Metro Animal Services Director Dr. Gilles Meloche (you can say he’s embattled, controversial, etc) is resigning.

From the Mayor’s Office:

Metro Animal Services Director Gilles Meloche, who helped modernize the animal protection agency over the past four years, will be leaving his post effective Dec. 31.

Assistant Director Wayne Zelinsky will lead Metro Animal Services as interim director. Meloche will work closely with Zelinsky over the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition.

“For more than four years, Dr. Meloche has been a strong change agent who has helped professionalize our animal services operation and significantly increase the percentage of adopted animals,” said Mayor Jerry Abramson. “I appreciate his dedication and service to our community, and I wish him much success.”

Meloche said his agency has achieved most of the goals he set, including modernizing the city’s animal ordinance, increasing staffing and equipment and building a new adoption facility. During his tenure, animal adoptions have dramatically increased and the percentage of euthanized animals has significantly decreased.

“It has been a privilege to work to improve the quality of life for citizens and animals,” Meloche said. “Now is a good time for me to pursue the next phase of my career.”

Meloche’s decision comes after multiple calls for his resignation. Documents have been lost (or destroyed), he’s being sued for sexual harassment and we won’t get into all the accusations about animal mistreatment right now.