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Animal Services chief moving on

Thursday, April 13, 2017 by Jo Clifton

Interim City Manager Elaine Hart announced Wednesday that Austin is losing its highly regarded chief animal services officer, Tawny Hammond. In a memo to Mayor Steve Adler and City Council, Hart said Hammond has accepted the position of director of the Midwest region for the Best Friends Animal Society. Hart wrote that, “The Best Friends Animal Society has set a goal of bringing the nation to No Kill by 2025, and Tawny will join the team leading this effort.” Hammond joined the city in June 2015 and Hart said, “Although her time in Austin has been brief, Tawny and her team have accomplished incredible milestones.” Those include reducing the population of the Animal Center from about 1,400 when she started to about 500 currently by increasing efforts in adoption and foster services, and achieving a record live outcome of 98.7 percent this month. In addition, Hart noted that under Hammond’s leadership, the department has “identified prevention and field services initiatives that will reduce shelter population and assist residents with pet related emergencies and challenges.” Hammond also led an effort to work with the Travis County Sheriff’s Office on its first ever inmate and homeless pet program. Prior to her move to Austin, Hammond served as director of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter in Virginia. Hart said she would confer with her team to appoint an interim animal services officer soon.

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