Santa Barbara County Animal Services Announces New Director

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Source: Santa Barbara County Public Health Department

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is pleased to announce that Tara Diller has been hired as the Animal Services Director for the County of Santa Barbara. Diller has over 17 years of experience in the animal welfare industry and has worked successfully on innovative, lifesaving programs that have received local and national recognition.

Most recently, Diller served as the Director of Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS), a division of the County of Ventura, operating two animal shelters housing nearly 450 animals at any given time. For 5 years, Diller led the VCAS team in creating processes that increased the animal save rate in shelters from 79% to 93.3% with sustained results. She worked collaboratively with staff, volunteers, and stakeholders on strategies to reduce euthanasia, including rehabilitation, training, and fostering for animals. Diller successfully implemented a new user-friendly app and website that allowed for greater community engagement and enhanced lost and found services. During her time as VCAS, Diller successfully reduced the number of days animals spent in shelters with the length of stay going from 21 days on average to 14 days.

“We are thrilled to welcome Tara to our department. She brings animal welfare expertise that will not only support County Animal Services, but will allow for innovative approaches to be developed internally and with our many partners,” shared Van Do-Reynoso, Director of the Public Health Department.

“I am incredibly honored and humbled to be chosen as the next Director of Animal Services. I am excited to work alongside a passionate and dedicated team of staff, volunteers, community partners, stakeholders, and the community who maintain a strong commitment to elevating the human-animal bond while continuing to ensure Santa Barbara County is a leader in the animal welfare movement,” said Diller.

Diller is set to begin her new role on April 8, 2019.

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Flicka Mar 18, 2019 10:06 AM
Santa Barbara County Animal Services Announces New Director

I've never lost a dog but had ponies escape. The 1st call I'd make was to Animal Control. It worked because the person finding the pony also called Animal Control. I'd think anyone missing a pet would call them ASAP.

PitMix Mar 18, 2019 09:19 AM
Santa Barbara County Animal Services Announces New Director

Ms. Diller was let go by the County of Ventura, the reason has not been made publi. But in her time there she improved the shelter to the point that they could call them selves no-kill by only killing a little more than 6% of the animals coming in. In the animal world you are allowed to call yourself no-kill if you kill less than 10% of the animals coming in to the shelter. She will have her hands full in SB as two cities, Santa Maria and Lompoc, have tried to find another shelter provider. Their contracts with the County have gotten more expensive even though the number of actual animals coming is has been greatly reduced. This is due to the County hiring additional staff and paying them nice salaries and benefits even during the times of budget cuts and shortfalls. Good luck to Ms. Diller.

a-1594245315 Mar 15, 2019 12:18 PM
Santa Barbara County Animal Services Announces New Director

Best of luck to Diller and all of Animal Control. Running the shelter is a monumental task. If I could make two heartfelt suggestions: 1) It would be terrific if Animal Control would devise a better way to reunite lost animals with owners. In my experience, Animal Control is of little help, never checks Craigslist 'Lost and Found' or truly makes a good effort to help those whose pets have gone astray. ********** 2) Animal Control needs a better policy for after hours help with animal situations. As it is now, if there is an injured animal or a dead animal, calling police /Sheriffs is useless. If there's a problem with a neighbor's dog barking at night, one must call the police/Sheriffs. If a stray animal is spotted, calling the police/Sheriffs' department is useless. Animal Control should have an on-call officer; one who is trained to handle animals and has the equipment to do so.

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