The Division of Public Health announced the hiring of Patricia Blevins as the new Office of Animal Welfare director Jan. 11.

Blevins, an animal advocate, will join DPH Jan. 30.

Hetti Brown, former executive director, resigned the position in December to move to the Midwest.

Blevins, while known for her work as a state senator, has nearly 20 years of experience in managing personnel and agencies, including nine years as executive director of the Delaware Helpline and three years managing the Denison Branch of Girls Inc. She also served on the Elsmere Town Council and as mayor of Elsmere.

In 2012-13, Blevins chaired the state Animal Welfare Task Force, which reviewed the effectiveness of animal control programs in Delaware, as well as examining strategies to increase spay/neuter programming and animal cruelty investigation and prosecutions.

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