New county animal services director selected
‘My real passion is animal welfare’
— County officials announced they have hired the former Baltimore County Animal Services shelter director to assume the role of director of animal services in Cecil County effective May 9.
Abigail Lightning-Bingham said Friday that she is already looking forward to her new job.
She was selected for the
new position from a field of about a dozen applicants, according to county staff.
“I’m elated to join this dynamic team as we embark on developing a progressive animal shelter operation,” Lightning-Bingham said Friday after the county announced its decision to hire her.
Lightining-Bingham has 19 years of experience in animal care services, including her most recent position as director of shelter operations for Baltimore County Animal Services where she started last July. Prior to that, she served as executive director of the Oahu Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Kapolei, Hawaii, and animal control officer/manager for the city of College Park in Maryland.
She has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a concentration in animal law from the University of Missouri. She grew up in the Dundalk area of Baltimore County and currently lives in Harford County.
She will be employed in the new animal care and control division within the Cecil County Department of Community Services led by Director David Trolio. This marks the first time the county has not hired a private contractor to operate animal control ser vices, but opted to make it a countyoperated function.
“We are excited to start this new chapter of animal services in Cecil County and Abigail brings an infusion of energy and passion to the initiative,” Trolio said.
“I’m confident in her and in the future of this new program,” County Executive Tari Moore added. “She has a wealth of knowledge and experience that will make her a key player in the development of this division.”
As the new director of a new program for Cecil County government, LightningBingham will be involved in preparing the newly-purchased facility, home to the former SPCA of Cecil County on a 12-acre site south of Chesapeake City on Route
213, for its new mission.
Trolio said LightningBingham will work closely with the County Department of Facilities Management to outfit the building and she’ll directly be involved in contracting with a veterinarian, hiring and training staff, formalizing operating procedures, doing community outreach and education, and
building relationships with rescues and volunteer-based foster programs.
Lightning-Bingham will be conducting interviews of potential adopters and create and manage a shelter volunteer program after the facility opens July 1. She will also be expected to evaluate each animal for adoptability and network with rescue groups, create adoption marketing campaigns and expand prevention efforts in the community.
“I’m really looking forward
to this opportunity,” Lightning-Bingham said. “It’s a great location with so many options for the animals.”
“My real passion is animal welfare,” she added. “My mission is to inspire community support as we work to achieve a ‘no-kill philosophy’ and implement programs to promote and protect the human-animal bond. This is an exciting time for everyone and I’m eager to devote my expertise and passion to the people and animals of Cecil
Moore said that she believed a Lightning-Bingham was the right fit to build upon the county’s services.
“We recognize the important role that animal care and safety plays in the lives of Cecil’s citizens and look forward to providing transparency, accountability and positive prevention and intervention programs in new and creative ways,” Moore said.