Helmetta, New Jersey city council member Christopher Slavicek was on November 14, 2014 named director of the Helmetta Regional Animal Shelter, succeeding Michal Cielesz. Opened in 2011, the Helmetta Regional Animal Shelter was built to serve 21 Middlesex and Monmouth County municipalities, but at least one of them withdrew from the operating agreement in October 2014, amid a storm of criticism from activists and volunteers over a variety of management issues. Announced New Jersey state public health veterinarian Colin T. Campbell on November 14, 2014, just prior to Slavicek’s appointment, “Currently all animals at the facility are under quarantine and they cannot bring in or release any animals currently held at the facility until current disease issues are resolved.”
Lapeer, Michigan animal control chief Carla Frantz, an employee of the agency for more than 20 years, on November 10, 2014 confirmed her resignation, telling Eric Dresden of MLive.com that she was pursuing another employment opportunity. Frantz came under intensive criticism after two Cane Corsos fatally mauled jogger Craig Sytsma, 46, on July 23, 2014. The attack was the third in three years involving dogs belonging to Sebastiano Quagliata and Valbona Lucaj, who have been charged with second degree murder and harboring a dangerous animal causing death.
Mike Fry, executive director of the Animal Ark shelter in Hastings, Minnesota, resigned in early November 2014 to focus on No Kill Learning, a web site and shelter management consulting service. Fry was succeeded on an interim basis by nonprofit management consultant Curt Peterson.
Louisville mayor Greg Fischer on October 22, 2014 introduced Jessica Jo Montgomery as new director of Louisville Metro Animal Services, Stephanie Moore as assistant director for operations, and Daisey Blakeman as director of animal control and law enforcement. The new leadership team succeeded interim director Donald Robinson and former senior manager of special initiatives and communications Margaret Brosko. Robinson and Brosko were both transferred to other positions in the Louisville city government. Montgomery, originally from San Antonio, Texas, is a 10-year veteran of the U.S. Army Veterinary Command and still a U.S. Army reservist, who previously headed a veterinary team in Iraq. Louisville Metro Animal Services had been without permanent leadership for 16 months. Justin Scally, the previous director, left in 2012 to become national director for humane intervention with the American Humane Association in Washington D.C. Just 25 when hired a year earlier, Scally had been the youngest animal control director of a major U.S. city in several decades.
The Animal Welfare Society of West Kennebunk, Maine, on October 30, 2014 introduced as new executive director Abigail L. Smith. Smith, to start in her new position at the beginning of 2015, previously headed the Tompkins County SPCA in Ithaca, New York from 2007 to March 2011, when she became executive director of the Austin Animal Center in Austin, Texas. While Smith was much lauded for introducing a “no kill” animal control policy in Austin, the Austin Animal Center has also been much criticized for overcrowding and for soaring animal control costs.
Awards & Honors
Darren Aronofsky, director of the film Noah, starring Russell Crowe, is to be honored by the Humane Society of the U.S. on November 21, 2014 for managing to make the film with no use of live animals.
Jim Moran (D-Virginia), U.S. Representative from the 8th District in Northern Virginia since 1991, was on November 13, 2014 honored by the American SPCA for long service as co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Animal Protection Caucus. Moran, retiring at the end of 2014, will be succeeded in Congress by fellow Democrat Don Beyer, elected in November 2014. Beyer has pledged to follow up on Moran’s longtime effort to pass legislation which would prohibit testing cosmetic products on animals, and prohibit the sale of new cosmetic products if they or their ingredients are developed through the use of animal testing. Similar legislation took effect in 2013 within the European Union and in India.
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