Animal associations

New county animal services agency director takes office

A new administrator took the helm Thursday at the Riverside County Department of Animal Services, saying she takes the agency’s “mission” seriously and looks forward to working to serve the public.

Erin Gettis, who was most recently deputy director of the county’s Park & ​​Open Space District, took over the top spot vacated by the departure of Julie Bank, director of the department for less than two years.

There was no immediate word on why or how the position was released.

“The Animal Services team truly believes in our mission of ‘Working Together to Improve Riverside County for People and Animals,'” Gettis said.

“I take this mission seriously too and appreciate the spirit of unity and the act of serving the citizens of the county. The work isn’t always easy, but that’s what public service is: doing those hard jobs to the best of our abilities for the community.

Gettis worked for three decades in various positions related to parks, planning and architecture, both in Riverside County and in his former home in the Pacific Northwest.

Prior to her work in the Park & ​​Open Space District, she was a division manager for the Riverside Neighborhood Engagement Division, as well as a planner in the Department of Community and Economic Development, according to county officials.

Gettis is a pet lover and has adopted dogs from rescue organizations. She said her free time includes hiking with the dogs and her family in the mountains.

“Erin is an exceptional and thoughtful leader,” said county parks director Kyla Brown. “She has helped RivCoParks push ambitious projects forward and has made some wonderful relationships along the way.

“Erin will be missed, but we are delighted to work with her in this new position. I have no doubt that she will do incredible things for animal services.

The Department of Animal Services struggled for more than a decade with financial challenges, ending several years with red ink on its budget, although the current fiscal year has shown improvements.

The agency was forced to close its animal campus in the San Jacinto Valley in the 2019-20 fiscal year due to monetary constraints.