In October 2021, sensational allegations of criminal animal abuse and neglect at the Sangamon County Animal Control and Adoption Center arose on social media. The Sangamon County Board immediately recognized the seriousness of the allegations and requested an independent investigation by the Illinois State Police, the Illinois Department of Agriculture, and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
Within a month, Sangamon County Animal Control passed two surprise inspections from the Illinois Department of Agriculture; Scoring the highest possible marks in all twelve categories, including animal health and care. The facility also passed an inspection from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, finding no violations and all euthanasia technicians appropriately licensed and certified by the State.
Sangamon County stayed committed to a transparent process, making all documents and inspection reports available to the public, and agreed to publicly release the Illinois State Police investigation after its completion and review by the State's Attorney's Office. Now, after a months-long investigation and review, the complete Illinois State Police report is available to the public.
The Illinois State Police conducted a thorough investigation, interviewing staff members, volunteers, and the individuals that made criminal allegations. Investigators found no evidence to support criminal animal abuse or neglect claims. After a comprehensive review of the Illinois State Police investigation, the Sangamon County State's Attorney's Office agreed with their assessment of the allegations. In addition to the State's Attorney's Office, four veterinarians with shelter care experience reviewed the report and found nothing that rose to the level of criminal animal abuse or neglect and nothing out of the ordinary for a high volume practice attending to animals that are often not in good condition when brought to the shelter.
Sangamon County thanks the Illinois State Police, the Illinois Department of Agriculture, and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation for their willingness to investigate the sensational allegations made by social media commentators. Sangamon County Animal Control follows all State and industry standards, but no organization is perfect. Like most industries in our community, inadequate staffing levels are a challenge. Still, the current animal control staff has worked diligently to provide the service our community expects. Sangamon County will continue to rely on very dedicated community veterinarians for guidance on the best practices for managing the animal control facility.