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Mayor Tim Keller Announces New Leadership for Animal Welfare Department

Danny Nevarez selected as Director, Adam Ricci as Chief of Field Operations from national search

July 10, 2018

Mayor Tim Keller announced the results of a search for new leadership and expertise at the City of Albuquerque’s Animal Welfare Department (AWD). Mayor Keller has named Danny Nevarez as Director to improve and manage the day-to-day operations of AWD, and Adam Ricci as Chief of Field Operations to work on new initiatives to ensure the humane treatment of animals throughout the City.

The administration’s national search resulted in hiring an experienced director from within the City and finding a candidate with a wealth of animal welfare experience to focus on enhancing city programs and services.

“The Animal Welfare Department has been in serious need of a solid leadership team to create an animal-friendly city here in Albuquerque,” said Mayor Keller. “Danny Nevarez and Adam Ricci are going to provide the one-two-punch we need: steady, experienced management and fresh out-of-state expertise to bring proven initiatives to our city. With their help, we will increase spay and neuter programs, find forever homes for more pets, and step up efforts to fight animal abuse.”

Danny Nevarez has served as the acting director of AWD for the past 60 days. Under his leadership, the Department reduced the number of vacant field officer positions assigned to respond to animal service calls from ten to three, streamlined processes, and reorganized the Department to better align resources. Nevarez has served the City of Albuquerque for twenty-four years in many departments including APD, the Budget Office, and the Environmental Health Department. Nevarez’s combined business insight, technology expertise, and proven leadership contribute to his ability to develop high-performing teams and divisions.

“This is an opportunity to continue serving my city, and bring stability to the Animal Welfare Department,” stated Danny Nevarez. “I plan to use my experience here at the City to bring more accountability and efficiency to the department so it can best serve our city’s pets.”

Adam Ricci started his animal welfare career working for the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland as a kennel technician and adoption counselor. Throughout his career he has worked with city departments, animal rights organizations, and law enforcement agencies to develop training, assist with animal cruelty cases, and administer community engagement programs. Ricci serves on the National Animal Care and Control Association Board and the National Animal Rescue and Shelter Coalition

“Albuquerque is a beautiful place, and I’m excited to bring my specific expertise and knowledge to this department,” said Adam Ricci, the City’s new Chief of Field Operations at AWD. “With my experience on national boards and expansive experience across the country, I’ll be working to implement proven programs and training that will protect animals in the city and encourage responsible pet ownership.”

During his tenure as State Senator and State Auditor, Keller championed animal welfare issues by supporting spay and neuter programs and helping to defeat breed-specific legislation. The new AWD Director and Chief of Operations will be acting on specific directives from the Mayor to protect the lives of animals in Albuquerque.