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Board of Supervisors Appoints New Animal Services Director

a white man in a suit

Ben Winkleblack will take over as the new Contra Costa County Director of Animal Services on May 6. (Contra Costa County via Bay City News)

By Tony Hicks
Bay City News

Ben Winkleblack is Contra Costa County’s new animal services director.

The county Board of Supervisors appointed Winkleblack on Tuesday afternoon. He’ll start the job May 6.

Winkleblack’s appointment permanently fills the role held temporarily by Jane Andreotti, who stepped in to lead the team following the retirement of former director Beth Ward.

“I’m excited to carry on the department’s commitment to ensuring quality services and prioritizing the well-being and safety of the people and animals of Contra Costa County,” Winkleblack said in a statement. “I’m honored to serve our community in this role and to lead such an experienced team at Animal Services.”

Winkleblack’s estimated annual salary will be $191,660.89.

He began his career with Santa Cruz County in 2006 as an animal health technician before being promoted to shelter manager in 2010 — a role he held for a decade.

In 2020, Winkleblack served as assistant director for Oakland’s Animal Services department. Most recently, Winkleblack consulted for the Humane Society of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“Mr. Winkleblack’s commitment to serving our most vulnerable animal populations is clear through his extensive experience, and we are excited to have him leading our efforts to protect residents and animals,” said Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors chair Federal Glover. “While we welcome Ben, we also thank Jane for maintaining stability at Animal Services during this transition period.”

The county said in a press release that its animal services department plays a crucial role in protecting the health and safety of all people and animals in Contra Costa County through enforcement of state and local laws, protecting the public from animal injury, and working to prevent animal cruelty, abuse, and neglect.

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Read The Pulse’s series on Contra Costa Animal Services and pet adoption, beginning with the story below:

Overcrowding at Contra Costa Shelter Puts Animals at Risk

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