In January, an award-winning volunteer for Louisville Metro Animal Services, Briana Holloway, was suspended for posting photos and videos of Louisville Metro Animal Services-housed dogs on her personal Facebook page. The offending posts were pictures and videos of "bully breed" dogs housed at LMAS's Manslick facility, sometimes with captions urging readers to adopt these dogs. Below is an example of one of these videos:
On the evening of Jan. 30, Holloway addressed the Louisville Metro City Council with her concerns. The full speech can be viewed below:
In her speech, Ms. Holloway reiterated her belief that dogs housed in LMAS's Manslick facility were discriminated against. "It is essential that Louisville Metro Animal Services promote adoptable animals at both facilities…currently, adoptable animals at Manslick are kenneled 24/7."
Speaking about her suspension, Holloway said, "I feel that my suspension was punishment for memorializing a euthanized animal. How can we reduce euthanasia if we cannot discuss it?"
Holloway said she has received no response from the city council or the mayor's office. "There hasn't been any kind of updates, there hasn't been any kind of change on their end."
On Feb. 18, Holloway will be reviewing her future volunteering opportunities with LMAS. "If they're going to like gag me and tell me that I can't talk about euthanized animals, then I'm not going to do it," says Holloway, "To me, they could have used this as a platform to talk about pet overpopulation…instead, they're just being really rigid and stuck in their ways."
When asked what she would do if banned from volunteering with LMAS in the future, Holloway said adamantly, "Well, then I will keep going until they change things at Manslick. If they're serious about adoption, like they say they are, then put an adoption coordinator at Manslick."
Holloway says she has received some support, but not enough. "The problem is that some people are fearful of retaliation of metro. They don't want to be banned from volunteering. They don't want metro to come in and take all their fosters away. We should really stand up to them…the animals need to come first."