Rant: Enough’s Enough At Metro Animal Services

Last week we wrote about some problems at Louisville Metro Animal Services (shocking, we know) and here is one of the dogs apparently impacted by it all.

A dog, Percy, that was brought out by mistake when a rescuer attempted to retrieve another dog named Balto. MAS staff hadn’t asked for help for Percy and he was unable to move, in severe pain, in desperate need of care. Since LMAS can’t get its hands on the right kind of pain medication (who knows? Fischer’s folks refuse to provide straight answers) – thanks to the problem we wrote about – you can imagine how the little guy felt.

The Shamrock Foundation is afraid to admit where the dog came from because it’s worried about ties being cut – but we’re not afraid to call a spade a spade. People need to start speaking up. The staff at LMAS and rescuers who operate there are literally terrified to ruffle feathers. We believe that puts them in collusion with those perpetuating what amounts to systemic animal abuse and cruelty. Maybe some day they’ll all wake up and realize that if they get kicked out or fired? It’ll look a heck of a lot worse for LMAS and Greg Fischer than it will for them.

LMAS staffers (you know who you are – you talk to me every day, begging me to do something, refusing to take your own responsibility out of juvenile fear) and volunteers have tons of evidence they can bring forward to make change. But they’re terrified and have been beaten down by management and Fischer’s crew. This shiz is getting ridiculous.

Mentioning this today because we’re beginning to wonder if LMAS is in violation of local or state anti-cruelty statutes by withholding pain medication and not providing adequate care (ever been to Manslick?).

A local ordinance:

CRUELTY. Failing to provide adequate food and water; failing to detect the need for or withholding veterinary care; creating or allowing unhealthful living conditions, infliction of suffering, injury, or death to an animal by striking, beating, dropping, kicking, dragging, choking, or by the use of an object or weapon; causing pain, injury, or death by means of caustic, flammable, boiling, or heated substances; causing suffering, injury, or death by suffocation or drowning; failure to provide health-related grooming. For purposes of this chapter, the definition of CRUELTY shall not include the acts as described in KRS 525.130(2) and (3).

Seems rather cut and dry to us. But Metro Council never takes action. Jim King, whose wife sits on the Zoo board and loves animals, for eff’s sake, won’t do anything but pay this matter lip service. Greg Fischer doesn’t have the ability to manage his way out of a hole in the ground. And only a few in the mainstream media want to give this issue any serious attention (and it’s not long-term).

We are disgusted with the way Metro Government leaders have dealt with Metro Animal Services. This out-of-sight, out-of-mind operational mentality among people like Greg Fischer and Sadiqa Reynolds has got to come to an end. Allowing them to operate carte blanche without ever being questioned – purely because they’re Democrats and you hate/fear Republicans – is the reason this city/state/country is so jacked up to begin with.

Where are Gill Holland, Matthew Barzun, Owsley & Christy Brown, Craig Greenberg, David Jones, John Yarmuth, the Binghams, John Y. Brown III, Jack Conway, Tom Conway, Jim Ramsey? They got Greg Fischer elected and they have the ability to put an end to this Metro Animal Services nightmare. When will they make their voices heard with Greg? They wanted him and now they need to take responsibility for what they pushed upon the city. (No, we’re not afraid to raise concerns with the people who gave us our start. They’re good folks and we know they have the ability to make change. We just wish they would.)

In the meantime, the new kid who is overpaid and inexperienced continues the reign of mass killing and bad management with what appears to be the same recklessness of Gilles Meloche and Wayne Zelinsky. We are unable to believe anything else until we see serious and immediate action taken.

Note to those of you who continually tell us to sit down and shut up, to give Greg a few months to work out the kings, to be more patient: enough really is enough. Piss or get off the pot. There’s no sense in sitting on your hands, waiting around, doing nothing.

