Responding to concerns over the persistent problems at Louisville Metro Animal Services, Mayor Greg Fischer announced the creation of two new committees that will oversee the top-to-bottom review and the search for a new permanent director.
“I am eager for these committees to get to work and to help our city improve animal services,” Fischer said in a news release.
The panels include 20 different people ranging from animal advocates and business leaders to Metro Council members and city employees. The six-person committee to conduct the performance audit includes:
· Allison Woosley, a CPA and animal advocate
· Lindsy Wallace, Director of Operations for the Kentucky Humane Society
· Karen Little, Alley Cat Advocates
· Dr. Lee Hankins, veterinarian at Springhurst Animal Hospital
· Mike Norman, Auditor, Louisville Metro Government
· Jim Brammell, Chief Engineer, Louisville Water Company and member of SPOT Fund
The review will examine the department’s policies and procedures for euthanasia, how it cares for animals and will track the city’s adoption rate in recent years. The review will also benchmark Louisville’s animal welfare and control efforts with other cities nationwide to look for the best practices.
As LEO reported this week, a growing number of employees within the beleaguered animal control agency have come forward to complain about worsening conditions in the department under Interim Director Wayne Zelinsky, who took over last January after former Director Gilles Meloche resigned amid controversy.
There had been serious speculation that Zelinsky’s termination was imminent, however, Fischer said the interim director would remain on the job while the review and search for a new permanent director are conducted.
From Sixth & Jefferson:
Fischer has kept Zelinsky at a safe distance publicly, saying he is eligible to become part of the search for a new director but that any changes in leadership will depend on the review. One source in the administration called the interim director a “lightning rod” that the mayor would be “crazy” to retain.
The eight-person committee to conduct a national search for a new director includes:
· Sadiqa Reynolds, Chief of Community Building for Mayor Fischer
· Lori Redmon, Kentucky Humane Society
· David Hall, Floyd County/New Albany Animal Control and Shelter
· Terri Cardwell, business owner and member of SPOT Fund
· Patti Swope, business executive and animal advocate
· Kellie Watson, Director of Human Resources, Louisville Metro Government
· Jessica Reid, No Kill Louisville
· Police Chief Robert White or his designee
Once the search committee narrows its list to six finalists, a separate review team will provide additional input and narrow the list to three, which it will then make a recommendation to the mayor. That review team includes:
· Sharon Mayes, Shamrock Pet Foundation
· Bunny Zeller, Animal Care Society
· Ellen Cullinan, citizen and volunteer
· Donna Herzig, Louisville Kennel Club
· Metro Councilman Kelly Downard, R-16
· Metro Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh, D-9
In addition, throughout both the performance audit and personnel search, members of the public at large will be provided opportunities for input.