Investigation of Animal Services following dog's death finds no criminal wrongdoing

Investigation of Animal Services following dog's death finds no criminal wrongdoing
Margaret Brosko (Source: WAVE 3 News Archives)
Margaret Brosko (Source: WAVE 3 News Archives)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - No charges will filed against members of Louisville Metro Animal Services after an investigation found no evidence substantiating allegations including criminal neglect and misuse of funds following the death of a pit bull named Sadie.

The investigation by the Public Integrity Unit of the Louisville Metro Police Department was undertaken at the request of Mayor Greg Fischer after a former LMAS employee accused Margaret Brosko, a former LMAS spokeswoman who now works in the mayor's office, of misdirecting funds intended for Sadie's treatment.

The employee who made the accusations, Heather Adkins, offered to foster the dog to prevent her euthanization while funds were raised to perform a leg amputation. The dog had a nerve condition that was not considered life-threatening, but she was put down before the surgery could be performed when she swallowed one of her bandages, leading to a blockage.

An investigation by the Internal Audit office found that two donations which were earmarked for Sadie's treatment were refunded to the donors after Sadie was euthanized, but Adkins claimed that there were other donations intended for the dog which were used for other purposes. Though no evidence was found of money being misused, a report by Commonwealth's Attorney Thomas Wine noted that the audit office found "significant non-compliance" regarding the documentation and disbursement of donations.

The investigation into allegations of mistreatment showed a failure to follow policies, but that "the lack of attention and supervision, even of negligence does not rise to the level of intentionally causing the death of Sadie or consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk," leading Wine's office to recommend against charges.

After the dog swallowed the bandage, Adkins contacted the Arrow Fund, a private agency that cares for animals in need of immediate care. Animal Services turned the care and ownership of Sadie over to Arrow Fund. The dog was euthanized a short time later.

Adkins, who made the original allegations, declined to be interviewed as part of the investigation, which Wine called "puzzling" in his report. Her role was documented through the use of emails and other evidence.

Adkins had previously accused LMAS of being corrupt, "led by people who do not care for the animals but for good press." She resigned from the agency after being disciplined for contacting the Arrow Fund before notifying Animal Services.

The Commonwealth's Attorney's report said her absence from the investigation did not prevent his recommendation that no charges be filed, with which the Jefferson County Attorney's Office concurred.

Mayor Fischer said in a release that the review has led to positive changes in city government, including a new policy for recording donations and improvements to the open records process.

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