Nearly seven months after the contentious dismissal of the then-head of San Francisco's Animal Care And Control department, they've found a new leader: the co-founder of a local pet daysitting business with a background in journalism, PR, and management.
Rebecca Katz, the agency's long-time leader, was forced out in July, 2014, posting on Facebook that "I did not feel that there was support for me from my supervisor [later named as city administrator Naomi Kelly] to fulfill the agency's mission and our difference of opinions led to her asking me to leave."
Since then, rumors have swirled about who might be offered the role, with names such as SF Human Rights Commissioner Executive Director Theresa Sparks being suggested as a possible Katz successor.
But after what a press release from Mayor Ed Lee's office describes as "an exhaustive search and competitive selection process," the new ACC top dog has been chosen: Virginia Donohue, who with her husband Mark Klaiman founded San Francisco pet day and overnight care service Pet Camp in 1997
“Virginia’s extensive experience in animal care and her strong relationships with animal welfare organizations and the veterinary community will help strengthen our City’s Animal Care and Control Department,” Lee says in his press release on the appointment.
“As an advocate for animals and a passion for their well-being, I look forward to Virginia’s leadership.”
Before Donohue's Pet Camp days, she was the Director of Public Affairs for the US Environmental Protection Agency, handling media and public relations for Federal environmental programs for California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii. She has a BA in journalism and a Master's in management, both from Northwestern University.
Donohue will start her stint in the doghouse on March 2.