LMAS Interim Director to Step Down Next Month

Louisville Metro Animal Services interim director Debbie Fox will step down in April, possibly leaving the embattled city agency without a permanent department head.

The mayor’s office is still conducting a national search for a permanent director and remains confident the city will find a replacement, who will be the fourth person to run the agency in less than a year and a half.

Earlier this year, former interim director Wayne Zelinsky resigned after it was revealed he operated a security service website for patrons of adult entertainment.

Since taking over animal services last year, Zelinsky was heavily scrutinized in media reports that had covered the worsening conditions and mismanagement at the agency’s shelter.

He took after former director Gilles Meloche — who was appointed by former Mayor Jerry Abramson in 2006 — resigned amidst allegations of mistreatment of animals and improper behavior. Both were the subject of a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by employees.

Responding to the continued concerns, Mayor Fischer announced the creation of two committees that were charged with conducting a top-to-bottom audit of the department and the search for a new permanent director.