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Roanoke regional pound names Milwaukee official as new head
David Flagler will start April 8 and says his first priority is building relationships with animal adoption and welfare groups.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
The regional pound’s new executive director is bringing his dog and the two cats he is fostering to Roanoke with him — and he hopes to persuade more of his new neighbors to take the same approach to strays.
David Flagler , who now runs Milwaukee’s animal control commission, says boosting adoption of strays is his top priority.
Flagler takes over as executive director of the Regional Center for Animal Control and Protection on April 8, the pound’s advisory board announced Thursday.
Flagler said one of his first initiatives will be to build relationships with adoption and animal welfare groups to boost the number of animals adopted and reduce the number that need to be euthanized .
He praised the center for what he described as one of the best placement rates for dogs in the nation. But trying to reduce the higher euthanasia rates for cats will be another early priority, he said.
An Air Force veteran, Flagler said his strong feelings for animals date back to the days he spent on guard duty or patrol, when his dog was his closest companion and main support.
He earned a degree in wildlife management after leaving the service and has worked in animal control ever since.
“ What I liked about him was when he said, ‘You need to reduce euthanasia rates because it’s the right thing to do,’ ” Roanoke County Administrator Clay Goodman said.
Late last year, the SPCA, which had run the pound previously, and the four communities the pound serves — Roanoke, Roanoke County, Vinton and Botetourt — agreed to separate operations of their conjoined centers on Baldwin Avenue in northeast Roanoke.
The separation came after public criticism about euthanasia rates at the pound and questions about the two groups’ finances. A financial audit released earlier this year said the separation made sense, but it found no misappropriation of funds.
The regional pound’s advisory board selected Flagler from a pool of 55 applications. He will be paid $80,000 a year.
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