ST. LOUIS COUNTY ( -- Amid controversy at the St. Louis County Animal Adoption Center, a new hire is ready to move animals into good homes. 

"My vision is lots of empty kennels," Mandy Ryan said.

Mandy Ryan was hired as the new animal population manager

Ryan is the new Animal Population Manager at the animal control center. 

"It's going to be my job to increase adoption numbers, decrease euthanasia numbers," Ryan said. 

She's taking on a lot of animals to manager but said she has 18 years of experience in the field. She currently runs the non-profit Missouri K9 Friends and owns her own dog training business. 

"It's been a longer hiring process, this was not a decision I took lightly," Ryan said. "But I do feel that my experience and my talent will be best used here."

Following months of controversy surrounding issues at the center, all 400-plus volunteers are being required to reapply for their positions.

"I do know that currently the leadership team is interviewing volunteers as quickly as possible and they're trying to get them back into the building as quickly as possible," Ryan said. "A strong volunteer base is crucial to the shelter."

READ: Audit finds St. Louis County Animal Care and Control mishandling animals

Her goal is to give the animals the best care and put them in the best homes. 

"Every decision being made at this point is for the betterment of the animals in the shelter," Ryan said. 

Ryan starts her new position on December 16. 

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