Oakland, CA — Oakland City Administrator Sabrina Landreth today announced she has appointed Ann Dunn as the new Director of Oakland Animal Services (OAS), effective February 18.
Ms. Dunn is recognized as a visionary and innovative animal welfare leader whose collaborative approach has led her to find creative solutions in the government and non-profit sectors.
Most recently Ms. Dunn has served as the founder and Executive Director of Cat Town, a cat rescue organization in Oakland that focuses on helping the most vulnerable cats from local municipal shelters. At Cat Town, Ms. Dunn developed a new model for animal rescue, inspired by her time as a volunteer at Oakland Animal Services (OAS).
Cat Town's mission is to transform the approach to saving shelter cats, reducing euthanasia nationwide, and to find good homes for cats who are considered un-adoptable under the traditional animal welfare model. In 2017, she was honored by Maddie’s Fund, the nation’s largest animal welfare foundation, with the Maddie’s Hero Award for Big Picture Thinking for “innovative ideas, progressive thinking and lifesaving actions.”
“I am delighted to welcome Ann to our City leadership team,” said City Administrator Sabrina Landreth. “She is a recognized leader and innovator whose collaborative partnerships and ability to inspire positive community engagement will serve Oakland’s animals, OAS employees and volunteers, and our community well.”
Prior to founding Cat Town, Ms. Dunn worked in a range of nonprofit organizations and government in positions in management consulting and strategic planning, including over 20 years in public housing. From that perspective, she saw the shelter as a critical community resource and saw the opportunity to apply her professional skills to address shelter, animal, and community needs.
“Having started at Oakland Animal Services as a volunteer over ten years ago, the opportunity to lead this agency is like coming home,” Ms. Dunn said. “I am so excited to work with the incredible staff and volunteers, and to build on the great work of Rebecca Katz to serve the animals and people of Oakland.”
Ms. Dunn holds a BA in Psychology. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband, Steven, and their four cats.
Ms. Dunn takes the helm following the departure of Animal Services Director Rebecca Katz, whose last day with the City of Oakland will be Friday, February 14. Ms. Katz served as OAS Director since October 2014 and successfully completed the transition of the department from the Oakland Police Department to a stand-alone department under the direction of the City Administrator. Ms. Landreth appreciates Ms. Katz’s contributions and wishes her well in her new endeavors.
The City of Oakland also welcomes Mr. Benjamin Winkleblack to the senior leadership team at Oakland Animal Services. Effective January 27, Mr. Winkleblack will become OAS’ new Assistant Director, where he will oversee shelter operations and adoption programs under Ms. Dunn’s leadership.
With 20 years of experience in animal welfare and medicine, for the last 10 years Mr. Winkleblack has served as Shelter Manager of the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter, an open admission municipal animal shelter and animal control agency with an annual intake of approximately 5,500 animals. In this assistant director role, he was responsible for operations, staffing, and management of two animal shelters and one spay/neuter and education facility. In 2014 and 2017 he received the Santa Cruz County Employee Recognition Program Gold Award for program creation, relationship cultivation, and leadership; he also received the Santa Cruz County Employee Recognition Program Bronze award as a member of a team in 2009 for response to fires and evacuations and in 2018 for team membership and roll-out of solar installation at County facilities.
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