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City Announces Finalists For Shelter Chief Job

Town Lake Animal Center has been without a permanent director since May.
Photo by KUT
Town Lake Animal Center has been without a permanent director since May.

The City of Austin has announced the list of finalists for the Chief Animal Services Officer position that's been vacant since May.  The finalist chosen for the job will have authority over the city's shelter operations, and will oversee the move from Town Lake Animal Center to the city's new shelter in East Austin. 

The finalists will be in Austin on Monday, November 8th for interviews and a public meet-and-greet.  The city is wants feedback from the public.

From the City of Austin:

Five candidates will be interviewed earlier in the day on Nov. 8. Finalists will be selected after the interviews and invited to the meet-and-greet session with the public. Those scheduled for interviews include:   Linda A. Haller, former Chief Animal Services Officer, El Dorado Animal Services, Placerville, Calif. Laura L. Hinze, Operations Director, PAWS Chicago, Chicago. Ellen Jefferson, DVM, President, Austin Pets Alive, Austin. Julie Seal, Director of Charitable Development, Anova (an organization working with autistic and learning-disabled children), Santa Rosa, Calif., and founder of RESCUE, an animal welfare organization in Phoenix. Abigail Smith, Executive Director, Tompkins County SPCA, Ithaca, N.Y.

Several of the finalists have experience working at shelters that have adopted a "no-kill" model, which the the Austin City Council adopted earlier this year.   As we've reported in the past, the new shelter chief has a tall order to fill, and expectations are high.

Matt Largey is the Projects Editor at KUT. That means doing a little bit of everything: editing reporters, producing podcasts, reporting, training, producing live events and always being on the lookout for things that make his ears perk up. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @mattlargey.