The Louisville Metro Council has formed a special committee after allegations have arisen concerning Louisville Metro Animal Services. The Ville Voice, which has followed LMAS issues for several years, brought light to the story of Sadie, a dog who needed a leg amputation and ended up being euthanized.
As chronicled by The Ville Voice, Sadie came to LMAS in February 2013 with an injury that required a leg amputation. The owner reclaimed Sadie in March, but after neglecting to secure veterinarian attention for Sadie, surrendered her in August. At this point, Sadie was set for amputation or euthanization.
LMAS employee Heather Adkins took Sadie in as a foster with the expectation that LMAS officials, including Margaret Brosko, Kim Ward and Alisa Oerther, would be working to raise enough money to get Sadie the medical attention that she needed.
When LMAS failed to secure funding for Sadie’s amputation, Adkins raise the money herself. She was told that the money would have to go through LMAS to treat Sadie.
Months passed as Sadie began self-mutilating her leg in an attempt to ease her discomfort and Adkins went without any clear answers or communications from Brosko. Eventually, Brosko admitted that the money donated specifically for Sadie had been used on another dog.
In late March, and with no action from LMAS, Adkins reached out to Arrow Fund for their help. Arrow Fund had Sadie transferred into their custody and took her to a vet. By this point, Sadie had consumed so much of her own leg and bandages that she had an obstructed bowel and was constantly vomiting, along with suffering a case of pneumonia. Sadie was euthanized.
After Sadie’s death, LMAS and Metro government blocked open records requests and Adkins was written up for calling Arrow Fund to help Sadie. Adkins was then allegedly reprimanded over the open records request LMAS was receiving and was threatened with job termination for bringing bad press down on the organization. Adkins chose to leave her position a few weeks later.
After Sadie’s euthanization, Brosko was promoted to the Mayor’s office. (Sidenote, this is not Brosko’s first brush with scandal. She formerly damaged an LMAS employee’s vehicle with a Metro vehicle and lied about it, even after LMPD proved that it happened.)
Later, the Arrow Fund claimed that they didn’t know if LMAs neglect played a role in Sadie’s story, despite social media posts right after the incident that emphasized “SEVERE NEGLECT” as a factor. The Ville Voice speculates this as being damage control so they won’t lose access to the needy animals in LMAS possession.
After all of this, Mayor Fischer ordered an internal investigation that found no wrongdoing or neglect on the part of LMAS. The investigation was conducted by LMAS.
Later, the mayor asked the Public Integrity Unit to investigate and promised complete transparency and cooperation. When the committee met for the first time on August 27, 2014, none of his staff was available to testify.
Sadie’s story isn’t the first instance of wrongdoing or scandal within Louisville Metro Animal Services. In January, a volunteer was suspended for putting photos and videos of adoptable dogs on social media.
Photo courtesy Louisville Metro Government