EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — El Paso County named Lauralei Combs as the new Animal Welfare Director on Friday, though she began her new role more than a month ago.
Combs, who has more than 19 years of experience in animal welfare, comes to El Paso from Broward County, Florida where she formerly served as Executive Director of Animal Care & Adoption.
She will lead County efforts to reduce the number of stray animals in outlying parts of El Paso County.
“Having a strong, independent Animal Services Department in El Paso County that serves the residents outside the city will significantly reduce the number of stray animals in our community as a whole,” said Commissioner Vince Perez. “Ms. Combs has extensive experience in animal services that will serve county residents well. This has been a top priority for me and the people of the Mission Valley and East El Paso County, where many residents struggle with the presence of many stray animals in their neighborhoods.”
Prior to joining Animal Care & Adoption in Broward, Combs spent 16 years with the Austin Animal Center where she served as the volunteer programs coordinator developing and managing volunteer driven lifesaving programs.
“I am excited and grateful to have this opportunity to work alongside the committed Animal Welfare Officers of El Paso County as well as the County’s Leadership team, including Chief Administrator Ms. Betsy Keller,” Combs said. “Collaborating with the City of El Paso Animal Services, we will create more free and low-cost wellness service programs for pets in our County, including spaying and neutering.”
Faith Wright, Maddie’s Shelter Management Advisor for American Pets Alive, described Combs as a “true professional and friend.” They both met in 2009 when Wright became a volunteer for Austin Pets Alive as a foster team member and have worked together in different projects throughout these years.
“Her dedication to the animals, improving the lives for the animals, as well as caring about the people in her communities is unfounded,” Wright said. “Lauralei is always looking for how to better the current program and processes and the dedication she has is moving.”
Combs began her new role with the County on April 6, 2020. To reach the County’s Animal Welfare Office please call 915-538-2116.