As the new Executive Director of the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA, I want to thank you for your warm reception. As I had heard, it does not take long to feel like Charlottesville is your home. I am delighted to be part of a community that cares about its animals.
Our SPCA is nationally known in the animal welfare community for setting the standard for excellence. Having been on the job now for a little over a month, I can tell you that the reputation is well deserved. In addition to a community that supports our mission, we have a dedicated Board of Directors, engaged and committed volunteers, and a professional and knowledgeable staff. I look forward to working with everyone to continue and expand the life-saving work that takes place at the SPCA and out in our community.
First and foremost, I will work to maintain our status as a No-Kill Community, an effort that requires an ongoing commitment as we enter our eighth No-Kill year. Over the coming months, I will also seek to improve our stewardship of the animals that come into our care as well as the administrative operations of our facility. We have already begun a number of positive changes involving our day-to-day operation. With the help of our dedicated staff, we hope to continue and build upon a tradition of providing excellent service to the animals and their human companions.
Our success depends on a community-wide effort that extends far beyond the walls of the SPCA. We rely on the support of many—a team of volunteers, foster families, local government officials, and our financial supporters. The goals of the SPCA could not be met without the core of volunteers that help ensure that the day-to-day tasks of animal care are completed. I intend to build on our extraordinary volunteer program that, in 2012, brought more than 800 volunteers to our facility.
We provide pound services for the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County. The support of government officials is critical to our success. I will work to maintain and strengthen our relationships with animal control personnel and others to ensure that we provide outstanding services to these local governments.
Finally, I will ensure that our financial supporters have confidence in the ways in which their contributions are used to help the animal and human community. Our operations must meet the standard of excellence. We are recognized for our leadership in the area of spay-neuter, for instance, an effort that has greatly reduced the number of unwanted animals in our community. We will continue working to maximize our success in reuniting lost pets with their owners and ensuring that animals entrusted to our care are placed into appropriate homes.
I want to congratulate the community for all of its accomplishments to date. I am proud to join you and look forward to building on the solid foundation already established in order to provide the best service possible for the animals and the Charlottesville/Albemarle community.