GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Working in school as a volunteer, taking care of man's best friend was a calling for Drew Brinkley.
"Pets are great companions," Brinkley said. "It's like a member of my family."
Guilford County announced Friday Brinkley would take control of the Animal Services Department as its new director Aug. 1.
This comes after a rocky history with the animal shelter. The county took over last year, after the operating nonprofit was under investigation for animal cruelty.
Brinkley hopes to establish trust with the community by building relationships with local partners.
"It is gonna be difficult for one agency, the animal shelter, to adopt out and find new homes for all the pets by itself," Brinkley said.
Brinkley comes from Orange County Animal Services as the current operations manager. He started as a kennel operator, animal control officer and has 14 years worth of experience in the industry.
He hopes to do preemptive work in Guilford County to help with the amount of animals they take in.
"Effective use of spay neuter resources so we can reduce the population of shelter, animals in the community that don't have homes," Brinkley said.
The new leadership also comes with more resources for the shelter. The county is hiring a full-time veterinarian who will start in September.