SHEBOYGAN COUNTY (WITI) -- As executive director of the Sheboygan County Humane Society, she was tasked with taking care of the area's most helpless animals -- and as executive director of Wisconsin's Puppy Mill Project, she wanted more oversight for dog breeders. Now, Eilene Ribbens is the one in the dog house.
On Wednesday, April 3rd, the Sheboygan County District Attorney charged Ribbens for illegally obtaining prescription medication for animals.
Police reports and court records allege Ribbens illegally ordered 1,000 pills of tramadol hydrochloride -- a powerful pain medication. She allegedly used the Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project's credit card to pay the bill and lied to co-workers, saying she was ordering the pills for a dog who couldn't afford the meds, out of the "kindness of her heart." However, Ribbens later admitted to police she actually sent the medication via Fed-Ex to her sister and niece.
"I called the Sheboygan Police Department and made a complaint, told them what I knew," Dr. Frederick Lord said.
Dr. Lord has been the Humane Society's veterinarian for the last decade. He says Ribbens used his information to order the drugs, and when he found out, he had no choice but to report Ribbens to police.
"The bottom line above everything else is we are not the guilty party. We are not the charged party. We have been caught in the middle of an illegal action and we`ll do whatever we can do to see that the shelter functions and runs in a manner suitable for this county," Dr. Frederick Lord said.
Ribbens allegedly ordered the pain medication last summer, but police didn't start investigating until January. That's when Humane Society volunteers and former workers started a Facebook page called "Dirty Dog Tales" to bring to light the truth about Ribbens.
The Humane Society's Board of Directors says they stand 100% behind Ribbens and she will keep her position as executive director.
"Eilene Ribbens is a very ethical person and is highly regarded statewide as an advocate for animal welfare. There is absolutely no merit and no reason to bring these charges," Sharron Quasius, President of the Humane Society Board of Directors said.
Ribbens' first court appearance is Thursday morning, April 4th.