ABILENE, Texas — The City of Abilene announced Thursday Justin Lelesch has been named Animal Services director.
According to a City release, Lelesch has been a City employee since 2016 when he was hired as a kennel technician.
Lelesch was previously promoted to animal control officer and field supervisor before being promoted to director.
“I'm pleased to be able to hire a known commodity and one who will continue the life-saving policies we have put into place over the last few years,” Robert Hanna, Abilene City Manager, said.
The City of Abilene partnered has partnered with Best Friends Animal Society throughout the past year to try to improve animal outcomes a the Abilene Animal Shelter, while the search for a new animal services director was conducted.
Lelesch worked with Michael Bricker, the Animal Services interim director, who has been overseeing the department since July.
"I'm excited for this next chapter for Abilene Animal Services. I am honored and humbled that the City has chosen me to take up the mantle, and I plan to pour my heart and soul into continuing the amazing work we are doing here," Lelesch said. "It is my goal to ensure that Animal Services is a department that our community is proud of; together I think we can make that happen."
Lelesch has a bachelor's of science from Ohio State University with a focus on animal sciences. He previously worked at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
Lelesch will assume his role effective immediately and will continue to work in consultation with Bricker and Best Friends Animal Society through the end of June.