A thorough review of Louisville Metro Animal Services is underway. The evaluation includes a national search for a new director for the troubled agency. But a change in leadership could come sooner.
For years, reports of inhumane treatment of animals, mistreatment of employees and poor management have surrounded LMAS. Mayor Greg Fischer says that must be fixed.
“We all want to decrease our homeless pet population and increase adoption rates, reduce euthanasia, and we’ll look at other cities to see how this is accomplished as well as involving the tremendous amounts of citizens groups that we already have in the community,” he says.
Longtime critic of the department Metro Councilman Kelly Downard says he’s pleased with Fischer’s decision to launch the investigation.
“He just got here. So I think he’s moved…on the 5th day, that’s pretty quick,” says Downard. “We’ve had a situation that’s been going on for several years and nobody did a thing. I think he’s moved at a lickety-split pace.”
Interim director Wayne Zelinsky will remain in office during the search. Zelinsky has been named in lawsuits brought by employees, and is also under investigation by the police public integrity unit. Fischer says the director may be replaced sooner if necessary.
The review will be lead by Fischer’s director of community building Sadiqa Reynolds, who has discussed the issue with Zelinsky. Fischer says he hasn’t yet talked about the review with the interim director.
Here are Fischer’s full remarks on his first week in office and the review of LMAS: