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Mayor Bass announces appointment of L.A. Animal Services General Manager

LOS ANGELES – Following a nationwide search, Mayor Karen Bass announced today that she has selected Staycee Dains as the new General Manager of the Los Angeles Animal Services to build the department into a model for humane and compassionate animal care and constituent services. Dains brings extensive experience to the position as a leader in animal welfare. Read more about her history and past success here.

The appointment follows action taken by Mayor Bass to increase the Department of Animal Service’s budget by 18% – giving Dains additional tools to be successful and further demonstrating Mayor Bass’s urgent action to protect the welfare of animals in Los Angeles.

“There is much work to be done to ensure that all the animals of Los Angeles are cared for compassionately and responsibly across the City. I am confident that Staycee Dains will bring strong leadership and a true passion for animal welfare to L.A. Animal Services,” said Mayor Karen Bass. “Ms. Dains has more than 20 years of experience as a leader in animal welfare. She has successfully increased adoption rates and lifesaving rates everywhere she has gone. As important, she has developed and implemented programs that improve staff and volunteer morale, and increase community involvement and support. I am confident that she will establish a clear and shared vision guided by industry standards and best practices to continue developing Los Angeles Animal Services into a 21st century model for humane and successful animal care and resident services.” 

“With more than 20 years of experience as a leader in the Animal Welfare space, Staycee Dains is a great fit for this role,” said Congressman Robert Garcia, former Mayor of Long Beach. “Staycee's commitment to excellence has shone through in her previous work in Long Beach, and L.A. is lucky to have her as they continue to serve the city. I have had the pleasure of seeing Staycee in action myself, and I look forward to seeing her succeed.”

"The selection of Ms. Dains as the General Manager of Animal Services is a big win for Angelenos and their pets,” said Jennifer Naitaki, Senior Director of Programs of Michelson Found Animals Foundation – a national nonprofit championing pets at every point they intersect with our society. “Ms. Dains has demonstrated a track record of success in the state and understands the complexities that Angelenos are faced with. With her experience in contemporary best practices in animal sheltering, Michelson Found Animals is looking forward to working in cooperation with Ms. Dains, the Department and the Mayor to chart the next chapter for Animal Services in the City of Los Angeles."

“I applaud the City's diligent search process leading to the selection of a General Manager whose skill sets align directly with the enormous needs of our community's animals at this critical time," said Gabrielle Amster, Director of Annenberg PetSpace – a unique community space focused on the dynamic bond between people and their pets. “We look forward to a continued partnership with Los Angeles Animal Services and to supporting Ms. Daines' efforts toward our shared goal of improving life-saving outcomes for the homeless pets of Los Angeles.” 

“Staycee Dains is the right choice for Los Angeles Animal Services,” said Christi Metropole, CEO of Stray Cat Alliance, a well-respected national organization that offers adoption, foster, volunteer and educational resources to the community. “Staycee comes with a wealth of knowledge in lifesaving at municipal shelters. She pioneered community cat programming in San Jose a decade ago and brought it to Long Beach, where she achieved an 89% lifesaving rate in 2022. She is a true collaborator and has already volunteered for Los Angeles Animal Services by supporting leadership in enhancing their commitment to the Citywide Cat Program. She understands the complexities of the second largest city in the US and the many animals who come through the shelter system. Her commitment to the dogs, cats and the humans who love them, is second to none.”

“I am honored and humbled to be selected to serve the City of Los Angeles as General Manager for Animal Services,” said LAAS appointee Staycee Dains. “I am eager to work closely with staff, volunteers and the community to find common ground, and to expand and build programs that both save lives and safeguard the public. I believe we can realize much more of the vast potential for animals and humans to improve each other's lives. I also believe that, together, we can make Los Angeles the most humane city in the nation.”

The appointment will now be referred to the Neighborhoods and Community Enrichment Committee followed by a vote of approval by the Los Angeles City Council.