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City of Abilene set to begin nationwide search for Animal Services Director

Post Date:12/04/2018 8:17 AM

The City of Abilene will soon begin a nationwide search for a Director of Animal Services. This comes following the resignation of Animal Services Director Mirenda Walden, effective December 3, 2018.

The City received a complaint regarding the supervision and management of animal services personnel. The City promptly investigated this complaint. Subsequent to this investigation, Walden resigned.

“The search for a new Animal Services Director will be an opportunity to continue to move our animal services program forward. Additionally, and as previously discussed with the City Council during budget hearings, we will begin formal analysis of replacing our current shelter with a new, modern facility. I do not anticipate the search for a new Director to slow this process down,” said City Manager Robert Hanna. “It is important that we take the time to find the right person to serve in this important position, and it is equally important that we keep the public’s business moving forward.”

Walden was hired with the City of Abilene in November of 2015, serving as the interim Assistant Director of Community Services. She was named Director of Animal Services in September 2016.
“It has been an honor to be part of the City of Abilene organization and a privilege to serve the citizens and animals of this community. Animal Services is tasked with providing a challenging service and I am deeply proud of all that we accomplished. Through our efforts adoption and save rate percentages improved by double digits, key grants were earned that allowed us to offer the first ever public low-cost spay/neuter voucher program, and we forged important relationships with national organizations that will continue to yield benefits for the animals in the Abilene community for years to come. I eagerly look forward to all of the future successes of Animal Services, " said Walden.

Mr. Hanna intends to hire a national search firm to assist in the recruitment of the best possible person for the position. “It is important to recruit the best talent we can. This position is historically one of the more difficult positions to recruit. The use of a search firm will assist us in finding the person most capable of leading this important service for our community,” said Hanna. It is anticipated a search will take from three to five months to complete.

In the interim, Animal Services is being administered by the two current supervisors, with managerial oversight and support being provided by Deputy City Manager Mindy Patterson.

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City of Abilene News Release