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Celebrating Thomas Koenig: Irreplaceable Guidance and Leadership

December 19, 2023, The Association

Honoring the Executive Director of the Office of Animal Services in Montgomery County, MD, on his upcoming retirement

Throughout his tenure as the Executive Director of Montgomery County, Office of Animal Services, Thomas Koenig led the agency through many changes that improved the services to the animals and the community. In celebration of his upcoming retirement, here are just a few of his many achievements since he took on the role in 2015:

  • Koenig was instrumental in creating the shelter’s Safekeep program, which houses animals for victims of domestic violence. He emphasized the importance of the link between animal cruelty and violence toward humans by creating a dedicated cruelty investigator position to enhance the efficacy of the investigations.
  • He modernized the department’s policy on community cats and helped found a benevolent organization specializing in TNR and positive outcomes for the community cats. 
  • Koenig advocated for animals and the community by developing legislation and testifying before officials. With his expertise, the Anti-Animal Cruelty laws were strengthened in both Maryland and Montgomery County. 

As the Office transitioned from a department within the police and into an independent agency, Koenig’s guidance and leadership were irreplaceable. He made the shelter’s services more accessible to all residents, which resulted in more animals placed in suitable homes and one of the highest live release rates for shelter animals in the state. 

Prior to his position at Montgomery County, Koenig served as Director of the Loudoun County Department of Animal Services from 2005-2015. He managed both the Loudoun County Animal Shelter and Animal Control operations, oversaw a number of large and complex animal-control cases and established public/private partnerships to provide food donations, spay/neuter support, and wellness programs. He also helped lead the Council of Governments National Capital Region efforts to develop emergency response plans and various other programs for animals. 

Thomas Koenig’s 18-year legacy will have a lasting impact on the Washington Metropolitan Area and the field of animal welfare. We wish him a very happy, very well-deserved retirement.

Thank you to Thomas Ingle, Inspection and Enforcement Field Supervisor, Montgomery County, for contributing to this blog.

About The Association
The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement is a cohort of leaders on a mission to champion, advance, and unify the animal welfare profession.