What the new Miami County animal shelter leader has planned for her department

Kandice Kriebel, manager/dog warden of the Miami County Animal Shelter, discusses changes being made and contemplated at the shelter. CONTRIBUTED.

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Kandice Kriebel, manager/dog warden of the Miami County Animal Shelter, discusses changes being made and contemplated at the shelter. CONTRIBUTED.

When Kandice Kriebel saw a job posting for the Miami County Animal Shelter, she knew it was the position she’d been seeking.

Four months into the job as shelter manager/dog warden, Kriebel is busy working with staff and the public while exploring improvements to the facility located on County Road 25A between Troy and Piqua.

Kriebel and her husband moved to Ohio a year ago from her native Washington state to be closer to his parents.

Both previously worked for the Washington State Department of Corrections, she 16 years as an officer, sergeant, wellness coordinator, training manager and instructor, among other roles.

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“When we came here, we said, ‘We are starting over,’” she said. “I didn’t want to go back to working in a prison. I really wanted to do something I loved.”

A Huber Heights resident, Kriebel applied for jobs with animal shelters in Miami and Montgomery counties.

She was a veterinary assistant for some three years and an animal control officer for about a year in Washington before going to work at the prison. “My love for animals started out when I was in 4-H,” Kriebel said.

The Miami County shelter position opened with the retirement of Marcia Doncaster in August.

Kriebel works with a staff of six at the local shelter that has 10 cages to accommodate cats and 28 kennels for dogs.

Among her first tasks is updating the color scheme at the shelter, making it brighter. She’s also exploring painting the cat room and turning it into more of a socialization area with cubbies and tree-like structures for the cats to climb versus cages. That project could possibly be one for volunteers, Kriebel said.

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She also hopes to explore with local schools and art programs the possibility of painting murals in the visiting room where people spend time with dogs they are considering adopting. An empty hallway also is being considered for a maternity room for dogs and puppies to provide a safe, quieter space.

“The staff is so full of ideas. I welcome anything they have to say. We throw it around and see if it can happen,” Kriebel said.

She’s also looking at using more resources to help get cats and dogs adopted. She has met with rescue and foster groups and is working to update policies. “I visit a lot of other shelters seeing what their have and how they use fosters and rescues,” she said.

More information on the shelter including its wish list for donations and volunteer opportunities is available at www.co.miami.oh.us/shelter

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com

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