Staff Report

Santa Barbara County has hired Tara Diller as its new Animal Services Director.

She has more than 17 years of experience in animal welfare and has worked successfully on innovative, lifesaving programs that have received local and national recognition, the county said in a statement.

“I am incredibly honored and humbled to be chosen as the next Director of Animal Services. I am excited to work alongside a passionate and dedicated team of staff, volunteers, community partners, stakeholders, and the community who maintain a strong commitment to elevating the human-animal bond while continuing to ensure Santa Barbara County is a leader in the animal welfare movement,” she said.

 Most recently, Diller was director of Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS), operating two animal shelters housing nearly 450 animals at any given time.

For five years, she led the VCAS team in creating processes that reduced the average length of stay for animals and increased the animal save rate in shelters from 79 percent to 93.3 percent through strategies to reduce euthanasia, including rehabilitation, training, and fostering for animals.

She also implemented a user-friendly app and website that allowed for greater community engagement and enhanced lost-and-found services.