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Louisville Metro Animal Services director to step down

The logo for Louisville Metro Animal Services
Louisville Metro Animal Services
Louisville Metro Animal Services Director Ashley Book is stepping down later this month to pursue opportunities outside of Metro Government.

Ashley Book is leaving Louisville Metro Animal Services after seven years with the department.

According to a news release from the mayor’s office on Wednesday, Book will pursue opportunities outside of Louisville Metro Government.

She joined the department as assistant director in 2017. She was promoted to interim director in 2020 and took over as permanent director last April.

“I have been truly honored to serve the city and its homeless pet population for so many years,” Book said in the release. “Louisville Metro Animal Services will always hold a special place in my heart because of the incredible work they do to help pets and the citizens of Jefferson County. Moving forward, I still plan to volunteer at the shelter. I am excited about the new opportunity I have been offered to continue working towards positive change.”

Book’s last day as director is Jan. 19, according to the release. City officials said they will appoint an interim director soon.

“Ashley took over LMAS at the beginning of the pandemic and led the department through challenging times,” Deputy Mayor for Emergency Services David James said in the release. “She and her team have achieved success over the past several years, working with community partners and the public to find new homes for thousands of animals. We wish her all the best going forward.”

The shelter took in more than 8,000 animals in 2022, according to an annual report from LMAS. It was the sixth consecutive year the shelter kept its live-release rate above 90%.

In January 2023, the shelter lost its “no-kill” status due to overcrowding.

Book’s resignation follows recent departures of directors from other agencies in the city. Lisa Osanka announced she would resign as Louisville Metro Housing Authority’s executive director in September amid criticism. In November, Carrie Butler announced she was leaving her role as TARC’s executive director after three years.

Giselle is LPM's breaking news reporter. Email Giselle at grhoden@lpm.org.