AUGUSTA, Maine — The state has hired a new animal welfare director, Liam Hughes, who will begin his duties this week.
Hughes will be responsible for supervising and directing staff, policy development, and program legislation, as well as for overseeing all phases of animal cruelty and neglect investigations. He also will be responsible for working with numerous cities, towns, civic organizations and schools, and will represent the Maine Department of Agriculture on animal welfare boards, both national and statewide.
Hughes brings with him knowledge and experience in the animal welfare field. He is now the director of Animal Control Field Services for the Washington Humane Society in Washington, D.C. Hughes supervised seven animal control officers who respond to an average of 16,000 calls a year. His accomplishments include developing new rescue protocols for officers in chemical immobilization, rope rescue and emergency vehicle operations, and a demonstrated ability to work across various agencies.
Hughes has developed and implemented community outreach plans, improved officer training programs, and started joint training programs with police and fire departments.
“We are confident that Liam’s extensive experience and background in the field of animal welfare and cruelty investigations will be of great benefit to Maine’s Animal Welfare Program,” Division of Animal and Plant Health Director David Lavway said in a prepared statement.
Preceding his position at the Washington Humane Society, Hughes worked for several animal welfare groups and agencies in several capacities. He was an animal care supervisor at the Cheyenne Animal Shelter in Cheyenne, Wyo.; an animal control officer and animal cruelty investigator for South Jersey Animal Services in Ocean City, N.J.; and the shelter manager for Beacon Animal Rescue in Upper Township, N.J.