BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A lawsuit can now move forward against Baltimore County over how its animal shelter is run.

A ruling from the State Court of Appeals said that county residents can sue the county; citing waste of their tax dollars in the alleged mismanagement of the animal shelter.

“We feel the animals deserve better and the people who voice concerns should not continue to be ignored,” Lynn Greene said.

The fight started years ago over alleged mistreatment of animals at the shelter.

Anne George is the lead plaintiff in the case. She said the lawsuit is not about money, but change.

“This suit bears out exactly what Johnny Olszewski found when he got in there, that there’s a lot of money that was being wasted,” George said.

Animal Services moved into a new facility in 2015. Last year, four employees – including the animal shelter’s director – were let go.

The lawsuit suggests that the county wasted taxpayer money through a lack of proper care.

“This suit was filed on the basis that taxpayers have rights in terms of how the government should spend their money and that when we see waste, we can do something about it,” George said.

In a statement to WJZ, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said in part, “departmental leadership has a focus on best practices and increased engagement outreach.”

Paul Gessler