasoned that
    there was still no political majority for a complete ban.
    Too many colleagues, she said, were of the opinion that animals that would be
    put to sleep anyway might as well be used for research projects, which might
    contribute to our scientific understanding of humans and other animals. “The
    resolution was realistically the only achievable step at the time,” Dedden
    said. She pointed out, however, that she’s looking into additional reforms,
    including a reconsideration of the Ingham County Animal Control’s shelter key

    Lisa Dedden
    The Capital Area Humane Society’s director, Steven Heaven, said at the
    Commissioners’ Board meeting in 2001 that he’d like the county to cease its
    practice of selling animals for research. In an interview last week, the
    Humane Society’s vice president for development, Gretchen Couraud, confirmed:
    “We don’t sell animals for laboratory research.” But not wishing to take a
    position in the current debate, she stated, “but we also don’t comment on
    the necessity of animal research.”

    Animal rights groups have criticized selling pets to Class B dealers, who are
    also permitted to buy dogs from unlicensed sellers. Legally, Class B dealers
    must purchase from sellers who can prove that animals are raised on their own
    premises. But although federal law specifically prohibits the sale of stolen
    dogs, the U.S. Agriculture Department has taken little effective action, as
    book author Judith Reitman points out.

    The sale of pets for medical research is a dying business in the United
    States. In large due to the public awareness campaigns of animal rights
    organizations such as PETA, the nation’s medical schools increasingly use
    bloodless instructional methods over animals for classroom training. And
    according to a study published in Academic Medicine only 32 percent of
    medical schools reported using dogs or other live animals in laboratory
    training in 2001, down from 62 percent in 1994, and 73 percent in 1985.

    Severino said he felt “we ought to become a more progressive county.” He
    said he will try to educate his colleagues on animal rights issues, to
    encourage a majority ban of sales for research. “If we can’t educate them,
    then I hope the constituents will do so at the next election in 2004.”

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    Don't buy while shelter dogs die!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2001

    When I calm down Mugsy...I will write a letter....
    he would not want to hear what I have to say right now...Never write when emotion is what is spewing!!!
    The Deli Dog

    I want to Honor All of Our Rainbow Bridge Furkids

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Save a life, ADOPT!!

    Rainbow Bridge Angels: Thor, Shiloh and Killian, Avalanche and Wolf
    (RB Gaylord and Bandit, fosters who have touched my heart)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Ann Arbor, MI USA
    Thank you for briung this to my attention.....I will see that my fellow animal rescue groups get this.... I had hoped this idiot was gone, guess not.
    Mom to 9 wonderful bunnies and an energetic young cat from you-know-where.
    Bunny Basics educator
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Noah, Casey, Daisy, Marie, Velvet, Emma, Robbie, Chocolate

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Ft. Wayne, IN
    My thoughts exactly. I wrote a very sarcastic letter to him and ended it with telling him I would appreciate it if he refrained from referring to me as a pro life person who attacks others since I am a pro choice person. I also told him that I was sorry to report that I was not from Brazil or Alaska, but from Fort Wayne, IN and was STILL disgusted by him and the practices of that shelter. Needless to say, I wasn't very nice! lol

    Don't buy while shelter dogs die!!

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