22 thoughts on “Rant: Enough’s Enough At Metro Animal Services

  1. I agree 100%. I think metro exhibits animal cruelty all of the time. I know for a fact that animals sit in metro with broken bones, no pain meds and no treatment. Sometimes if the animal is lucky someone will contact a rescue.

    People need to stand up and spill what they know. The ones who suffer are the animals.

  2. I’ve said this a half-dozen times on this blog, get your witnesses together and go to the courthouse and swear out a warrant for animal cruelty in violation of the KRS you’ve cited and take the matter before a District Court Judge.

  3. Highlander, I know you’ve said it. Knowing what can be done, and what to do, is a vital piece of the solution–the other necessary part is to get those witnesses to come forward. What is to be done when the witnesses plead for help from a blogger but refuse to go to the courthouse and swear out that warrant?

    Two quotes that bear repeating:
    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

  4. If these are LMAS staffers wouldn’t they be protected by some type of Whistleblower statute if they came forward?

  5. You people aren’t seeing the whole picture…. There is a REASON people aren’t coming forward. It’s not because they are spineless, though some of them may be. LMAS has the power to confiscate fosters and ET them for “medical reasons”. LMAS has the ability to put to sleep any animal that any volunteer or staff member has been in contact with for any reason. It’s retaliatory killing and it’s been done before. The Whistleblower statute does protect employees from being fired but does not protect volunteers or the animals they care for. Should some kind of court action be taken, yes, but there is more at stake here than you all realize.

  6. Jane: Cowardly excuse.

    People need to buck the fuck up and do something or they need to shut up and get on with life, forgetting about the animals.

    If there was retaliatory euthanasia, don’t you think I’d raise holy hell?

  7. Cathi, thanks for raising the Whistleblower issue again, because it, too, bears repeating. Imagine this: some combination of employees and volunteers go to the courthouse, with Jake (Jake, you in?) and with a crew from a local TV news station. They swear out a warrant on the basis of the cruelty, abuses, and any violations of the law that they have seen. The whistleblowers ask their Council member(s) to come with them (that part’s a wild card). The story is all over the news.

    Can you truly imagine that in the wake of that, Animal Control Officers would come knocking on the doors of those whistleblowers, take away their pets and kill them? On whose orders? Who could possibly think they’d get away with it?

    This kind of culture of fear only works if the victims are too deeply enmeshed in it to think it through. The people who have seen all this go on actually have a great deal of power and I implore them to just come forward with the evidence and make the complaints.

  8. Eileen: “What is to be done when the witnesses plead for help from a blogger but refuse to go to the courthouse and swear out that warrant?” Answer: Find witnesses with ‘guts’ and ‘balls’ and use them. The witnesses don’t swear out the criminal summons, the activist does. The witnesses support the activist’s action. It’s not near as complicated as it seems. There are 100+ criminal summons’ sworn out daily at the Hall of Justice.

    Problem here: It’s a hell of a lot easier to ‘gas’ about it than it is to do something ‘active’ about it.

  9. Highlander, I physically cannot go to the courthouse and swear out that warrant, so why don’t you show me how it’s done? You care enough to repeat yourself and tell us you’re doing so. Stop “gassing” and do something “active.”

  10. Unfortunately, we are mired in the same mess that we had under Meloche and Zelinsky. Six years of hard work and we are back to square one- animals suffering being killed for no reason, no leadership, no vision, no commitment. Duncan Caldwell, from Harlan County Kentucky, just appointed to the state animal control advisory board, had a 6% euthanasia rate last year using a cadre of fosters and rescues and being pro- active. It can be done in rural and metro areas if the compassionate director gives a wit to make it happen. And the Mayor hires a young man with a track record of 85% euthanasia rate. Why do we expect things to change?

  11. If there was even an ATTEMPT at seizing and euthanizing animals in foster homes—-all hell would break loose. Or is Louisville too gutless to even stand up to that?

    It would be harder to protect the animals in the shelter, but not impossible.

