Four-and-a-half years after Wexford County Animal Shelter Attendant Kathy Dennis made allegations concerning the Wexford County Animal Shelter and had to leave her job after reporting her concerns to the Michigan Department of Agriculture, the county has finally settled her whistleblower lawsuit for the sum of $175,000.
After being required to pay 76¢ for the costs of copies and a stamp before the information was released, Pet Friends has finally received the Settlement Agreement from the county. The Settlement Agreement states that both parties agreed to settle the lawsuit amicably and the agreement does not constitute an admission or liability of wrongdoing by either party. The case has been voluntarily dismissed.
Dennis’ original complaints against the county included the allegations that the county was euthanizing animals without proper sedation and that there were financial irregularities going on. Then, in February of 2013, she sued the Sheriff’s Department, the county and Sheriff, Gary Finstrom for retaliating against her by reducing her job responsibilities, restricting access to the shelter and cutting her hours. She alleged that the changes to her condition of employment were made in violation of the Whistleblower Protection Act. Wexford County had won in the lower court but Dennis filed an appeal and the case moved forward until this settlement was made.
Dennis is now employed as an Animal Control Officer at Osceola County Animal Control Dennis says, “I love working at Osceola County Animal Control with others who share the same passion for animals.”