Maryland native Kelly Armstrong is the new director of the Queen Anne’s County Department of Animal Services. Armstrong is a resident of Centreville who brings a wealth of knowledge about animal behavior to her new position, which officially began November 23.
“During the selection process it became clear that Ms. Armstrong was our best candidate and has what it takes to be an outstanding director.” said Commissioner Carol Fordonski, Commissioner liaison for the Animal Control Advisory Board, who served on the selection committee with Commission President Gene M. Ransom, III and County Administrator John Borders.
Armstrong, 46, has been training dogs on the Eastern Shore for ten years and currently has her own dog training business. “I am well versed in dog behavior, training and behavior modification and I enjoy teaching people and their dogs…I deal with a wide variety of both dog and human personalities,” she said.
“I felt it was a challenging position in which I could incorporate both my management and dog training skills to make a difference,” Ms. Armstrong said about her new position. She is confident her background in animal behavior and her infusion of ideas, as well as her supervisory experience, will continue to improve the various facets of the department, including operating the shelter, adoption and enforcement of animal control regulations.
Ms. Armstrong has a degree in biology from Towson State University and worked for the National Aquarium in Baltimore for 11 years, supervising the water quality laboratory her last six years on the job. Her duties also included budget planning, implementing capital projects and supervising and coordinating personnel, as well as the day to day chemical and microbiological analysis for aquatic and marine mammal waters.
“I strongly and firmly believe Ms. Armstrong has the talent, skills and experience to make a positive change at the Department of Animal Control,” said Ransom.
After leaving the National Aquarium, Armstrong did consulting work for the Newport Aquarium in Kentucky, where she helped set up aquariums and train personnel in water quality testing. After moving to Centreville she worked as a dog trainer at Canine Country Club in Queenstown, before pursuing her own successful dog training business.
Armstrong said she is really looking forward to getting on the job and has already set some preliminary goals. Her first priorities will be to hire an Adoption Coordinator and to implement temperament testing with basic training and behavior modification of shelter dogs to improve their quality of life and make them more adoptable.
“I look forward to developing relationships with the various rescue groups to address and tackle the homeless animal situation and continue to educate the public,” she said.
The Queen Anne’s County Commissioners conducted a nationwide search for a director for the department, including phone interviews with candidates as far as North Carolina and Illinois, before choosing Armstrong.