Mayor Names New Director, Leadership Team at Animal Services

October 22, 2014

Mayor Greg Fischer today named a new three-person leadership team for Louisville Metro Animal Services (LMAS), including a director who has spent much of her career in veterinary medicine for the United States Army Veterinary Command, caring for wounded military working dogs.

Jessica Jo Montgomery has 15 years of animal welfare and leadership experience and begins her new role as LMAS director this week, Fischer said at a news conference announcing her hiring.

Montgomery spent ten years with the US Army Veterinary Command, including service in Iraq where she managed a team of veterinary soldiers dispersed in base camps throughout the country. She cared for over 40 wounded military working dogs including combat stress dogs and thousands of personal pets for military families. 

She was a champion of responsible pet ownership and animal welfare during her service in Guam, the United Kingdom and the states.

Montgomery advocated for opportunities for veterinary soldiers to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination.

She is a decorated veteran with numerous achievement medals and ribbons including 2 Army Commendation Medals, 3 Army Achievement Medals and 3 Good Conduct Medals.

Montgomery continues to serve as a non-commissioned officer in veterinary support with the Army Reserves Civil Affairs Division.

“Jessica is the right leader to further strengthen our national animal welfare partnerships, increase our live release rate and encourage responsible pet ownership in our community,” Fischer said. “She brings a depth of experience and compassion for animals.”

The Mayor today also introduced two other members of the LMAS team. Stephanie Moore is serving as Assistant Director of Operations and Daisey Blakeman is Executive Administrator, overseeing animal control and enforcement, respectfully.

“This new team will build upon the remarkable progress that has occurred the last four years at LMAS, where a dedicated team of employees has increased the live release rate from 38 percent to 74 percent in four years,” Fischer said.

Montgomery began her career in 2000 with the St. Francis de Assisi Veterinary Clinic in San Antonio. From 2003-2013, she served a variety of roles in the Army, including Hospital Administrator and Lead Veterinary Technician on a military base in Balad, Iraq.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology from St. Petersburg College in Florida and is pursuing a master’s degree from Texas A&M in business administration.

“The hard-working team at LMAS has made so many improvements and I look forward to taking those achievements to an even higher level,” Montgomery said.

Assistant Director Moore has more than 10 years of experience in animal care and most recently served as Executive Director of the Medina County, Ohio chapter of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  She was also a program coordinator for Humane Society of the United States and Executive Director of Jefferson (Ohio) Humane Society, an open admission shelter serving approximately 8,000 animals per year. As a team member with the ASPCA, Moore was involved in the 2nd largest dog fighting case in United States history involving approximately 400 pit bulls and the largest cockfighting case with over 4,000 birds affected.

Executive Administrator Blakeman most recently served as a supervisor at Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control. Blakeman brings a great deal of dispatch management, emergency response management and animal ordinance enforcement experience to LMAS. As Disaster Response Team Leader, she had oversight of the Palm Beach County pet friendly shelter which houses 600 animals and 300 people during hurricanes or other disasters.

Fischer noted that in 2010, just before he became Mayor, Animal Services was a department in crisis, with a vacuum in leadership and a live animal release rate of 38 percent. In less than four years, the agency has been transformed with a live release rate of 74 percent while creating strategic partnerships with local and national animal agencies, including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and Best Friends Animal Society.