The Los Angeles City Council has confirmed the appointment of Staycee Dains to be the new head of Los Angeles Animal Services, which has had a vacancy in leadership in April 2021.

The council in an 11-0 vote approved Dains, who currently serves as the director of Long Beach Animal Care Services, to lead L.A. Animal Services, which faces chronic pet overpopulation, staffing issues and increased owner surrenders exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

L.A. Mayor Karen Bass nominated Dains on June 1.

“I really look forward to working with all of the council members as we build the 21st century model of animal welfare in Los Angeles,” Dains said.

Dains has served in the field of animal welfare for nearly 25 years in various roles, including as a volunteer, animal care attendant, shelter supervisor, animal control manager, operations manager and as the director of LBACS.

“My work reflects who I am—as an innovative, courageous and compassionate person who has developed a track record of improving outcomes for animals,” Dains said.

She touted her accomplishments in engaging the Long Beach community to adopt a more caring and compassionate mindset and setting lifesaving records.

“I want to emphasize that my experience has shown that this work cannot be accomplished by one person alone,” Dains said. “It takes the collective efforts of staff volunteers, other animal welfare organizations, community partnership to cultivate and prosper together.”

As the new general manager, Dains will focus on staffing and addressing the needs of the city’s six shelters.

Long Beach officials previously confirmed Dains will leave LBACS June 30. While the city searches for a permanent replacement, Superintendent of Animal Care Services Melanie Wagner will serve as the interim bureau manager.

During her years in Long Beach, Dains led the development of the department’s “compassion saves” operating model—intended to reduce euthanasia and increase pet adoption rates through various programs.

LBACS reached its highest adoption rate ever in 2022, placing 1,968 pets into homes and increasing placement of animals by 194% since 2018, according to Long Beach officials.

Dains also developed and implemented programs that improved staff and volunteer morale and involvement, according to Bass’ office.

“I am confident that she will establish a clear and shared vision guided by industry standards and best practices to continue developing L.A. Animal Services into a 21st Century model for humane and successful animal care and resident services,” Bass said in a statement.

‘My heart is full’: Staycee Dains looks at how animal shelter has progressed in 4 years as director