Animal control chief resigned, gets paid leave

DANVILLE, Ind. - Hendricks County released a response Thursday regarding the departure of controversial Animal Control Chief Mary Anne Lewis, Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney reported.

Michael Graham, administrator to the Board of County Commissioners, said Lewis was placed on paid administrative leave the week of July 22.

Graham said Lewis submitted her resignation Tuesday, Aug. 12, but will remain on paid administrative leave until Aug. 29.

Lewis earns a salary of $42,046, Graham said.

The administrator did not provide reasons for Lewis’ departure, citing legal concerns about disclosing that information.

Last week, several workers at the shelter told RTV6 that Lewis was no longer working at the county. Shelter director Ladonna Hughes told Kenney she will handle animal control duties for the time being, and that the county is in the process of transferring Animal Control duties to the shelter building.

Last summer, the Call 6 Investigators reported Lewis was removed from her duties at the county animal shelter, yet continued to oversee animal control under the supervision of the sheriff at the work release center.

Lewis' departure comes after criticism of Lewis and the shelter's policies and euthanasia rates while she served as shelter director.

Hughes said last week the shelter has made great progress, including a new website and increased adoptions.

Allies for All Animals, an advocacy group once vocal of Lewis and the shelter, had nothing but praise for Hughes and what she's done for the facility.

"In the past year since LaDonna took over the reins, she has really turned the facility around 180 degrees to make it a facility we can all be proud of," said Sheryl Sackett, of Allies for All Animals. "They are now open all Saturdays and Sundays, which is much different from their old M-F hours and is now much more convenient for the public."

Follow Kara Kenney on Twitter: @karakenney6 | Facebook: KaraKenneyNews

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