“Special Training” And Wasted Benjamins At LMAS

Yesterday we told you about an article that mentioned new Louisville Metro Animal Services director’s “special training from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Emergency Planning for Animal Control.”

It’s one of the attributes Greg Fischer and crew have touted over the past couple days.

But you know what’s so special about it? You can get the same training in the same place he did… via the internet.

Yep – he’s getting paid $90K for that. He has a deputy from the auto industry making $81K. A communications staffer will make $60K. All while Metro Animal Services continues to beg the public to provide food for the animals.

I give this guy six months – tops – before a crisis hits. And then Greg Fischer will regret not hiring Becky Reiter. (Note: her facility has a 13% euthanasia rate with owner requests for medical issues.) Or maybe he won’t regret it. It’s not like he was in a hurry to get this shiz straightened out in the first place.

All ice machine, no ice. Welcome to possibility city.

19 thoughts on ““Special Training” And Wasted Benjamins At LMAS

  1. Wow, think I will sign up for that “degree” LOL. This is turning into a cluster cluck. I’m one of the hopefuls whose hope has quickly dwindled over the past few days. I have more shelter experience than Justin, didn’t apply but really had hoped Becky would be joining our community in some capacity. Now we have Mr. Automotive buddying up with Mr. Online Degree. Super duper Fischer.

  2. Six months, Jake? I think you are being too kind. I give this guy three months … tops … before his first meltdown. Especially with you guys keeping a close eye on him. It will be interesting to see just how long it takes him to reach out to No Kill Louisville and the other organizations who are critical of him. Oh, and nice haircut!

  3. It’s not even about Scally, really. Even though he does NOT have the experience necessary to manage the flustercuck of shit at Metro Animal Services (or the few remaining shitty staff – not the good ones).

    It’s about Greg Fischer, Sadiqa Reynolds and folks like Allison Woosley and Lori Redmon shitcanning any sort of REAL cooperation with all organizations in this town. It’s about Greg’s 100% lack of transparency. It’s about dropping a quarter of a million dollars a year on three people when LMAS can’t afford to feed the animals it currently has on-hand.

    What gets my goat, really, is that these people like Sadiqa LOVE to bitch and moan when legitimate questions and concerns are raised. (really, sweetie? with us or against us? there’s a time and a place for everything? no wonder you’re no longer a judge)

    They love to yell and say we all need to come together and sing campfire songs to feel good.

    But you know what THEY weren’t doing when everyone was trying to work together six months ago? They were poo-pooing everything, issuing gag orders, treating staffers and volunteers horribly and attempting to dismantle groups like No Kill Louisville.

    So forgive me when I roll my eyes when these folks tell me to quit “complaining.”

  4. The excerpt the other day from Wayne County mentioned “a basic animal behavioral therapy certificate from the Auburn College of Veterinary Medicine” but that’s not on the resume — which, by the way, was linked to yesterday but seems to be gone today.

    The resume does say the Johns Hopkins thing was an “online course,” but “course” can mean a lot of things.

  5. I’d also like to add that most, if not all, of the people who are “complaining” are also VERY active with actually helping at LMAS and/or with rescues. The “complainers” aren’t sitting on their hands, spending all their time on facebook. The “complainers” have been forced to spend time they don’t have on facebook drawing attention to these issues—while they are also fostering, volunteering, helping with events, etc.— because face-to-face means of communication have been exhausted. When the response to an important and rational question is “you’re either with us or against us”, then it’s clear that there is no chance for rational conversation.

  6. I don’t want to see this new guy meltdown at all! I want to see him MAKE CHANGE and save lives! He has my complete and total support, (of course! as if that would even be in question!) as long as he is going to DO SOMETHING instead of just talk.

  7. I’m an eternal optimist, and admittedly naive, so I’m just hoping Mr Scally was feeling throttled by his past employers and has come to Louisville to do great things. Hope is really all we have at this point. Meanwhile I’m checking the latest list of urgent foster needs on Facebook to see who I need to bring home next….it’s never ending.

  8. I don’t know why anyone is surprised by Fischer’s obvious lack of ability to lead, manage, or govern. He gave absolutely no indication while running for office that he had the necessary skills or experience to handle such responsibility, which is why I voted for Heiner, despite being a fairly loyal Democrat. This kid is too young to have much experience at doing ANYTHING, let alone running an entire department in a city of this size. If he was so brilliant, you think he would have picked up a college degree or two along the way. (You can get those online, too.) The fact that he is being paid $90K is beyond ridiculous. It will be very entertaining to watch this all play out–too bad it will have to come at the expense of some innocent animals.

  9. His age doesn’t have much to do with it. I mean, I think I’ve accomplished some pretty successful things at the age of 29.

    It’s that they act like he’s got more experienced than people with decades of leadership and animal care experience. That’s the problem.

    Education won’t help you in animal services, either. It takes real world experience, which this guy has very little.

  10. I agree with Jake that it’s not really about Scally but about the kind of culture that allows this insanity to keep happening, and that allows the perpetrators to call it progress–and be believed! That’s a problem in the mayor’s office, but the larger problem is with a public that reliably chooses to stay in the matrix rather than learn the truth.

    Learning the truth takes some effort. Scally said his values are irrelevant and he was brought to Louisville to save every “healthy, adoptable animal.” That sounds good to the uninformed public, but those terms have meanings that are hotly debated, and learning the truth means making the effort to understand why those words are so loaded.

