Long Beach Animal Care Services Bureau Manager Staycee Dains will leave her post at the end of the month, city officials announced today.

Dains, who took the job in 2019 and has overseen major changes in how the city runs its animal shelter, will join Los Angeles Animal Services as its new general manager.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the City of Long Beach as our Animal Care Services Bureau Manager,” Dains said in a statement. “Our shared vision of ‘a responsible, compassionate, and informed community working together for the health and welfare of its animals’ grows nearer every day.”

During Dains’ tenure, Animal Care Services launched a new shelter model, dubbed “compassion saves,” in which the city made a commitment that no healthy or treatable animal would be euthanized. While the model differs from a no-kill approach, which was a point of contention for some, Dains emphasized that room for discretion is necessary to ensure animals aren’t suffering unnecessarily.

Since the new model was adopted, Animal Care Services has invested more in its foster and community outreach programs, and the number of adoptions has gone up significantly.

The bureau has also counted itself among the many animal shelters across the country facing challenges such as severe overcrowding, which led LBACS to announce earlier this year that it would need to resort to euthanasia for some animals.

Still, city officials have lauded Dains’ leadership and said Thursday that she has positioned the bureau well for future success.

“Staycee has been a phenomenal advocate for our animals here in Long Beach and for our community and partners,” City Manager Tom Modica said in a statement. “Her knowledge, creativity and passion have been a huge asset for the City. Although she will be missed, she has set us up for success well into the future.”

Dains’ last day will be June 30. While the city searches for a permanent replacement, Superintendent of Animal Care Services Melanie Wagner will serve as the interim bureau manager.

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