Charles Jackson, the Montgomery County Animal Shelter director, has officially submitted his resignation, according to county officials.

Jackson took over the shelter in mid-December, at which time he said his focus was on getting animals out alive and the cleanliness of the shelter. His last day with the county will be April 14 as he is leaving to take an executive director position with Rescued Pets Movement, he announced in a post on Facebook.

“The people who work and volunteer at the shelter are amazing,” Jackson said in his post. “We have some of the best staff in the country and I was lucky to lead them. Ultimately, I had to decide what was best for my family. I believe in RPM’s mission and I have wanted to work with this group of dynamic people for a very long time. At the end of the day, this opportunity was too good for me to pass up.” Charles Jackson

During his tenure as director, Jackson began several initiatives to improve conditions at the shelter. He changed the hours of operation at the facility to allow more time for daily cleanings of cages and kennels and helped launch an adoption initiative over the holidays during which time more than 300 animals were adopted.

The shelter’s live release rate, or the percentage of animals leaving the shelter alive, also improved under Jackson, from 89.7 percent in December to 93.2 percent in February.

Prior to Jackson, Todd Hayden served as director of the shelter from March 2016 until the summer when the county announced it would be conducting a nationwide search for a new director. Hayden replaced former director Michael White, who left the shelter in February 2016 after serving eight days in the position.

Montgomery County took over management of the animal shelter in fall 2015 after terminating a contract with Care Corporations due to concerns over poor conditions at the facility off Hwy. 242.

Community Impact Newspaper has reached out to Jackson and the Montgomery County judge’s office for further comments.