Sonoma County Hires New Director of Animal Services

A national search for Sonoma County’s next Director of Animal Services has concluded, county officials announced Tuesday. Consultant John Skeel has assumed the position at an annual salary of $102,420, becoming the fourth person to hold the title in the past three years.

“John’s proven record in public service and in building strong partnerships and taking a community-wide approach were key in our decision to offer him this leadership position,” said Rita Scardaci, director of the county’s Department of Health Services, which includes Animal Services. That record does not include any direct work with animal services, but does include more than two decades of key management experience in both the private and public sectors, according to the county.

Skeel most recently worked in a consulting capacity at Asian Pacific Counseling, a Sacramento-based nonprofit. He also previously held management positions at the Tahoe Resource Conservation District, El Dorado Hills Community Services District in San Ramon and the Evergreen Parks and Recreation District in Colorado.

Skeel is now part of a new management team for Animal Services which includes former Canine Companions for Independence instructor James Dress, the community engagement manager, and former interim Animal Services Director Brian Whipple, the operations manager. Skeel’s role, Scardaci said, will include fostering community relationships, enhancing communication with the county’s animal welfare partners and ensuring quality services.

Sonoma County’s Animal Services agency oversees care of domestic animals and livestock in unincorporated areas as well as Santa Rosa and Windsor. Its shelter, a division of the Department of Health Services, takes in nearly 3,000 animals per year.

Read more about John Skeel here.

Image Credit: Flickr User rarvesen, via (CC BY 2.0)