The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors last Tuesday selected a new director of the county's Animal Services Department, filling the role after it was vacated by the previous director's retirement.
Beth Ward, former vice president at Humane Society Silicon Valley, was picked by the supervisors in a unanimous vote Tuesday. Ward, who is replacing Glenn Howell, will begin as director on Nov. 2.
As a Brentwood resident, Ward is already familiar with many of the issues facing the department she's taking the helm of, according to county officials.
County Administrator David Twa recommended the 28-year veteran of animal care as a potential leader after a thorough recruitment process that produced dozens of candidates, county officials said.
"She has a high level of energy and passion for animal services," Twa said, "which will serve our community and the animals well."
Twa added that he believed the director would bolster the shelter's reputation and "do even more to enhance our efforts to match adoptable animals with homes."
Citizens for a No Kill Contra Costa County, an advocacy group that lobbied for a director that would reduce the county shelter's euthanasia rate, seemed pleased with the selection in a Facebook post Tuesday.
A representative for the group said they met with Twa before the appointment of Ward and that things were "looking good."