- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—Jen Swanson will take the helm as the new executive director of the Harford County Humane Society Aug. 3, the organization’s board of directors announced.

“Our board felt strongly that Jen was an outstanding candidate whose expertise and experience most closely aligned to the current and future needs of our organization,” Pete Hicks, president of the board of directors and a member of the executive search committee, said in a statement. “We are ecstatic to have a person of her caliber as the new leader.”

Swanson has an impressive background as a respected animal welfare advocate, according to a Harford Humane Society news release. She was most recently director of the Baltimore Humane Society in Reisterstown.

During her tenure at BHS, Swanson was responsible for the day-to-day oversight of the animal shelter, a spay/neuter and wellness center, the pet cemetery and a 343-acre wildlife preserve.

Swanson and her team developed innovative programs and services that increased adoptions by 33 percent; created successful volunteer and foster care programs; and cultivated strong bonds with state and local government leaders, businesses and other animal welfare groups to advance the mission of BHS, the news release states.

Swanson replaces Mary Leavens, who recently stepped down to pursue other opportunities.

“HSHC has been saving and improving life for the animals and families of Harford County for nearly 70 years. I am committed to working aggressively to carry on the cause for the humane treatment of animals while moving the organization forward,” Swanson said in a statement.

According to Swanson, a focus on customer service, staff morale and cultivating strong bonds with the community will be key components of success. The Harford Humane Society is building a new shelter in Fallston that is expected to be completed later this year.

“This is a very exciting time for HSHC as it prepares to unveil a brand new shelter. With the community’s support, there is no limit to the good work that can be done for the animals,” she said.

Swanson is an executive member of the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators and a voting member of the Mayor’s Anti Animal Abuse Commission, Professional Animal Workers of Maryland and the Baltimore Animal Welfare Alliance.

For more information on the Humane Society of Harford County, visit www.harfordshelter.org, connect with HSHC on Facebook or Twitter or call the shelter, 410-836-1090.

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(c)2015 The Aegis (Bel Air, Md.)

Visit The Aegis (Bel Air, Md.) at www.baltimoresun.com/explore/harford/publications/the-aegis

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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