Santa Barbara County Animal Services soon will have a new director at the helm, with a 17-year veteran of the animal welfare industry tapped to lead the division.
Former Ventura County Animal Services Director Tara Diller will begin her new position in Santa Barbara County on April 8. She will take over from Dori Villalon, who has served as interim director since former Director Jan Glick stepped down.
As director of Ventura County Animal Services, Diller oversaw two shelters that housed nearly 450 animals at any given time. Over a 5-year-long period, she created processes that raised the animal save rate from 79 to 93.3 percent.
A division of the county's Public Health Department, Santa Barbara County Animal Services provides animal control services and handles adoptions of dogs, cats, rabbits and chickens at its three shelters.
Van Do-Reynoso, director of the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, said she was thrilled Diller was joining the county.
"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," Do-Reynoso said.
Diller said she was honored to be selected to lead Santa Barbara County Animal Services, where she will oversee shelters in Santa Maria, Lompoc and Goleta.
“I am excited to work alongside a passionate and dedicated team of staff, volunteers, community partners, stakeholders and 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,” Diller said.