An Area For Improvement At Metro Animal Services

On April 5, 2011 I raised questions about an employee of Metro Animal Services responsible for animal medication who has a past drug conviction.

Here’s that story:

Another Troubling Metro Animal Services Issue?
April 5th, 2011 by jake · 26 Comments

We hear that Metro Animal Services doesn’t maintain pain medication beyond aspirin. So animals arriving after having been hit by a car or otherwise seriously injured allegedly don’t receive serious pain relievers. Many are questioning the practice – including veterinarians that have reached out to us and the audit team.

But why is this? Is it because employees can’t be trusted? Dismas Charities workers want to steal narcotics? What?

Allegedly, there’s an employee in charge of ordering the medication who could potentially have a past drug conviction from another state. If so, that’d maybe prevent them from being involved with certain types of veterinary drugs.

If these allegations are based in fact and there’s a staffer with a felony drug conviction? And they’ve handled euthanasia drugs? Then this is not good.

Hoping with everything we’ve got that none of this is true. But since we get cursed at and loosely threatened when asking questions, well, we’re forced to ask them publicly.

Unfortunately, it’s been four months and nothing has changed. Other than the fact that I’ve been able to determine this isn’t just rumor.

It’s the Veterinary Services Supervisor, who made $36,092.42 in 2010.

As we said in the comments at the time, this isn’t a personal attack on anybody’s past mistakes. But it sure the heck is an observation about why there are so many problems at LMAS.

There is no strategic plan for LMAS at this point. Scally has none and he admitted it at the press conference where he was announced. At the same presser where Sadiqa Reynolds refused to let anyone ask Scally questions that didn’t go through her. The same presser where Sadiqa had the gall to say that if your’e not with them, you’re against them (she’s really good at community building, if you couldn’t tell). And he admitted it during his first day on the job.

So we’re bringing this up – again – with hopes that Scally will do something about the problem and turn that place around. And, yes, I could sit on this for a while and rub it in his face a few months down the road… but why do that?

P.S. For those LMAS staffers who are now afraid to talk after hearing from Sadiqa, I’d like to remind you of Kentucky’s whistleblower statutes. If you’re threatened in any way for trying to do the right thing, this community will back you up.

12 thoughts on “An Area For Improvement At Metro Animal Services

  1. seems like if things improve there would be no reason for anyone to talk to the media right? wouldn’t energy be better spent making that happen instead of sushing everyone up all the time. or is that too obvious?

  2. Does this really cover the MAS employees? It seems sort of specific to health and safety, although Animal Services would fall under that umbrella one would think. The line “regarding a violation of any occupational safety or health statute” confuses me. If in fact the Whistleblower laws protect local government employees, Mr. Fischer and Ms. Reynolds have much to worry about. My guess is employees would be lined up out the door to give evidence.

  3. It is important to remember it does not cover reporting to just anyone – it has to be a good faith report to an appropriate body (such as the police, etc.)

  4. “As we said in the comments at the time, this isn’t a personal attack on anybody’s past mistakes. But it sure the heck is an observation about why there are so many problems at LMAS.”

    Is it or is it not a personal attack? Fess up.

  5. Jesus, Is there absoulutely NOTHIING ELSE to talk about jake! Give it a rest!, nothing is going to change there!

  6. “brian” – Who, exactly, is holding the gun to your head forcing you to visit this site and read it?

    Don’t like it? Move along. Really.

  7. I’m sure that if MAS chooses to stock a variety of pain meds then they can assign someone who does not have any controversy attached to order them and maintain them so i suspect that the possible past conviction of someone in vet tech is not the reason they do not have a wide variety of pain meds. But Jake, I have helped write and update a strategic plan as part of my job duties at a state-run hospital and boy are they time-consuming to develop from scratch and they require team input and consensus building so I don’t see how a person can come into a new job with a strategic plan in place.

  8. Having a strategic plan was essentially part of the requirements Greg Fischer and crew forced organizations to have when they applied to take over LMAS.

    Not sure why a guy with so much “experience” wouldn’t be able to whip up something on a preliminary basis prior to taking the job.

  9. There is no need to start from scratch on a strategic plan. LMAS’ problems are not unique; they’re common to many mismanaged, high-kill shelters, so any strategic plan that is working to transform a high-kill (or any “kill”) shelter to no-kill, one where only hopelessly ill/injured or aggressive animals are euthanized, can be adapted for Louisville. Today, my name links to Austin, TX’s implementation plan, because it’s public, it’s working, and it’s an open-admission, high-volume shelter. Austin’s Mayor and City Council made a promise to go no-kill and kept it, with the result that they have a 93% live release rate for July 2011, one of the highest intake months, and an average 89-90% live release for the 8 months or so since they went “no kill.”

    On the subject of the whistleblower laws, the first provision concerns health and safety, but the second one concerns all sorts of malfeasance. Employees are the ones who know the most, and while some work their asses off, they are trying to hold back the tide. If they want to make the tide turn, they are going to have to expose the goings on at LMAS. It’s not fair that they are in that position, but they are.

    Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear. ~Ambrose Redmoon

    It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare. ~Mark Twain

  10. If I was an LMAS volunteer or employee, I think I would record any conversation I had with Sadiqa. Ipods are a great tool for those afraid of losing there jobs. Just Saying.

  11. Eileen, your comments make the most sense. Let’s not try to start from scratch, but use a good model that is working!

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