LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – She says she didn't do anything wrong, but we are hearing differently from the mayor's office. Late Friday afternoon, we learned that Jackie Gulbe, the assistant director at Louisville Metro Animal Services, was suspended after an incident involving a dog in a bag that was dropped off at LMAS.
"She (Gulbe) said that was the only thing they had available at the time," said LMAS Lt. Adam Hamilton during a later afternoon press conference at Metro Hall. "She drove the car up, she had her animals in the car, did not feel safe putting this animal in with her animals so somebody grabbed the suitcase that just happened to be laying outside, I think for junk pickup, I'm not sure, and that's when the dog got placed in the suitcase."
When I questioned Gulbe Thursday, she denied there was any disciplinary action taken because of the incident, something we now know is not true. She also denied any connection between what happened outside Kern's Korner and her resignation.
The agency has been plagued with problems, and it now has another potential controversy on its hands. An internal memo obtained by WAVE 3 accuses Gulbe of dropping off a stray dog that was overheated and zipped inside a canvas bag. Gulbe admits she helped bring in the dog, but said it was a stray dog that she was only assisting in bringing in.
The dog, a stray beagle named Lucy, had wandered more than a half mile from her home before being spotted across from Kern's Korner. The owner of Kern's says Lucy was lost on the side of Bardstown Road. He was scared she was going to get hit by a car so he went over to her and tried pick her up, but that's when he says Lucy bit him.
Eventually the owner says he corralled Lucy and brought her to the porch of his bar. He called the number on Lucy's tag, but the vet was closed because it was Memorial Day, so he called his friend and regular customer, Jackie Gulbe.
Gulbe came to get the dog, but Lucy got away and ended up this time one street over from the bar. When Gulbe found her and tried to pick her up again, that's when she says Lucy bit her too.
Somehow Lucy ended up in a suitcase; Gulbe says she had nothing to do with that.
"I did not put it in a suitcase, no," Gulbe said. "I don't know anything about the suitcase."
But witnesses say that's not the truth. The owner of Kern's Korner says Gulbe was there when he and the man Gulbe was with at the time, put a towel over the dog's head and stuffed it into a black canvas bag.
According to the internal memo, Gulbe was also there when Lucy was dropped off at LMAS still zipped in the black canvas bag. The vet who treated Lucy said she was hot, frazzled, and had a temperature above 104 degrees. By that point Gulbe had left and gone to the hospital to get treatment for cuts on her hands from the dog bite.
Two weeks later, Gulbe turned in her resignation which becomes effective at the end of this month. She has been on a leave of absence ever since. Gulbe, who said the leave was voluntary and was prompted by health issues and not the investigation into the incident, did say she was questioned about what happened and denies any wrongdoing.
"It's an incident that has nothing to do with anything," said Gulbe. "The dog's fine, the dog went home so I don't know why this is really a topic for discussion."