by Katharine Dokken - June 24, 2016.
At left: Katharine with renowned tiger trainer Carlos Quinones, Mindy Patterson, President of The Cavalry Group, and exotic animal trainer Doug Terranova at the USDA Headquarters, Washington, DC, 2016.
In any situation of massive injustice, always look for the corruption, look who's profiting from the injustice. Or as the common phrase goes, "follow the money." I've previously written a number of articles about the Indianapolis Animal Care and Control (IACC) division that is run like a petty dictatorship running roughshod over city residents. IACC has a long history of shoddy conditions, sick animals, and frequent turnovers in staff. Earlier this year an ex-IACC employee was accused of stealing dogs and charged with animal abuse. But that's not all.
IACC division head Kim Wolsiffer previously announced she is ramping up prosecutions of innocent citizens by 25%. She literally attended an animal rights training seminar on how to create criminals out of every day citizens and then announced her new intentions to the press. That takes guts. One of her current victims, Paul Upton, is the owner of a training center with a 30 year history of sterling inspection reports. Supporters of Upton have set up social media pages and GoFundMe accounts to help expose the corruption of the IACC. In turn, IACC has retaliated by ordering Paul Upton to shut up and stop fundraising to pay the bail money for his stolen dogs. They even filed a motion in court calling for Upton to "Immediately Cease and Desist Publishing False and Salacious Propaganda." Salacious? Really? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines "salacious" as arousing or appealing to sexual desire or imagination. Salacious also means lecherous, lascivious, or lustful. How is exposing the sordid corruption, shoddy conditions, staff turnover, and missing drugs of the IACC, salacious? This move by the city prosecutor is nothing more than a frivolous violation of the First Amendment designed to drain Paul Uptons' resources further and deny him the ability to fight back and expose IACC to the world.
IACC is furious that Upton has the support of the public. IACC is complaining about the fact that Upton supporters started a GoFundme page to raise enough money to pay IACC's extortion claims. IACC thinks if they can shut down GoFundme, they can shut down Paul Upton. The City of Indianapolis wants to not only shut down a 30 year old successful business, and end Paul Upton's career, but they also want to limit the right of free speech of every supporter of Upton, and hide the corruption behind IACC. IACC cannot control the Internet. We have the right to expose their corruption and incompetence to the world. The woman whose husband bought an Upton puppy for her birthday only to watch incompetent IACC employees break the tail of her dog has the right to speak out on what IACC did to her dog. Refusing to back down reporter Trent Loos recently interviewed Mike Little about the Upton case and supporters have started yet another social media page to highlight IACC corruption.
IACC has a long history of neglect, disease, and mismanagement. IACC has had 11 directors in 12 years. One of which resigned after being accused of animal abuse and neglect. Another IACC employee is currently facing charges of animal cruelty. City-County Councilor Zach Adamson, a former hair dresser and environmentalist, is helping to hide IACC's shady past as the chair of their kennel policies. In these meeting minutes from July 2014, with Adamson chairing, discussion was held regarding, "cleaning supplies and equipment are either broken or missing." The report goes on to discuss the "reoccurring theme of the current facility [IACC] being substandard" and "pest and rodents are a consistent issue at IACC both inside the shelter and in the 40-bay garage." The report also cites they have no budget for food, or supplies. That they run out of medications and have no veterinarian on staff. That they are understaffed. That IACC has a history of being so completely substandard yet can steal the dogs of a 30 year old business with a sterling inspection record speaks to the God Complex of Kim Wolsiffer.
Something in Denmark is rotten to the core. When confronted with the dirty past of IACC and the shady details of the Upton raid, smarmy politician Zach Adamson smeared Paul Upton to cover his own backside.
"There looks like cause to me, but I'm not a lawyer or a judge. And lastly, The Upton's have gotten in bed with a rabid anti regulation Animal Owners Rights organization. Now, without knowing anything about this org or the Upton's, Other animal owners rights I've seen have been huge supporters of puppy mills and industrial farming." Indianapolis City Councilor Zach Adamson.
It's ironic that as a gay man who married his lover, Adamson thinks he has the right to marry another man, but other people don't have any rights that he disagrees with. IACC can't even keep dogs alive as evidenced by how many of Upton's puppies they have killed but they whine and cry and complain that Paul Upton's dogs suffered from "mental stress" when he owned them. Who says they have mental stress? Just how do you define mental stress in a dog anyway? Instead of attacking Paul Upton, why don't voters hold Zach Adamson accountable for his running of IACC? Why don't city voters hold IACC accountable for the Upton puppies that they killed?
When the media started investigating the corruption of IACC all kinds of dirt started to get exposed. Besides Wolsiffer announcing she's going to frame citizens for crimes, city prosecutor Mark Pizur was caught doctoring documents in the Upton case, lying under oath during a deposition and presenting the doctored documents in court. Far too many Americans just don't understand how corrupt our judicial system is. Prosecutors almost always lie in court. They have absolute immunity under the law and regularly get away with framing innocent victims for crimes they have not committed. The National Registry of Exonerations founded in 2012 and run by the University of Michigan Law School, has already exonerated 1,825 victims framed for crimes they did not commit.
"What is known is that Mr. Pizur would rather accuse a reporter of falsely quoting him than admit his mistake? would rather accuse the media as a whole of having 'an agenda' than admit it is he who was maliciously scheming? would rather strip the Defendant of his First Amendment and Article I right to freedom of speech than admit it is he who was misleading the public? would rather accuse an attorney who has been practicing for forty years of misleading the court when it is he who was knowingly making false statements to this tribunal. Mr. Pizur's projection is unmatched." Upton's attorney, Marshall Pinkus.
Pizur was ultimately fired. It gets even better. Whenever a bureaucrats throwing mud, the first thing to look at is the bureaucrat themselves. They smear others to hide their own misdeeds. And what was Zach Adamson hiding? Turns out he was hiding something really ugly. Allegations that he raped a 19 year old man.
"I've only recently become aware of accusations against me, which are completely untrue and without merit," Adamson said. "Unfortunately, it appears I've become a target of ridiculous accusations. These allegations of impropriety are false. I can't say that any more strongly."
I'd say raping a man is a lot more of a crime than simple impropriety but then Adamson loves to attack anyone he disagrees with.
To date, Paul Upton has paid IACC almost $49,000 so far and has never been allowed to see his dogs since they were taken November of 2015. Why? IACC needs to provide an accountability to the public as to where Paul's $49,000 has gone and their current demands of $6,150 a month (plus interest) until Upton's trial in August. It certainly hasn't gone to take care of his animals. Supporters of Upton have gone undercover and looked for his dogs at IACC's shelter and have been unable to find most of them. What they have found however, is a shelter almost entirely full of pit bills to the exclusion of any other kind of dog. IACC needs to provide proof that Upton's dogs are still alive and still in their custody and care. Otherwise, if they are not, then why has Upton already paid them $49,000 for dogs they aren't caring for? Where is that money going?
In Indianapolis's kangaroo courts, Upton cannot expect justice. Even if he's found innocent, he has no recourse to get this money back. At the same time, Indianapolis is caught up in the larger scam of civil asset forfeiture, which is what these IACC cases are, as a recent class action lawsuit filed against the city by the Institute for Justice claims.
"One of the most dangerous parts of forfeiture is that often times police and prosecutors have a direct financial stake in the laws they enforce. That's what we call policing for profit." Sam Gedge, Institute for Justice.
The people of Indianapolis need to demand an investigation be opened into IACC's conduct and financials, starting with Zach Adamson's office and his cover-up of IACC. An investigation into the allegations of rape against Adamson is a good start.