We need your help!!!!
Ingham County Animal Care Center is located in Mason, Michigan. It is an animal
control shelter. Roger Fleming is the Director. R & R Research, James Woudenberg
is the USDA Class B Dealer who purchases animals from the shelter. FICAS, is a
non-profit, 501 (C) (3) Michigan corporation, established to assist the animals at
the shelter. FICAS is a separate, independant entity.
ATTEMPTS TO SILENCE OPPOSITION TO B DEALER SALES
Since January, Roger Fleming has repeatedly interfered with FICAS and other
opponents to B Dealer sales. The harassment of individuals and groups opposed to
selling animals to research, has escalated and become unbearable.
What follows is a disturbing example of a bureaucrat run amok, a county government
trampeling civil rights and a vindictive attempt to destroy the lives of individuals
opposed to B Dealer sales.
In early January, 2003, a flyer designed to educate the public about Ingham County
Animal Control sales to research dealers appeared in pet supply stores, grooming
shops and veterinary offices throughout Igham County. Two days later, Fleming
informed FICAS that rescues were not allowed to pull shelter animals because there
wasn't a good supply of animals for the general public. A few days later, a small
ad appeared on the Sav - a - Pet page of the Wheeler Dealer, an Ingham County paper.
The ad informed readers that Ingham County Animal Control sells animals to a USDA B
Dealer. Pretty non-controversial, not designed to inflame, just to inform.
Unfortunately, Roger Fleming doesn't understand Freedom of Speech, doesn't
understand that we still live in the United States of America and have rights that
we cherish. Doesn't understand that the government may not abridge our right to
free speech. Mostly, Roger Fleming doesn't seem to understand that his job is not
to do the B Dealer's bidding.
Fleming contacted the Wheeler Dealer. He was furious, demanded to know who placed
the ad. The Wheeler Dealer refused to provide the information. Copies of the
Wheeler Dealer were removed from Ingham County Animal Control Shelter and were
stolen from distribution boxes all over the City of Mason. Fleming, now angrier,
demands that FICAS cease placing Save a Pet ads in the Wheeler Dealer. FICAS
refuses Fleming's request. Fleming informs FICAS that he is requesting an
investigation by the Ingham County Attorney to determine whether FICAS is operating
illegally as a Political Action Committee.
A committee to study issues surrounding B Dealer sales is announced by Commissioners
Nevin and Severino. Fleming is now irate. He publically announces his refusal to
participate in the Task Force.
On January 29th, a Humane Society contacted Fleming and offered to take any cats
that were scheduled to be sold to research or euthanized. The Humane Society has a
wonderfully successful Petsmart Love-a-pet and they offer to assist other shelters
by placing cats in their program whenever they have room. Fleming insisted that no
cats were scheduled to be euthanized or sold to the B Dealer. Less than 2 hours
later, 2 cats left in the van of B Dealer James Woudenberg. Woudenberg paid $10 for
each cat. These cats were headed to whatever hell awaited them at the hands of
researchers. They could have been headed to a new life in a forever home.
One of the cats is Karyn. A beautiful, terrified black cat with gold eyes. Karyn
was at the shelter for 57 days. FICAS previously paid to vaccinate Karyn, she went
to MSU to be spayed and she was featured in the Wheeler Dealer ads that FICAS paid
for. FICAS also had a verbal agreement with the shelter, no animal that FICAS
invested money in could be euthanized or sold to the B Dealer without allowing FICAS
the opportunity to rescue that animal. FICAS was never told that Karyn would be
sold to the dealer.
A decision was made to get Karyn back from the dealer. An individual contacted the
shelter and explained that she was certain that Karyn was her cat. She was informed
that Karyn was adopted. She indicated that she wanted her cat back. The shelter
informed her that she could have her cat back if she paid a redemption fee of $295.
