Contained in the stack of City Hall memos distributed to media last night was one from Assistant City Manage Forest Turner to the mayor and council members. In it, Turner announced that at long last, the city has chosen the new manager for Animal Services: Jody Jones.
Jones, who is expected to start June 15, comes to Dallas from Richmond, Virginia, where she's presently the operations manager for Richmond Animal Care and Control; she also had a lengthy stint as a director of New York City's Animal Care and Control. And in May '08 she was part of an advisory group assembled by the National District Attorneys Association, which was charged with creating "an animal cruelty and fighting curriculum for prosecutors and allied professionals."
Jones will replace Lieutenant Scott Walton, interim division manager at Dallas Animal Services -- and the man who rode to the rescue following nightmare story after nightmare story coming out of the shelter, where one manager was indicted on felony animal cruelty charges after allowing a cat to die inside a wall. Then came more investigations, resignations and that damning report from the Humane Society -- the second such report in a decade.
Jones comes to town three days before the mayoral runoff election, which I note only because, if you'll recall, former Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle weighed in on the state of the shelter early during the campaign. He said he'd like to see Dallas become "No-Kill City." And where does Jones stand on that particular subject? Glad you asked:
I do not believe you need to "declare" yourself "No-Kill" in order to accomplish the goal as long as you adopt the proper philosophy. However you need to be able to free yourself from the day to day and create long term vision, plans and programs. The public loves to hear shelters have gone "No-Kill" and sometimes it's just what they need to hear to bring the added awareness & attention and additional resources to your cause.
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Jump for the memo. Don't worry. It won't bite.