Wendy Neubauer has worked at the Ohio County Animal Shelter for 14 years.

Now she’s about to become the assistant dog warden on January 1–the first female to ever hold the position.

Neubauer says she will go out on abuse and neglect calls, work with Wheeling Police and the Ohio County Sheriff’s Department, round up animals running at large and in her words, “make sure that animals are safe.”

Until now, she has been a shelter staff member, providing animal care and helping with intake and adoptions.

Her advice for pet owners for the coming year: keep your pets on a leash whenever they’re outside, bring in any outdoor pets when it gets cold and buy a license tag for every dog–either at the city building or at the shelter.

She will fill the post held by Assistant Dog Warden Tom Oberdick, who retires Dec. 1.