    “Healthy” can be defined such that any animal with an upper respiratory infection, or an injury, or who has been neglected or physically abused can be called “unhealthy” and killed, and LMAS can still claim it’s saving all healthy animals. With a 50 year old ventilation system that has NEVER been cleaned, just about every animal at Manslick develops some kind of URI. And plenty come in injured or starved. (Today, my name is a link to one of those; it’s a horrible, graphic photo of a dog who is now healthy and loved. Jake, I hope you’ll allow this link to stay, as this is an “after” pic: http://www.flickr.com/photos/eileen_mcfall/4750141891/ ) To give them credit, some of the staff bust their asses to save those animals. Would they even be allowed to do so given Scally’s mission to save healthy and adoptable animals?

    The definition of “adoptable” can be manipulated so that pit bulls and any animals that ever exhibit a behavioral issue are simply not considered adoptable. Then, all those can be killed and LMAS can still claim it’s saving every adoptable animal.

    LMAS could kill 80-90% of all animals coming in the door and still claim it was saving 100% of all healthy, adoptable animals–and given the budget and conditions at the Manslick shelter, the ONLY way it will be able to make such a claim is to mess with the definitions. Since it doesn’t release the actual numbers, members of the public who don’t take the time to dig deeper would believe things were better when in fact they were much, much worse. Because the response of Mayor Fischer and his team is to call out the trolls to accuse critics of being “negative,” any attempt to bring facts to light is hindered–until the matrix is shattered. Does that ever happen?

  11. Greg Fisher is on track to have a completely failed administration. one poor decision, and bad pick right after another, and a lack of transparency that makes Abramson’s administration look clean
    Of course any human with a lick of sense could easily see his faults during the election process. the only thing that got him elected was the die hard zombie Democrats of which I was one until Jerry Abramson and Merger occurred. Thanks to the likes of Greg Fisher, Abramson, and Obama, I may never vote Democrat again.

  12. Eileen, You obviously “get it”, and understand how those people work, Now you need to get started educating the other blind people in the community as we are about to fall into the ditch with the blind leading the blind

  13. These people are making Louisville look bad. When are they going to put decent and intelligent people in charge of Louisville Metro and start getting something done. Just a bunch of political prostitutes is what we have now and they’ve done nothing here. The roads are a mess, the sidewalks and infrastructure is falling apart, trash covers the streets in many areas of the city. These people are a total joke. Louisville used to be a nice city but its quickly going downhill with morons like Abramson and Fischer guiding the ship

  14. Eileen, you are right on target.

    Once again, the thinking and caring people of Louisville are left to wonder how this hire could have been ever been made. It’s the same situation we found ourselves in when Abramson hired Meloche who was fired from an animal agency in NC and forced out of a FL shelter. Wonder if Meloche and Scally know each other? What is it with this NC/FL coincidence which goes on and on?

    There is NOTHING to recommend this guy. And to add insult to injury he’s now hiring people with even less experience than he has which is really hard to do. And he came from FL? If second in command Robinson who comes from a job in the automotive industry in FL turns out to have really been running a limousine & escort service, we have all entered bizarro world.

    Scally has been quoted about his experience of working for 2 ½ years as director of an animal control agency in NC. Reports say the euthanasia rate was 85% when he started there. He says he made progress but he doesn’t say what the euthanasia rate was when he left. Did he not have records? Meloche didn’t have credible records. If Scally had made any meaningful improvement he’d have burned that figure into his memory. The fact that he isn’t citing any numbers is all I need to know. A shyster is a shyster. You can dress a skin head animal rights extremist up in a suit but you can’t take the HSUS philosophy out of him.

    Meloche supposedly had an MBA and yet MAS routinely got abysmal reports when audits were done locally and by the state. Were Scally’s records at the NC agency ever audited and what did they disclose?

    At the 2010 HSUS Expo, the HSUS would not allow Maddie’s Fund to use the term No Kill in their second all-day workshop at Expo (though separate from the rest of the conference) on creating a No Kill community. The HSUS would not allow them to use that term. And now in 2011 we’re supposed to believe HSUS head Wayne Pacelle’s blog statement that HSUS is in favor of no-kill philosophies cited in a recent C-J article? Not when he turns right around and says “but” and goes into a flim flam lecture about why No Kill won’t work.

    Nathan Winograd, the founder of the No Kill philosophy says, “The killing is the fault of uncaring bureaucrats, lazy and inept shelter managers, and national organizations committed to ensuring that the killing paradigm is not upended.” Hard to hear, but true.

    And yet the Mayor wants me to give little $90,000 a year new kid on the block a chance. This bad hire and disaster waiting to happen deserves no chance. And Fischer just blew his last chance with me.

  15. Here is the reason for the 85% euthanasia rate, and why it did not improve. The reality is, they probably thought it should be higher.


    When asked if he envisioned a future without pets, “If I had my personal view, perhaps that might take hold. In fact, I don’t want to see another dog or cat born.” —-Wayne Pacelle quoted in Bloodties: Nature, Culture and the Hunt by Ted Kerasote, 1993, p. 266.

    “ One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals.” —Wayne Pacelle, quoted in Animal People, May, 1993

  16. eek. that’s a pretty damning quote by Wayne Pacelle. I can try to justify it by saying that, in a total purist sense, that absolute animal rights people are really against people “owning” animals, at all, hence the demise of “domesticated” animals. however… that is hardly a helpful thing to talk about at this point in human evolution. And i don’t even know if that’s where he’s coming from, since as far as i know he’s NOT an animal “rights” person, but perhaps he is. I am too lazy right now to look it up. I know some people dislike PETA because they are anti-“pet” from an animal rights stand point… However, in my opinion they are looking at the long view–decades or hundreds of years from now… perhaps hoping for a world where there are more wild/ish animals, fewer people, and more meaningful interactions with both.

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