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Zelinsky Discusses Animal Services Budget With Metro Council

A State Auditor’s report found numerous management problems in animal services under the tenure of former director Gilles Meloche. Amidst allegations of mismanagement and sexual harassment, Meloche resigned, effective at the end of last year. Zelinsky was promoted to fill Meloche’s spot, and he says many operating procedures have been changed.

by Gabe Bullard

Director of Louisville Metro Animal Services Wayne Zelinksy told the Metro Council’s Budget Committee Wednesday that he’s steering MAS away from recent problems.

A State Auditor’s report found numerous management problems in animal services under the tenure of former director Gilles Meloche. Amidst allegations of mismanagement and sexual harassment, Meloche resigned, effective at the end of last year. Zelinsky was promoted to fill Meloche’s spot, and he says many operating procedures have been changed.

The Louisville Kennel Club, however, recently told the LEO that Zelinsky had not stopped pet confiscations by aggressive animal services officers. Zelinksy says the officers are acting legally.

“There are thirteen circumstances where a law enforcement officer can enter a residence without a warrant, one of those being consent,” he says. “If I come to your house and say, ‘Can I come in?’ and you say yes, I don’t need a warrant to have that.”

Zelinsky also says problems with overcrowding and cleanliness at the department’s Manslick Road facility are difficult to fix without more funding.

“The more animals you have to clean, the longer it takes, the more disease is transmitted because they’re barking, they’re stressing each other out,” he says. “So what we need to do is control the intake as much as we can.”

A new adoption facility will open on Newburg Road this summer. Zelinsky says intake could be reduced if MAS could spay and neuter more animals, and encourage pet owners to have their veterinarians do so as well.