Mayor Fischer announces new leadership for Louisville Metro Anim - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Mayor Fischer announces new leadership for Louisville Metro Animal Services

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Montgomery (far right) at the Mayor Fischer's announcement. Montgomery (far right) at the Mayor Fischer's announcement.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- After a year and a half search, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer finally named a new Metro Animal Services director.

The woman selected will lead a department with a troubled history and recent allegations of abuse and neglect.

Before being named the new director of Metro Animal Services, Jessica Montgomery spent the last 10 years on active duty in the Army.

She worked with wounded military dogs in Iraq and says her military background has prepared her well for this new role.

“As you know, it's a very stressful, high paced environment to work in a shelter. You're working with life and death, you're working with emotional things,” Montgomery said.

She says her first mission is to move out of the Manslick Road shelter and into a new facility.

“As you know it is outdated, it was built in the 60s so it doesn't provide the best adequate care for the animals right now so we're trying to get out of it as quickly as possible,” she says.

She takes over for Justin Scally who left LMAS in May of 2013.

He's largely credited with cleaning up the shelter and what was an incredibly troubled department.

“Our management team does everything from working on management stuff to cleaning cages, cleaning the dock,” Scally told WDRB in a 2012 interview. “Oh I clean cages,” Scally said when we asked if that was one of his tasks.

Now MAS faces new controversy, coming under fire when abuse allegations surfaced in August over a dog named Sadie. The dog was brought to the shelter in bad shape and was eventually euthanized.

The Mayor's office says an investigation into the incident is ongoing.

“We hope that process is coming to a conclusion any systemwide improvements whether it involves metro or within the animal shelter will be implemented by this team,” Mayor Greg Fischer said.

Montgomery says she plans to be in Louisville long term and says her focus will always be on what's best for the animals in her care.

“You really want to save them all, but you can't do that,” Montgomery said. “So you have to be able to make the best choices and base these decisions on that animal's welfare and the overall big picture.”

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