Gilles Meloche, embattled Metro Animal Services director, resigns

Dr. Gilles Meloche
Dr. Gilles Meloche

By Lindsay English - bio | email
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – As director of Metro Animal Services, Dr. Gilles Meloche has come under fire through several WAVE 3 investigations over the past several years. In recent months, he has been criticized by some Metro Council members. Tuesday, Mayor Jerry Abramson announced Meloche's resignation.

"Dr. Meloche, Gilles Meloche, has submitted his resignation effective December 31st," said Abramson. "The letter basically said he was afraid with everything going on around him that the focus on animals and the services provided by Metro Animal Services were being injured through that process."

Meloche started at Metro Animal Services in July 2005. It was not long until WAVE 3 uncovered issued left behind at previous jobs in Tallahassee, Florida, Durham, North Carolina and even in Canada, where Meloche was a practicing vet. Allegations of overcrowding and unclean shelters, missing vials of steroids and insubordination came to light.

In recent months, WAVE 3 raised questions over an unauthorized trial agreement with the Animal Adoption Agency and how MAS animals and money change hands between the two.

"We've asked a lot of questions and we've responded to a lot of questions from the public," said Councilman Kevin Kramer, (R-District 11.)

Multiple times, Meloche has been asked to come for questioning before the Government Oversight and Accountability Committee on topics like a weak internal audit, its relationship with the Animal Adoption Agency and how MAS handed the flood back in August.

"The issues were so severe and the efforts to not only to cover it up but to allow these things to continue to go forward brought us to the point where it just had to be public," said Kramer, who also sits on the Oversight and Accountability Committee.

The Jefferson County Attorney's office is also conducting an internal investigation into whether public records were destroyed at Metro Animal Services. That process will continue to move forward even with Meloche's resignation.

Wayne Zelinsky, the current MAS assistant director, will take over as interim director the first of the year.

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