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Starting in January, there will be a new leader of the City of Pocatello Animal Services Department.
At Thursday’s City Council meeting, the Council voted to confirm Mayor Brian Blad’s appointment of Richard Stewart to the Animal Services Director position. Stewart will make his way to Pocatello from Richmond, Virginia and the City of Richmond’s Animal Care and Control Department.
“Richard has the right mix of technical experience and leadership ability for the job,” said Mayor Blad. “Animal Services is not an easy field to work in but I’m confident he will build on the good foundation that Mary Remer has laid for the department.”
While in Richmond, he served in several positions including Shelter Supervisor, Field Supervisor, and most recently as a Licensing and Special Projects Coordinator. Stewart is also a veteran, having served four years in the United States Marine Corps.
“I want to assess the current state of our programs and standard operating procedures for the department. This will help us to see what improvements we can make to raise our live release rate and lower the homeless pet population,” said Stewart via email. “These are daunting tasks that every municipal animal services department is faced with and it takes not just one person, but a whole community coming together to achieve success.”
Part of that process will be getting to know the employees under his charge.
“I can't wait to meet the staff and volunteers” Stewart said. “The dedication it takes to come in everyday no matter rain, snow, holidays, or unforeseen disasters is beyond admirable in my eyes.”
On a personal level, Stewart will be bringing his wife, daughter, and two dogs to the Gate City.
“I am beyond excited for this opportunity and the adventure my family and I have in front of us,” Stewart said. “In my short visit to Pocatello, I was blown away at how friendly everyone was. This is the type of place where I want to raise my children and become a part of an amazing community,” Stewart said.
For more information on the Animal Services department, visit Pocatello.us/Animal.