Organizations reacting to Mayor's search for a private agency for LMAS

By Marisela Burgos - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The search is underway to find a private agency to take over Louisville Metro Animal Services.

LMAS has been the center of controversy for years. Its previous director resigned after he was accused of sexual harassment and mismanagement. Then, the interim director left his position after city leaders said they learned he had a racy Internet business.

Mayor Greg Fischer wants the private agency to be in charge of shelter care and adoption, while the city will oversee animal control services. The mayor's office is putting together a set of guidelines private agency must meet in order to get hired. When that criteria is released, animal welfare agencies interested in the position have 21 days to submit proposals.

Mayor Fischer would like to have the private agency in place by July 1st.

After Mayor Fischer made his announcement, several local organizations expressed they were caught off guard, at first, because they thought the city was going to hire a new director not a private agency.

Rebecca Eaves with the Shamrock Foundation said they are now switching gears.

"We're going to adjust.  I applaud the Mayor for modeling after some of the No-Kill communities.  We have a strong community that wants change and better things for animals," Eaves said.

Eaves said she hopes everyone works together and moves in a positive direction, as Louisville Metro Animal Services undergoes changes.

"There's a change definitely that needs to be made. While they have some great employees, there needs to be some direction," Eaves said.

In the audit report released Thursday, a committee cited more weaknesses than strengths with LMAS, ranging from organization problems to lack of communication. It goes on to say for the last 3 years, roughly 14,000 animals have come-in with about 60 percent euthanized every year.

"That's unacceptable. We need to band together and make this, a community we can be proud of," Eaves said.

WAVE 3 spoke, previously, with people who thought the Kentucky Humane Society was a shoe-in for the job and were not happy about it. "As it stands right now, the Humane Society does not have any contracts with the Metro Government or agreements with the Mayor's office," Hicks said.

"I think it's pretty much understood with the community that things at Metro Animal Services were on a decline and that things needed to change," Hicks continued.

Hicks said they will consider applying, once Mayor Fischer releases the guidelines. "We are very happy that the review has finally been released and we look forward to moving forward in a very positive direction for the animals and in our community," Hicks said.

Eaves said she hopes the selection process will be fair and follows the No-Kill mission.

"I also applaud an open and honest bidding process for taking over animal sheltering {and} adoption care.  Even though this is a change we weren't ready for.  {Even though this is a change} we weren't expecting, we're going forward and looking forward for positive change," Eaves said.

"There needs to be an agency or agencies {that} speak for the care of these animals. They need basic needs," Eaves said.

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