  12. Eileen: I have no witnesses. You seem to have them. Get a witness to go to the Courthouse and swear our a criminal complaint. It’s obvious nothing’s going to happen from the executive branch of government. We have 2 other branches of government. Use one of them, with your witnesses — or QUIT BLOVIATING ALL OVER THE PLACE ABOUT IT AND CRITICIZING THOSE WHO OFFER REALISTIC SOLUTIONS.
    Thank you.

  13. As Highlander said, it has to be done by the person who is the actual victim/witness – so we can’t do it.

    Curious, why can’t you physically go to the Hall of Justice? (Don’t have to answer, but given that a young man works every day at the Hall who is virtually a quadraplegic, I can’t imagine a scenario where someone can’t go to the Hall and do this task.)

  14. This blog feels like a time machine! WHO CARES! I will stop by next month and see what stories this blog is covering, I bet its a story NO ONE CARES ABOUT!
    I hate to brake it to you, but what do you think has been going on at every municiple animal control services since the Mayflower?
    I think attention to dead beat owners is important and I understand the job that MUST be done at animal CONTROL. You guys on this blog need to as well.

  15. I am not the witness and I cannot go to the courthouse. When I was the witness, I took every route I knew to take. I still do everything that I can do. JTT and Highlander, you can tell me what forms of involvement from me are acceptable, but since you don’t seem to know what you’re talking about, you lack credibility. If you were doing anything about LMAS yourselves, you’d likely know who I am and why I can’t go to the courthouse, because I don’t hide behind “The Highlander” or initials. I will continue to speak up, and if you don’t like it, ignore me. Regardless of the control freakery involved in your telling me what to do and not do, this is not even about me.

    This is about continued killing and cruelty. And it’s about the people in a position to do something about it refusing to act and wanting someone else to do it for them.

  16. Hey JTT: This Eileen chick sounds like she’s 2nd base at the Bats ball yard (you know no arms and no legs). Watcha think? Huh?

  17. Jeff Rodgers: HAHA! Still bitter that I have the guts to question you and the rest of the Fairness Campaign? How dare me ask questions or complain! I need to get back in line, right?

    Blow me. People like you are part of the reason nothing ever gets accomplished in this godforsaken political climate. And you’re part of the reason 99% of the gay community rolls its eyes at Fairness. You’re part of the reason good people like Chris H go roll into Fairness thinking they can impact change, only to be blown aside and essentially controlled and ignored.

    What I find most absurd is that you – someone who professes to give two shits about equality – are so outraged that anyone would dare care about Metro Animal Services. I’m sure it pains you to know that so many people DO care and DO come here to see what’s going on. They come in droves. And they all think it matters. If it didn’t? You wouldn’t be reading MULTIPLE TIMES PER DAY and leaving comments on a regular basis.

    So, it’s time to piss or get off the pot. You don’t like this site? Don’t read it. Pretty simple.

    Thanks for the double standard.

  18. @Jeff Rodgers: I would be curious to know what you think qualifies you to say what animal control’s “job” is. But… I really don’t care.

  19. There job is to contol animals. A tool they use is to dispose of them. It is a tough job and I think you “Internet Badasses” need to get off their back.
    BTW Jake, why do you take any topic criticism so personally?
    I long for the days when this blog told what was happening in local media, now that’s not reported on much in leiu of constant barrage on Louisville mayors.

  20. Uh, no?

    It’s the job of Animal Control officers to “control animals.” The job of folks at the shelter – and this is dictated by law – is to care for the animals. It’s not some made-up horseshit the teabaggers like to try all the time. It’s legislated on both a state and local level.

    You long for the days when the only thing here was non-political, boring shit about who got fired from which television station? Yeah, that really did something for the community. (It also didn’t bring in nearly as much revenue)

    And barrage? Of asking questions, sharing concerns of the community and holding people accountable when folks like you refuse to do so? Yeah, that’s such a horrible thing.

    If you don’t like it? Don’t read it. Really simple.

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