Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced Monday that No Kill Louisville—the only group that applied to run Metro Animal Services—wasn’t qualified to do so, and that he will be reopening his search for a new director for the agency. He cited the group’s lack of experience in operating an animal shelter and managing a staff of 30 people, and its request for more funding, beyond what was in the proposed contract.
“The city will immediately resume its search for a director of Metro Animal Services who can turn around the troubled agency and move it toward being a national model in which no adoptable animal is euthanized,” said Fischer. The Mayor’s action follows the recommendation of a committee against contracting adoption and sheltering services with a private organization.
“Our goal is to develop Metro Animal Services into a world-class agency,” Fischer said. “We must now strive to find a leader who is innovative and experienced to make that happen. We need a leader who can bring together animal advocates and our entire community. ”
The review committee decided against awarding No Kill a contract based on several factors including;
- the group is an all-volunteer organization and was formed just last year;
- it had no experience operating an animal shelter or managing a staff of at least 30;
- it requested Metro Government provide $800,000 to $1 million above the proposed contract to manage shelter and adoptions.
“Metro Animal Services is an agency facing many challenges,” Fischer said. “But, in recent weeks, we have already seen some improvement, including better communication with rescue groups that has led to more animals being adopted. Animal Services staff also responded well to the recent threat of floods. It leaves me hope that, with the right leadership, we can transform the agency.”
The search for a new director will continue using resumes submitted several months ago when the city announced its search. Fischer has directed that Sadiqa Reynolds, Chief of Community Building, move forward as quickly as possible to find a director.
“While we did not accept the proposal submitted, we fully expect to work with community partners like Alley Cat Advocates, No Kill, The Kentucky Humane Society and others because it is clear that it takes the entire animal community working together to significantly reduce the number of animals euthanized,” Reynolds said.
Jim Brammell, an executive with the Louisville Water Co. who was a member of a six-person team that completed an extensive review of Animal Services, said he supports the Mayor’s decision to resume the search. “The agency needs the right leader to undergo a complete turnaround,” Brammell said.
WHAS-11’s Joe Arnold reports: