El Paso Animal Services director retiring, interim director named

Paula Powell

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Paula Powell, who served as director of El Paso Animal Services since July 2017, is retiring. Ramon Herrera has been named as Interim Director of El Paso Animal Services.

Powell will be joining Best Friends Animal Society as the South Central Regional Manager and will still serve the El Paso community.

“We are appreciative to Paula Powell for her more than 26 years of services and her devotion to her community that resulted in lasting impacts in both Parks and Recreation and Animal Services,” said City Manager Tommy Gonzalez. “We wish her the best in her new position.”

Powell has been with the City of El Paso in various roles, starting in 1999 when she served as sports manager. She was in that role for nearly 15 years before being named an assistant director. She was named interim director of Animal Services in 2017 and became director in 2018. Powell is credited with moving the shelter toward a no-kill policy.

“Ms. Powell served each one of her departments to her fullest to ensure the citizens of El Paso received the high-quality services and amenities they deserve,” said Deputy City Manager Dionne Mack. “We are also thrilled to capitalize on our own internal talent and excited to offer a great opportunity to El Paso native Ramon Herrera.”

Herrera, who has been with the City for almost a decade in various key roles, was a member of the Shelter Reform Taskforce that implemented departmental changes. As Marketing and Public Engagement Manager and a member of the Taskforce, his leadership has resulted in increased adoptions, reduction in disease exposure and enhanced community engagement.

“Through a systematic and strategic approach, we have identified and cultivated new leaders among our organization in recent years,” said Managing Director and Fire Chief Mario D’Agostino, who oversees the Animal Services Department. “Ramon has been a vital piece to Animal Services’ success and I’m confident he will continue to lead our community toward our lifesaving goal.” 

Herrera has a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from Texas State University, a certification in Animal Shelter Management from the University of the Pacific and has been selected for the Executive Leadership Certification Program from Southern Utah University and the Best Friends Animal Society.

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