Anderson County has named its new director of Animal Care & Control.
According to a Monday morning announcement, Damon McKenna of Knoxville started Thursday in his new position as director of Anderson County Animal Care & Control.
McKenna comes to Anderson County with a combined 26 years of animal welfare experience. He most recently was the community adoption coordinator at Knoxville’s Young Williams Animal Center.
He will succeed Brian Porter, who retired in July following a tumultuous final few months at the Shelter that included accusations on social media of euthanizing animals illegally and in violation of county policy, a lack of financial transparency and a perceived unwillingness to work with organizations seeking to place adoptable animals into good homes.
In response, earlier this summer, the Anderson County Commission passed a resolution creating a committee to help with oversight at the Animal Shelter. Commissioners also voted at that time to install security cameras inside the facility.
“I have spent the past twenty-six years in animal welfare to see much progress be made, and I have aspirations to see it go further,” McKenna said in the county’s press release.
“I am very excited to have Damon join our team,” Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank said. “He brings many areas of expertise to our organization, including shelter management, veterinary technician experience, as well as vast adoption coordination experience. He also brings experience in the areas of public outreach and education. I look forward to working with him to advance our Animal Care & Control program in Anderson County.”
The Animal Care & Control Department is overseen by the Mayor’s office.
Prior to his six years of work at Young Williams Animal Center, the releases states that McKenna worked as an assistant manager at Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley, working to rescue and rehabilitate animals as well as public outreach and education. Additionally, he spent more than a dozen years working as a veterinary technician in both Tennessee and Alaska. He has a wide variety of experience in veterinary hospital services, animal care, client education, and shelter and staff management.