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Realignment in Management at Animal Welfare

Change in leadership is directed to implement reforms and build on success

October 1, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE - Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry announced today that the Animal Welfare Director, Barbara Bruin will move into a new role effective Nov. 1, 2015. The Department will retain Bruin as an advisor to utilize her extensive institutional knowledge to continue to maintain and strengthen the critical partnerships the department has made within the community over the last six years. In particular, she will focus on programs that address ending Albuquerque’s pet overpopulation problem and keeping animals out of the shelter.

“It has been an honor to lead this department for the past 6 years,” Director Bruin stated.  “My focus has always been to help our community, our people and our animals.  I’m proud of the accomplishments we’ve made and I look forward to my new role and supporting the efforts of the new leadership.”

Bruin’s record as the Department’s director over the last 6 years celebrated a 77% decrease in euthanasia while maintaining the largest shelter in the state.  Over the past 6 years, Bruin has also reduced intake by 30%, down from approximately 26,000 animals flowing into our shelters in 2009, to approximately 18,000 last year. She has also changed the culture of the once marginalized department into one that is well respected by the city’s animal advocate partners such as Animal Humane/New Mexico and Watermelon Mountain Ranch.

The new deputy director, Paul Caster, will build upon this success and is expected to join the department in the coming weeks. He has extensive experience in program management, supervision, operational analysis, and internal review to improve the functionality of the department’s programs. The deputy director will assume all management responsibilities and oversee the day-to-day operations of the department while a search for the Director of Animal Welfare Department occurs. His past experience includes:

  • SHARE Animal Rescue Organization Board of Directors
  • Animal Welfare Department Coordinator
  • Air Force Chief of Aerospace Studies
  • S. Army Intelligence Center and School Deputy Director
  • S. Army Command Chief of Testing and Internal Review
  • Assistant Sectary for the Army Senior Operations Analyst

The Animal Welfare Department is currently implementing several additional improvements in the Department. At Mayor Berry’s request, many changes are underway to ensure safe adoptions so animals at our shelters can find their forever home while ensuring public safety. Additional changes expected at the department include:

  1. The development of an animal behavioral program led by four behavior specialists.
  2. The establishment of new Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for determining the adoptability of animals and setting clearer standards for euthanasia decisions by the Population Management Team (PMT). The SOP determines the members of the PMT and the process by which they will ensure public safety and welfare of the dogs.  This SOP also includes specific criteria on staff and volunteer holds.
  3. The Animal Welfare Director will not be a member of the Population Management Team.

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