ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The director of the City of Albuquerque’s Animal Welfare Department has graduated from the Best Friends Animal Society Executive Leadership Program. 

Carolyn Ortega completed the six-month program with the focus of implementing the best animal shelter practices nationwide, creating lifesaving changes, and teaching shelter leaders the business tools to run their shelters efficiently, according to the city.

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The Best Friends Executive Leadership Certification (ELC) is a master’s level program offered by Southern Utah University (SUU). Graduates of the program earned a SUU Institutional Certificate in Animal Services Executive Leadership. 

“I consider myself a lifelong learner, but the most important reason I wanted to achieve this certification is to convey to my staff and my community my commitment to the Animal Welfare industry and the pets and people we serve,” said Ortega.

Ortega started at the Animal Welfare Department in 2020.