Austin City Manager Marc Ott has named Abigail Smith the sole finalist for the chief animal services officer position. In a memo to the Mayor and City Council Members, Ott said the city received many positive comments about Smith -- who's currently the executive director of the Tompkins County SPCA in Ithaca, NY.
Last year, 94% of the animals entering that shelter, left alive. The Austin City Council has set a goal of 90% live outcomes for Town Lake Animal Center. The new chief animal services officer will be responsible for implementing the city's plan to get to that goal. Smith's current shelter takes in only a small fraction of the animals Town Lake does.
A delegation of city officials and stakeholders will visit the Tompkins County shelter before she is hired.