Animal Services Director resigns - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Animal Services Director resigns

By Bennett Haeberle WDRB-TV Fox 41 News

Dr. Gilles Meloche, the director of Metro Animal Services, has resigned, according to a release for the mayor's office.

Meloche, who has led the city's animal services department for several years, has faced mounting criticism in recent months including allegations of mismanagement, sexual harassment and citizens who complained of adopting sick animals.  His resignation will take effect Dec. 31.

Last week, it was learned that the department was conducting an internal review over public records that might have been intentionally lost, destroyed or concealed.  Sources say part of that probe deals with recent break-ins at a former satellite adoption center where records and computers were stolen.

A recent city audit found there were "inadequate controls" between Metro Animal Services and that satellite center, the Animal Adoption Agency in Middletown.  The two agencies formed a partnership in Nov. 2008 and had agreed to share animals and split the profits from adoptions.

But that partnership ended recently after the auditor's report showed the two agencies had difficulty tracking animals and revenue.

A Fox 41 News investigation uncovered instances where receipts appeared to be altered and revenues could not verified.

Michelle Hensel, the owner of the Animal Adoption Agency, told Fox 41 News during an interview Monday that Meloche should resign.  "I think something should happen immediately," said Hensel.

Hensel said she may sue the city for $27,000 she claims she's owed in expenses and vet bills, which she says were left over from her agreement with the city.

In a release from Mayor Jerry Abramson's office, Abramson praised Meloche, saying: For more than four years, Dr. Gilles Meloche has been a strong change agent who has helped professionalize our animal services operation and significantly increase the percentage of adopted animals."

The release did not include a reason for Meloche's resignation, only that he had "achieved most of the goals he set."

Stayed tuned to Fox 41 News and Fox 41.com for further updates.

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