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Animal Shelter makes adjustments

BY MICHAEL KADRIE | SEPTEMBER 16, 2014 5:00 AM

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Iowa City officials will need to find a suitable guiding hand for the city’s Animal Care & Adoption Center.

The resignation of longtime Animal Center Director Misha Goodman on Sept. 10 has created the need for a far-reaching search for a permanent director.

Goodman said she would like to see the search committee include at least one citizen of Iowa City as well as someone who is a director of a nearby animal-services facility.

Iowa City police Sgt. Scott Gaarde said the search for a new director, which will stretch across the nation, should begin in the next month or so, but as of yet, there are no definitive metrics for the selection.

The police supervise the city program and are responsible for the selection of the new director.

While the search for the new permanent director gets underway, Liz Ford, a senior Animal Center staff member, will become the interim director.

Goodman worked with Animal Center in Iowa City for 21 years; she will now transition to a similar post in New Mexico.

“I’ve got big shoes to fill,” Ford said.

Gaarde said he thinks “Ford is more than capable of handling it.”

Ford’s qualifications include a management background involving finance, animal-control certification, experience as an animal care technician, and overall knowledge of the operation.
Gaarde said Goodman has been doing an “outstanding” job catching Ford up on the knowledge necessary to run the Animal Center.

“[The] biggest challenge is learning the everyday policies and procedures,” Goodman said.

Ford said she is counting on the robust volunteer program engineered by Goodman, which includes more than 350 members, to help her keep everything running smoothly.

“We’re a little short staffed,” Ford said. “One of our main animal caretakers is out with an injury.”

Ford said since she began working in the Animal Center, both permanent and transitory residents always seems to be there to provide valuable assistance.

Goodman said another challenge the new director will face is the overseeing the Animal Center’s new location, 3910 Napoleon Lane, which is scheduled to open in May 2015.

Originally located at the intersection of Clinton Street and Kirkwood Avenue, the shelter was irreparably damaged during the 2008 flood.

The new building boasts sustainable temperature control, higher water pressure, and more space that will allow more appropriate organization of the animals. Larger office spaces, medical rooms, and areas for animal meet-and-greets will better facilitate both staff and visitors.

City officials estimate the new shelter will cost approximately $2.8 million.

Goodman said the new director will have to ensure the new building is built properly, while also creating new sets of procedures for the expanded and revamped space.

Gaarde said it was a great opportunity for the new director to “establish their own footprint” in the organization.

“We have a bright future ahead of us,” Ford said.


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