ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The City of Abilene’s animal services will experience some changes this year, with new management of the shelter and new partnerships.

The Abilene Police Department (APD) will now work with animal control officers, according to John Ramirez, APD’s Administrative Sergeant.

“The animal outreach team is made up of six animal control officers that were previously with the animal services with the City of Abilene,” Ramirez explained. “We’re excited to have the animal control officers transition to APD and join us and help us support the neighborhoods and just the community as a whole.”

This comes after the city partnered with ‘ALL KIND Animal Initiative’, the new managing organization of the Abilene Animal Shelter. Andrea Robinson, Board President of the All Kind Animal Initiative, shed some light on how this partnership with the city has entailed so far.

“We’ve spent a lot of time trying to talk through what that relationship will look like, to make sure that when a community member or a citizen calls in that they are receiving that response and that we’re ready to take it from there once the animals been picked up and we need to bring it into the shelter,” said Robison.

Lindsey Houts, Animal Control Supervisor, said the shift will now give the All Kind Animal Initiative the ability to focus more on shelter relations while still working collaboratively with APD and its animal control.

“We are still going to be doing the animal calls that we’ve always done,” Houts explained. “They’re going to be two separate entities, so if we impound your animal, you’re going to go to the shelter to reclaim it. So, if you have any reclaim questions, that would be a shelter question instead of an animal control question.”

During this transition phase, APD and the All Kind Animal Initiative would like to remind the public to be patient as they settle into these new roles. For more information about shelter services, you can visit All Kind Animal Initiative’s website or the city’s website at Animal Services | Abilene, TX (abilenetx.gov.