Updated: 10:55 p.m.
It was a warm welcome for the man city and county leaders named as the new executive director for the Roanoke Center for Animal Control and Protection, David Flagler.
"I do not sense I am coming in and correcting a big problem. We just need to find new direction," says Flagler.
For years the pound was criticized for its euthanasia rates. Flagler wants to turn things around by increasing the live release rate, specifically for cats. As you may remember Botetourt County removed it cats from the pound, when they feared they may be euthanized. County representative Tony Zerrilla hopes to bring them back.
"We are looking for improvement in that area, and with David's experience we are hoping he will be able to manage that process and improvement compared to where we are now," says Zerrilla.
Facility improvements are another priority, to make sure there are things like proper medical care. Roanoke city is prepared to give an additional $150,000 says Roanoke city manager Chris Morrill
But the changes need community support says Flagler
"Our future is in our placement partners. The future of this animal shelter is in the community," says Flagler.
He says he plans to partner with adoption groups to get more animals adopted. A lot like the recent event at dickens of a Christmas, when pound dogs were in downtown Roanoke and adopted.
"He brings the willingness to partner with others. It needs to be a community effort to reduce the euthanasia rate," says Morrill.
David Flagler has been named the new executive director for the Roanoke Center for Animal Control and Protection (RCACP). All four localities who use the center welcomes Flagler at a press conference earlier, to share what to except moving forward.
As we have reported back in July, then director Bill Watson resigned and in November the pound and the SPCA split.
Flagler previously worked in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Leaders say they believe Flagler will work together with the localities and community to improve live release rates at the pound.