After a little more than three months, Carmen Lucena is no longer Manatee County Animal Services’ veterinarian.
Lucena’s last day with the county was Dec. 29, Animal Services Chief Sarah Brown said, adding that she can’t comment on personnel matters.
“She is no longer with the county and her last day was Thursday the 29th,” Brown said.
Lucena began as the first vet based at Animal Services on Sept. 7. Before she started, animals had to be transported to a veterinarians’ office from the Palmetto shelter, 305 25th St. W.
“It is really exciting for me because, of course, I’m making history here in Manatee County,” Lucena said in September. “It is exciting because also the staff is really motivated, and they have been wanting to have a veterinarian, and the goal is to assist these pets — dogs and cats — on a more efficient way and immediately when they become sick or injured.”
The county plans to fill the position as there is already a job posting online for the Animal Shelter Veterinarian position, which closes Jan. 17. The annual salary range is $72,342.40 to $112,153.60.
“Responsible for the Animal Services Division’s veterinary medical work. Performs clinical, laboratory and surgical veterinary services for sheltered animals. Exercises independent medical judgment when examining, caring for and treating impounded animals in accordance with county policies and procedures and in compliance with applicable state laws,” according to the job posting.
Brown said they are going to “conduct a nationwide search as far and as wide as we can so we can fill that position quickly.”
“We really want to find the right fit for our shelter,” she said. “It’s such a huge benefit to be able to have that hands-on expertise at any time for the animals at the facility.”