Memo from City Manager Marc Ott:
TO: Mayor and City Council
FROM: Marc A. Ott, City Manager
DATE: October 28, 2014
SUBJECT: Resignation of Chief Animal Services Officer Abigail Smith
It is with regret that I inform you that the City of Austin family will be losing one of its valued members. Abigail Smith has officially given notice that she will be resigning as the Chief Animal Services Officer for the City of Austin. Her last day will be on December 12, 2014. Although she has been with the City for a little over three years, she has done much to ensure Austin’s animals have a happy home and good quality of life. I thank Abigail for her service to our community and wish her well in her future endeavors.
Abigail began her time with our City in March of 2011 and continued the work already being done to make Austin a No Kill City. Under her leadership, the Animal Services Office has maintained the No Kill live outcome rate of 90% or greater and Austin is considered a national leader in the field of animal welfare.
Under her watch, animal programs have been enhanced and partnerships with local animal welfare groups have increased. In fact, just recently, the Austin Coalition (Austin Animal Center, Austin Pets Alive!, and the Austin Humane Society) received a $3 million grant in recognition of Austin's no-kill status. It is through these approaches that she and her staff, along with the countless stakeholders she works with, have been able to exceed our live outcome goals and reach a current year live outcome rate of 94%.
Although her expertise will be difficult to replace, we will do our due diligence to find the best fit for our community. I will have discussions with staff on our interim plans and next steps on moving forward with a national recruitment to identify a replacement.
xc: Bert Lumbreras, Assistant City Manager
Assistant City Managers
Animal Advisory Commission