New LMAS managers talk controversy and change - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New LMAS managers talk controversy and change

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- From allegations of abuse to euthanizing animals for no reason, Louisville Metro Animal Services has been filled with controversy. But the new leadership team is trying to make a positive change.

They know it's not a glamorous job working at the LMAS intake facility on Manslick Road, but no animal is ever turned away.

"That means any animal that needs us we are here and the doors always open and we take those animals in," said new assistant director Stephanie Moore who started in August.

Workers admit between 11,000 and 15,000 animals every year at LMAS. That's roughly 36 every single day, filling up only 300 cages.

"Just in the few months that I've been here,” said Moore, “we've had some great rescue transports. This last week we sent 53 animals north to other shelters and rescue organizations where maybe their need is not as great."

Metro Government statistics show just four years ago the live release rate was less than 50 percent. That means more than half of the animals brought in were euthanized.

Numbers from November 2014 show the rate is closer to 80 percent, much higher than the goal of 63 percent.

"We're going to move forward in a positive manner and never look back," said new LMAS director Jessica Montgomery, who served in Iraq and spent 10 years as a veterinarian nurse in the military.

Montgomery knows that LMAS has a past controversy from mismanagement of the animals to allegations of abuse.

"The past is past, it's happened unfortunately and some very sad things happened in the past,“ said Montgomery. “What can we do as an executive team to make sure these things never happen again?”

Her team hopes to reduce the number of animals it takes in. It's also making online licensing easier for pet owners, and working with veterinarians all over the county to make sure all pets are fully vaccinated.

"And connections with the outside agencies like KHS and rescue groups,” said Montgomery, “and get good partnerships with them, cultivate those relationships where we can all work together for the common goal which is to get these animals out of the shelter and into homes."

The current facility, built in the 1960s, also needs an expansion and upgrade.

Montgomery says they hope to have a new location up and running, within the next three years.

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