WAVE 3 investigates concerns that adoptable animals were going t - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

WAVE 3 investigates concerns that adoptable animals were going to be killed

Posted: Updated: Dec 31, 2010 12:29 AM EST
Wayne Zelinsky Wayne Zelinsky

By Marisela Burgos - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Metro Animal Services workers and volunteers came to us worried there was going to be a massive slaughter at the Manslick Road location after a supervisor reportedly made a comment on Dec. 28.

"From what I can tell she just came back from this meeting and something in the meeting angered her and she said we're getting rid of all these dogs," said one volunteer who does not want to be identified.

"She said, ‘fine, I'll just euthanize the entire building,'" according to another person.

That comment reportedly made by the supervisor is what workers and volunteers considered a threat to kill the adoptable dogs in the 100 building at Metro Animal Services Manslick Road location.

For the past 48 hours, WAVE 3 worked to get answers from Metro Animal Services. Interim director Wayne Zelinsky indicated it was all a misunderstanding.

"There's nobody including myself that has the authority to do that," said Zelinsky.

According to Zelinsky, several people have to sign off on an animal being euthanized. He tells us that what the supervisor reportedly said was "I have to do the whole 100 building," referring to behavior assessments for the dogs and not meaning they'd be killed.

Zelinsky said medical, behavior observation, and time and space concerns are just some of the reasons an animal is placed on the euthanasia process list. Zelinsky said an animal can be considered for euthanasia, but it doesn't necessarily mean it will happen.

"There's enough checks and balances in there to where I'm comfortable if that decision is made that we've given that animal every chance it can need," said Zelinksy.

But a worker who did not want to be identified said otherwise.

"They're so wrong about their assessments. Everything is stacked against the animal. They don't look at it like it's a life," she said.

Zelinsky provided WAVE 3 with their kennel list from the day before the comment was reportedly made, the day of, and the day after. According to those documents, there were 68 animals - both dogs and cats - labeled ET Process on Dec. 27. According to their log, only 3 were euthanized. On Dec. 28, 66 animals were considered ET Process. According to the MAS log, 40 were euthanized. On Dec. 29, 36 animals were listed ET Process. 11 of those animals were euthanized.

"These people are trying every avenue they can to find a happy outcome and sometimes it just doesn't work," Zelinsky said.

We also took the paperwork provided to us by the concerned workers and volunteers listing the animals considered for euthanasia on Dec. 28 to Zelinsky and checked to see what happened to those animals. According to Zelinsky, some of them had been adopted, others were sent to foster homes or transferred to another facility, but not killed.

When asked if the animals were alive because of our inquiries for this story, Zelinsky said, "No. They're here because the process is working."

But volunteers and employees tell us there are deep-rooted issues at the facility that go beyond just this week.

"They just kill willy nilly there," said one person. "It's like...I don't understand how they could sleep at night."

"You can't contact rescue once a dog is on the euthanasia list," said another. "You get in trouble for that once it's on an ET list. It's too late. You can't help it."

The workers and volunteers said since we started asking questions, more animals were rescued on Dec. 30. They also say they hope to see positive changes with Metro Animal Services in the future.

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