Former Delaware Senate President Pro Tem Patricia Blevins was named the new director of the state's Office of Animal Welfare. 

The Division of Public Health made the announcement today.

The longtime animal advocate and strong supporter of overhauling and improving animal welfare statewide chaired Delaware's Animal Welfare Task Force in 2012-2013. The task force reviewed the effectiveness of animal control programs in Delaware and looked at consolidating pet programs and services under a statewide umbrella.

State lawmakers established the OAW in 2013. 

"[Patti Blevins] has the combination of leadership, budget, and management experience, plus a deep knowledge about the Delaware animal system and its strengths and challenges that we need," said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. "As one of the original architects of the constantly evolving animal welfare system, Blevins is the perfect replacement."

Blevins will join DPH on Jan. 30. She replaces Hetti Brown, who resigned last month to move to the Midwest. 

The 26-year veteran of the Senate has was not re-elected. She lost to newcomer Anthony Delcollo, a Republican, in November.

While most well-known for her work as a state senator, managing personnel and agencies, Blevins also served as mayor of Elsmere.