Mayor Eric Garcetti Friday named Dana Brown, who has worked for the city for more than 30 years, as interim general manager of Los Angeles Animal Services, effective May 10.

Brenda Barnette, who has held the post for a decade, announced Tuesday that she is retiring.

Brown’s most recent city position was as the chief employee relations officer in the Office of the City Administrative Officer, where she was responsible for helping lead the city’s labor negotiations amid significant operational challenges resulting from the pandemic.

Prior to her time with the CAO, Brown was assistant general manager of LAAS under Barnette.

“Dana’s breadth of experience, record of leadership and wealth of knowledge will help ensure our city continues to set the highest possible standard for animal welfare,” Garcetti said. “Dana follows in the footsteps of an extraordinary public servant in Brenda Barnette, who helped the department meet and exceed its ambitious goals even as she navigated unprecedented challenges brought on by historic wildfires, a pandemic and an economic downturn.”

The LAAS is one of the largest municipal shelter systems in the country. The department operates six animal shelters, takes in tens of thousands of animals each year, and bears responsibility for keeping shelters in compliance with state and city regulations.

“It is an honor and a privilege to serve in this capacity,” Brown said. “I am extremely excited about returning to Animal Services as its leader to work alongside the passionate people who have dedicated their careers to saving lives. I look forward to continuing to partner with the community as we cooperatively collaborate resources, ideas, and strategies to protect the health, safety and welfare of the animals and people of Los Angeles.”

Barnette was hired to oversee Los Angeles’ shelter system by then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Before that, she was CEO of the Seattle Humane Society and the Tony La Russa Animal Rescue Foundation.

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