DeKalb County is looking for someone who has an affinity for animals and the people who love them.
A new deputy director of animal control is needed because the current head of the division, Kathy Mooneyham, is retiring at the end of July.
The position, which has a salary range of $52,000-$85,000, is for “an energetic, self-motivated and experienced leader with proven success in providing protection and care for animals,” according to the job description on the county’s website.
The new director “should have the general objective of converting the animal shelter to a no-kill shelter,” said Wardell Castles, a member of DeKalb Initiative, a group of concerned residents of DeKalb County who are advocating for improvements at the county’s animal shelter.
“The person should care about animals and should be an advocate,” Castles said. “We need animal people in there.”
The deputy director is responsible for directing all aspects of animal control services, which is a division of DeKalb County Public Safety. Duties include responding to resident complaints; ensuring proper impounding, feeding and euthanizing of animals, and ensuring field and kennel operations are effectively, efficiently and appropriately enforced according to state and local animal control ordinances and regulations,” according to the job description.
Minimum requirements for candidates include a bachelor’s degree in business administration, veterinary technology, criminal justice or a related field; six years of management experience in public safety, animal control, or a related field, including two years supervisory experience.
Mooneyham, who has more than 23 years of law enforcement experience in DeKalb County, has been the director of the division since August 2007.
A task force that studied the county’s animal services division for several months addressed the shelter’s top position in its final report in February.
Candidates “must be firmly committed to saving the lives of animals that come under the care of DeKalb County,” the report stated. “Although prior sheltering experience is not required, candidates who do have such experience should have a demonstrated record of lifesaving success.”
The new director will take over a shelter that has been the focus of years of complaints by animal advocates.
In March, DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis announced a plan to improve the animal services division by replacing the current facility with a 31,000-square-foot complex on at least four acres of land with an improved kennel area, space for educational opportunities, an outdoor exercise area and a pet mall.
The county is also in the process of hiring 10 animal services officers, upgrading the facility’s air conditioning system and considering outsourcing some of the shelter’s operations.