Jerry Foley to become assistant director of city’s Metro Animal Services
By Emma Kennedy
Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at 4:00 am (Updated: September 28, 4:00 am)
One of Hardin County’s most prominent animal advocates will leave for Jefferson County next week to continue his career.
Aside from about a one-year hiatus, Jerry Foley has been the director of Hardin County’s animal control department since 1987. On Tuesday, he will move on to Louisville Metro Animal Services.
“Honestly, I love Hardin County and I love working in animal care and control in Hardin County, but I feel like this is a rare opportunity that I didn’t want to pass up,” Foley said.
Louisville’s animal services department has a new director, Ozzy Gibson, and Foley will take on the assistant director role.
“He is really committed to turning Louisville Metro Services into the best animal care and control facility in Kentucky, and I’m pretty excited to be a part of that,” Foley said.
When Foley first started at the shelter, there was one dog warden, an assistant dog warden and a part-time kennel tech. As he prepares to leave, he said there are about 12 employees and countless volunteers.
“We’re also lucky enough to have Friends of Hardin County Animal Shelter and PAWS (shelter foundation) to help us and last year we were voted the top animal care and control facility in the state,” he said.
Foley said some of the shelter’s biggest accomplishments in his close to 30-year tenure at the site have been related to adoptions and caring for animals.
The department is in a newer building and its staff has expanded, but Foley said he’s most proud of the spay and neuter program and euthanasia numbers going down.
According to the animal control department’s August report, the number of dogs euthanized year-to-date through August was down from 230 to 91, and cats from 923 to 779.
Spay and neuter increased by 213 surgeries between 2015 year-to-date and 2016 through August.
Foley said he’s unsure of who will replace him as director, but he hopes to see the momentum built by the staff continue.
“I have all the confidence in the world that Judge (Harry) Berry and the fiscal court absolutely know what they’re doing,” he said.
“I hope it keeps going in the same direction. Our euthanasia percentage is really low for our shelter and we want to keep it that way. We work really hard to get the animals out and into homes.”
Emma Kennedy can be reached at 270-505-1746 or firstname.lastname@example.org.