With a new leader at its helm, Prairie Paws Animal Shelter is restructuring, but keeping animals as its top priority, officials said this week.

“My main focus right now is making sure all the animals are healthy,” Jaron Asher, Prairie Paws new operations manager and deputy director, said. “As well as getting a handle on disease prevention, making sure the pets are healthy and adoptable is our main mission.”

Filling the role vacated when former director Mi’Chielle Cooper recently left the shelter after less than a year in the position, Asher previously has worked with such nonprofits as the Boy & Girls Club, and is a former animal control director for Kansas City, Mo.

The shelter also recently hired Carrie Stockton, a veterinary technician responsible for all animal health as well as training employees on sanitation issues. An additional staff member might be hired to assist with government affairs.

Since Cooper’s departure, which was characterized as a mutual decision between the former director and the shelter, Prairie Paws officials are considering restructuring employees’ positions and duties. Although Asher said he’s not yet sure of the organization’s exact plans, Prairie Paws is focused on regrouping, restructuring and moving forward, he said.

Once the restructuring is complete, Asher said, the shelter plans to revive its trap, neuter and release program, which was an effort organized by Cooper during her time as director.