Betty Irwin has taken over the role of manager of the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter in Whitehorse.
Irwin, who is also a city councillor, says her top priority as manager is a new building for the shelter.
"We're really, really strained here," she says. "A lot of time, animals have to be turned away because there simply is no room. So we do need a facility because the building is old and in need of major, major repairs."
Irwin says structural damage is the biggest concern. The building, constructed in 1998, also has broken equipment, such as a sterilizer and sump pump.
She estimates a new building will cost at least $5.2 million.
Irwin said she has noted the potential for conflict of interest and says as a city councillor she won't take part in any decisions about funding for the animal shelter.