The following day she appeared at the shelter to retrieve Karyn, paid the $295 and
left. She didn't know that Roger Fleming was hiding in his car, determined to
follow her. Fleming followed the cat to an apartement house. He watched as the cat
was taken into the building. When she came out, he started following her again.
They crossed county lines on I-94. Now in Jackson County, Fleming somehow gets this
person to pull over, he flashes a badge and claims that she has committed a felony,
but indicates that she can save herself if she writes a statement. She does, he
follows her to her home, retrieves email "evidence".
Later that night, the apartment building where Karyn was taken was searched.
According to the search warrant, Fleming, Steve Hummel (assistant shelter director)
and 5 Ingham County Sheriff Deputies tossed the apartment, looking for a cat, a cat
carrier and 5 pictures. All they found were the pictures.
If this isn't enough to make your blood boil, wait, there's more.
Since Karyn was retrieved from the B Dealer, Fleming has shown his true allegiance
to the B Dealer. He's filed documents requesting criminal charges by pursued
against the individuals he believes were involved in retrieving Karyn from the B
Dealer. Fleming has suspended FICAS from the shelter, FICAS is not allowed to
rescue animals, FICAS is not allowed to take pictures of shelter animals. He has
fired an employee he believed was involved in retrieving Karyn. He was wrong, the
employee had no knowledge of the plan. Another Ingham County employee's employment
is threatened. Fleming has repeatedly contacted Petfinder.com, requesting that
Petfinder.com remove the FICAS webpage from their service. Petfinder.com caved to
Fleming's threats and without prior discussion removed the photos of animals sold to
the B Dealer from the FICAS website. FICAS volunteers have been followed when they
go to the shelter. They have been subjected to threats, intimidation and emotional
ssment by Roger Fleming.
Why would Fleming act out? Why is he so angry? Why would he pursue criminal
charges against people who paid the county $285 more for Karyn than the B Dealer
paid? Why does Fleming object to the citizens knowing about B Dealer sales? Why
has Fleming been allowed to violate the constitutional rights of citizens, interfere
with contracts, abuse his powers? These are some of the questions that must be
How can you help? We ask that you write, call, email or fax the following list of
government officials and inform them that B Dealer sales must cease, demand that
FICAS immediately be reinstated to the shelter and demand a full investigation by
the County Commission, Sheriff, or if necessary the Michigan State Police, into
Roger Fleming and his actions. Please keep your correspondance polite and
non-threatening. Petfinder.com may also be contacted regarding it's decision to
remove the animals sold to the B Dealer from the FICAS webpage.
It should be noted that further intimidation, threats, attempts to silence speech or
any type of retaliation will be dealt with swiftly, through the legal system and the
media. Further information will be forthcoming on our new website,
www.jethrosplace.com which will go live on Saturday.
Thank you for all you do to give voices to the voiceless,
Ingham County Board of Commissioners
P.O. Box 319
Mason, MI 48854
Phone: (517) 676-7200
FAX (517) 676-7264 Ingham County Commissioners:
Calvin Lynch, Chairperson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Curtis Hertel, Jr., Vice-Chairperson: email@example.com
Thomas Minter, Vice-Chairperson, Pro-Tem: firstname.lastname@example.org
Victor Celentino: email@example.com
Debbie De Leon, Chairperson, Law Enforcement Comm, (oversees shelter):
Tina Weatherwax-Grant: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Swope: email@example.com
Andy Schor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Dedden: email@example.com
Marc Thomas: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Grebner: email@example.com
Diane Holman: firstname.lastname@example.org
Randy Schafer: CommSchafer@aol.com
John Nevin: email@example.com
Mike Severino: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Stid: email@example.com
Ingham County Sheriff Wriggelsworth:
firstname.lastname@example.org N. Cedar, Mason MI 48854Telephone: 517-676-2431Fax:
517-676-8236 Ingham County Animal Control Director Roger M. Fleming:
600 Curtis Street
Mason, Michigan 48854