Unknown Object Tawny Hammond was announced as the new chief animal services officer on May 22.[/caption]

Tawny Hammond was named the new chief animal services officer for Austin, the city announced May 22.

Hammond previously served as the director of the Animal Shelter in Fairfax County, Va., where she led an open-access facility that served 1.2 million residents in a roughly 400-square-mile area, according to a city news release. During her tenure the shelter became the largest jurisdiction in the U.S. with a live-release outcome rate greater than 90 percent.

“We’ve seen a revolution in animal sheltering over the past decade and Austin has been on the forefront, leading the way,” Hammond said in a statement. “I cannot wait to live in a community that puts such a high value on the bond between people and animals.”

Hammond settles into the new role starting June 15. Her job responsibilities include overseeing the operations of the Austin Animal Center, which serves Austin, Travis County and more than 18,000 animals annually.

“Tawny Hammond is viewed as a leader in the field of animal services,” City Manager Marc Ott said in a statement. ‘We’re pleased to have her join the City of Austin family.”

Deputy Animal Services Officer Chris Noble served as interim officer following Abigail Smith's decision to leave the position in December after working for the city for slightly more than three years, according to the city of Austin. Noble did not apply for the permanent position.