Louisville Mayor orders review of Metro Animal Services

By Marisela Burgos - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Louisville's new mayor has asked for a full review of a department that has been riddled with controversy, accusations of mismanagement of money and most recently claims adoptable animals were on the verge of being unnecessarily euthanized.

WAVE 3 has followed problems with LMAS for years. On Dec. 30, WAVE 3 took claims of mass euthanizing to LMAS Interim Director Wayne Zelinsky. Now, a week later, Mayor Greg Fischer announced his administration will take a good look at the policies and practices of the agency. Mayor Fischer has appointed Chief of Community Building, Sadiqa Reynolds, to oversee the review. A review team is expected to be put together by January 28th. Mayor Fischer said his the goal is to have a 'world-class services center'. Fischer said he wants to increase adoptions and reduce euthanasia. While he believes Metro Animal Services has made strides, he also says it needs some work.

"It's not a secret that there's been issues or controversies surrounding animal services and we want to dig in there and find out what are the facts. {We want to find out} how can we improve," Fischer said. He also mentioned since he has only been in office five days people need to give him time. He said he has looked into the issue since his campaign.  The mayor said -as promised -a search for a permanent director is underway.  In the meantime, Interim Director, Wayne Zelinksy, will stay in place.

As WAVE 3 first reported, Metro Animal employees and volunteers came to WAVE 3 last week concerned with what they believe were deep rooted issues at the facility. They did not want to reveal their faces for fear of losing their job.

"I think they're going to see this and understand that things are moving very quickly. The ones that call me, I tell 'em that they've been in a cave and couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel for 5 years and now they're out of the cave," Metro Councilman Kelly Downard said.

WAVE 3 contacted Zelinksy about the review, but he has not returned our call.

Also today, WAVE 3 learned LMPD's Public Integrity Unit opened a new investigation looking into LMAS. LMPD Spokeswoman, Alicia Smiley, confirmed there was an open investigation, but would not go into details about it.

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