For months, controversy swirled around Hillsborough County Animal Services. Protesters complained of mismanagement, disease, and botched euthanasias.
The agency's director, Ian Hallett, was ousted in December after a German Shepard was accidentally put to sleep the day it was supposed to be adopted. Two veterinarians also quit along with several volunteers.
Now, the new director may have his work cut out for him.
"It probably goes back to building relationships and trust with volunteers and rescue groups and with the community at large and also with staff," offered Mike Merrill, Hillsborough County administrator.
Scott Trebatoski has more than 12 years of experience, including six years heading Animal Services in Jacksonville.
"It's as if we have recruited the all-pro quarterback who's taken his team to a couple of Super Bowls. So this is real good news and a real opportunity," continued Merrill.
Hillsborough leaders expect him to rebuild the agency and its reputation.
"We are looking to make sure we have the right people in the right position. We're looking to make sure job skills are properly aligned. And we're bringing in new leadership. When you start all of that, it is a gradual cultural change," said Dexter Barge, interim Animal Services director.
The new director takes over March 10. He'll make $120,000 a year, which is more than the previous director. He'll also bring his own operations manager from Jacksonville with him.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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