Erica Huffman, Enid Animal Control's new adoption and volunteer coordinator, wants to see every dog, and cat, have its day at the shelter.
The former groomer said she "hit the ground" running in her first week at the job.
"I love it. I really love (it)," she said of the new job. "It's been different. I was a groomer the past three years. It’s really different dealing with animals who don’t have a home. I like being able to assist them."
Huffman said she wants to get to know the job before she starts making plans or changes.
"I’m just trying to get settled in and figuring things out before I have big plans to do anything," Huffman said. "It’s been so long since Charlet left, there’s lots of stuff to get caught up on before I start making big plans.
"I wanted to make sure the dogs have their best chance of getting adopted out," Huffman said.
She said she wanted to change the perception those coming to the shelter may have about meeting a future pet. She wants potential adopters to know the animals they see still could be stressed from coming into a new environment.
"We get in a lot of really good dogs that get overlooked. They come to this place and it's a really scary place, and it takes a little while to get to know them but once they open up to you they really are angels," she said. "They’ll be scared and terrified in their kennel and that's just not them. I think a lot of people overlook them because they don't see a dog that's excited to meet them.
"Give them a chance to warm up, and they'll see they're really, really amazing dogs."
Animal Control Supervisor Allen Elder said having the position of an adoption and volunteer coordinator has had an impact on adoptions and the number of volunteers in the years since the position was created.
"I’m looking forward to working with her," he said of Huffman. "I think its important to have that position open so we can save animals out of here."
Elder said the coordinator not only manages the shelter's social media, but also coordinates with rescue organizations to get more animals out of the shelter.
"I don’t expect her to fill anybody’s shoes," Elder said. "She’s already stepped up her first day and started helping people."
He said Huffman has been involved with local rescue groups.
"I don’t think anything is going to stop her. She's got a heart for animals," Elder said. "I don’t think anything is going to deter her in what she wants to do, or her passion for animals.
"I think she's going to be bringing some new ideas," he said. "We're looking forward to a long working relationship with her."
Enid Animal Control, 1200 S. 10th, is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The shelter is closed on holidays. The phone number is (580) 249-4910.