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Third Interim Director of Animal Services Named, Search for Permanent Director Continues

A third interim director of the troubled Louisville Metro Animal Services department has been named.

Susan Neumayer comes from the city’s Louisville at Work team, which oversaw stimulus spending. She will replace Debbie Fox, who became interim director earlier this year, but planned to return to her job at MetroSafe in April, when Mayor Greg Fischer was expected to name a permanent director.

The search for a director has since been extended, and Fox will divide her time between Animal Services and MetroSafe starting next month. There’s no timeline for naming a permanent director.

Before Fox, the department was run by Wayne Zelinsky, who resigned earlier this year after it was revealed he operated a security service website for patrons of adult entertainment.

Zelinsky himself was an interim director. He replaced Dr. Gilles Meloche, who resigned amid allegations of mistreatment of animals and improper behavior. Both Meloche and Zelinsky were the subject of a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by employees.

In addition to the leadership change, Animal Services will now work with the Kentucky Humane Society to improve the adoption rate. As part of the efforts, adoption facility hours have been changed.

From Metro Government:

Animal Services, 3705 Manslick

To obtain a license, pay fees and clerical processing for releasing pets back to their owners:

Monday – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tuesday – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Wednesday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Thursday – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Friday – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Animal Services will continue to operate seven days a week for the intake of animals and for lost and found strays brought in by Animal Control Officers.

Kennels are open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for people to reclaim lost pets or to adopt at the 3705 Manslick Road location.

Animal House Adoption Center, 3516 Newburg Road

Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday – Noon to 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday  –  Noon to 7:00 p.m.

Monday – closed

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Local News Next Louisville Politics

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.

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Local News Next Louisville Politics

Zelinsky Resigns From Animal Services

The embattled director of Louisville Metro Animal Services has resigned.

Wayne Zelinsky had been interim director since Dr. Gilles Meloche stepped down amid accusations of mistreating animals and employees. Zelinsky was also controversial. He is named in two lawsuits and was allegedly operating an adult-themed entertainment business online. Zelinsky resigned after being confronted about the business.

“We advised Wayne [Tuesday] night that we were aware of a website that he had up and running and needed to discuss that with him and he came in [Wednesday] morning and resigned,” says Mayor Greg Fischer.

Last month, Fischer ordered a full review of LMAS and launched a national search for a new director. He said then he would keep Zelinsky in charge of the department, unless the auditors recommended otherwise. Fischer says the search for a permanent director will continue, though he’s not sure about the progress of the audit.

“You know, I make it a matter not to really get in the middle of audits while they’re going on because they start and then you never know what they’re going to find out. They’re hard at work right now. We’ll get a report on it at the end of the first quarter. We’re progressing with the audit, that’s all I know at this point,” he says.

Zelinsky will be replaced by current MetroSafe deputy director Debbie Fox. A permanent director will be named in April.

WFPL’s Rick Howlett contributed to this report.