Posted on 04/02/2021

Outgoing GM Brenda Barnette retires after 10 years leading the agency

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today named Dana Brown as Interim General Manager of Los Angeles Animal Services (LAAS) following the retirement of General Manager Brenda Barnette. Brown will assume the position starting on May 10, 2021. 

“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,” said Mayor Garcetti. “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.”

Dana Brown has served the City of Los Angeles for more than 30 years. Most recently working as the City’s Chief Employee Relations Officer in the Office of the City Administrative Officer (CAO), 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, equipping her with the expertise and deep understanding required to lead this department forward.

As Interim General Manager of LAAS, Brown will oversee one of the largest municipal shelter systems in the country, which 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,” says Brown. “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.”  

Brown will replace Brenda Barnette, who will be retiring after serving 10 years as General Manager of LAAS. During her tenure, Barnette helped the Department increase its animal adoption rate from 57% to 90.49%; strengthened relationships with key partners including the Best Friends Animal Society and No Kill Coalition; and helped create the Pet Food Pantry program during the pandemic, which has now served over 8,000 pets to date. 

“I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked for the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services for the last 10 years with people who care deeply about animals, including the wildlife with whom we coexist,” said Brenda Barnette.  “I have watched my team develop and I am certain they are ready to take the department to the next level. The amazing support of the community has been critical to every success, and I look forward to watching continued success even in my retirement. Thank you for the opportunity to serve Los Angeles. It has truly been my honor.”

For more information about LAAS, visit their website here