Santa Barbara County Animal Services Director Fired
By edhat staff
The Santa Barbara County Animal Services Director was fired and the department isn't saying why.
Tara Diller was hired in March of last year by the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD). A statement from the department lauded Diller's 17 years of experience in the animal welfare industry and successful innovative and lifesaving programs that have received local and national recognition.
Edhat received several emails this week from Animal Services volunteers stating they were notified by email that Diller was fired and they were not given a reason. The volunteers who contacted edhat all stated they felt she was doing a great job after previously poor management.
Volunteers received the following message from Deputy Public Health Director Paige Batson: "I regret to inform you that Tara Diller is no longer with the PHD and Animal Services effective February 7, 2020. I thank you in advance for your patience with the Animal Services Team as we manage this difficult transition."
Edhat has contacted Batson and PHD for comment, neither have responded.
Volunteers and supporters of Diller attended the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday. They asked Supervisors why she was fired and wanted details, but did not receive answers.
Diller previously served as Director of Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS) for 5 years. She was commended for creating processes that increased the animal save rate in shelters from 79% to 93.3% with sustained results. She also successfully implemented a new user-friendly app and website and reduced the number of days animals spent in shelters with the length of stay going from 21 days on average to 14 days.
The Ventura County Star reported last year that Diller was fired from her position at VCAS before coming to Santa Barbara. Diller filed a claim against Ventura County that she was wrongfully terminated after she refused her boss's requests to engage in prayer. Ventura County representatives stated her termination was unrelated to her claim and refused to state the reason for termination.
- March 19, 2019: Santa Barbara County Animal Services Announces New Director