Who We Are

Paula Powell, South Central senior manager

Paula Powell holding cat


Paula retired after 26 years with the City of El Paso, Texas, most recently serving as the animal services director after decades in parks and recreation. Her lifesaving-focused, community-centric approach to animal services combined with data-driven, empathetic leadership, resulted in numerous process and program improvement that propelled the shelter to achieving record lifesaving: an 86% save rate for the 27,000 dogs and cats entering the shelter annually! The department’s collaborative work to improve community pet health and support was also a key factor in El Paso’s achievement of the 2020 All-America City Award.

In December 2020, she led the shelter to its highest lifesaving rate ever: 92%! And, if you're wondering whether lost pets can successfully be sheltered in the community, ask Paula! Her innovative programming resulted in 67% of these pets being returned to their worried families!

Paula received a Master's in Public Administration from the University of Texas at El Paso and is a graduate of Best Friends' Executive Leadership Certification program. When she's not building stronger communities and evolving animal services, she loves spending time with her family, which includes four dogs (Jelly Bean, Scrappy, Riley, and Lani), and setting world powerlifting records.