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Director of Animal Protection Services –
Peoria County, Illinois

The Position

The Peoria County Animal Protection Services Department provides animal care and enforcement of laws protecting animals and humans. The Department operates a comprehensive animal control program and an open admission shelter, serving Peoria County and the wider Peoria regional area. The Department strives to eliminate the threat to public safety from animals, improve the welfare of community animals, reunite pets with their owners, and adopt all animals that are safe to be placed back into the community.

The Director of Peoria County Animal Protection Services is responsible for developing and managing programs to protect and increase public safety, reduce unwanted pets, increase live release rates, and improve the welfare of community animals through managing the County’s animal control services and animal care services. The Department and the position were established in 2010 in response to a community need for animal protection services. The County’s first full year of operation was 2011, and the Department has achieved or exceeded the goals and objectives set by the County Board at its inception. The Director reports to the Assistant County Administrator of Health and Human Services and is a member of the County’s senior management team. The Department has a $1.26 million budget, 15 employees, and 100 volunteers.

The purpose of the Animal Control Division, which has a budget of $597,725, is to protect life and property through enforcement of state and local animal protection and control laws and to provide assistance to the citizens. The following chart illustrates the performance indicators for the animal control operations since the Department’s inception. The Department has achieved a license compliance rate of 78% for dogs and 29% for cats.

2011 2012 2013 2014
Calls for Service 14,744 16,302 15,563 12,526
Wild Animals Impounded 626 532 486 476
Animal Bite Investigations 469 456 444 484
Citations Issued 2,858 3,420 3,129 2,528
Rabies Registration Tags Issued 44,011 44,084 39,247 40,874

The purpose of the Shelter Operations Division, which has a budget of $667,040, is to provide shelter, placement, and disposition of all species of animals impounded through the animal control and welfare program. The shelter is an open admission shelter and accepts every animal regardless of their species, behavior, or medical status. The Director operates the shelter for the County through agreements with the Peoria Humane Society, the Peoria County Veterinary Medical Association, and the City of Peoria; the latter as joint owner of the facility. The following chart illustrates the performance indicators for the animal shelter operations since the Department’s inception.

2011 2012 2013 2014
Domestic Animals Impounded 5,646 5,221 4,714 4,160
Animals Adopted 1,210 993 931 950
Animals Returned to Owner 564 619 617 592
Animals Transferred 100 311 272 502

In addition to the shelter operations and animal control responsibilities, the Director provides animal control services to 14 municipalities, the scope of which is outlined in individual contracts. The Department has built a strong relationship with the veterinary community and the Peoria Humane Society, and partners with these organizations for programs, services, and effective care for animals. The Department has also created a cooperative relationship with other shelters and breed groups to transfer animals for adoption. Additionally, the Director offers public presentations, media releases and interviews, and educational programs throughout the community to promote the overall welfare of animals. The Director serves as the liaison to the Animal Review Board and collaborates on animal issues with the Peoria Humane Society, Peoria County Veterinary Medical Association, City of Peoria, the Illinois Department of Agriculture, and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The Director is also an active member of the Illinois Animal Welfare Federation and County Animal Controls of Illinois, working closely with state legislators on laws affecting animals, animal control and welfare, and public safety.

This position is open due to the pending retirement of its long-tenured Director.

The Organization

Peoria County operates through a Board-Administrator structure. The 18-member board (one representative per district) has a peer-elected chairperson, sets policy for the organization, determines the County’s work plan, and delegates the day-to-day duties to a hired County Administrator. The County Administrator supervises various County departments, including Animal Care. The County has almost 900 employees. The County’s adopted 2015 Budget is $129.5 million.

The County Board envisions Peoria County 2025 to be “a collection of livable and sustainable communities, with a strong growing economy and connectivity within the region and to the world, providing opportunity for all its residents. Cooperative local governments provide efficient and effective services and are responsive to residents and to community needs.”

The Board has four short-term goals: Safe and Healthy Community, Growing County, High Performing Public Organization, and High Quality Public Facilities.

Requirements and Preferred Qualifications

The successful candidate will have a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited four-year college or university in Public Administration, Business Administration, Veterinary Science or related field and four to six years of progressively-responsible related experience; or any combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the essential functions of the position.

Additionally, four to six years of supervisory experience is required for this position. A current Certified Animal Welfare Administrator designation from the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators and experience in Chameleon software is preferred. Candidates must have a Euthanasia Technician Certificate as required by the State of Illinois or obtain one within 90 days of employment. The successful candidate is expected to complete various training courses, such as incinerator operation and care and chemical capture, within one year of employment. The new Director must reside in, or be willing to relocate to, the County of Peoria.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate for Director will be committed to animal welfare, a subject matter expert, and skilled at communicating why protecting animals and enforcing laws helps protect both animals and people. The next Director will be strong, firm, fair, and confident enough to make difficult decisions. He/she will have a thick skin, be apolitical, and have resilience when individual or group philosophies vary with the laws this position must uphold. The next Director will be a strong communicator and be able to speak with ease with large groups, elected officials, the media, and individual customers. The ideal candidate will be level-headed, patient, and calm, able to address difficult issues and keep them from escalating. He or she will be personable and open, and will have a high level of integrity. The ideal candidate will be an effective leader with demonstrated management skills and have technical expertise in both animal control and animal shelter services. The next Director will foster productive working relationships with the humane society, area veterinarians, and the public.

The Community

Known as the Heart of Illinois, Peoria County is at the center of a multiple-county region along the Illinois River midway between Chicago and St. Louis. Approximately 50% of the region’s 370,000 people call Peoria County home. The region’s central location and moderate population encourage local economic growth and support a variety of recreational and cultural opportunities.

Peoria County is often equated with Caterpillar, Inc., and the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment reaffirmed its commitment to the region by selecting Peoria as the site of its new global headquarters. The region also boasts the USDA’s National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research Lab; a renowned medical community with the only Level I Trauma Center in Central Illinois; and many innovative high-tech firms.

Peoria County offers affordable housing, quality education, and unique cultural experiences. Housing in the area includes riverfront property, comfortable homes in cozy neighborhoods, and secluded country living with an average home sales price in Peoria County at $140,437. The County’s 18 public school districts have a graduate rate of 86%, 5% higher than the national average. The region is also home to Bradley University, four colleges, and the University of Illinois College of Medicine – Peoria. UICOMP has collaborated with OSF Healthcare to create Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center, an innovative training center for medical professionals.

The County also has a variety of recreational opportunities, including Wildlife Prairie Park, a 2,000-acre zoological park; Jubilee College State Park, 3,500 acres of horse, bike, and walking trails, fishing and camping; and 9,000 acres of the Peoria Park District that has several public golf courses, the Rock Island Greenway bike trails, and Glen Oak Zoo. Peoria County is also home to two professional sports teams and hosts many youth sporting events and tournaments throughout the year. Cultural enthusiasts can enjoy quality performing arts, art galleries, and local and regional museums including the Peoria Riverfront Museum and the Caterpillar Visitors Center.


Starting salary to be based on qualifications and includes an excellent benefits package.

How to Apply

This position has been filled and is no longer available.

Thank you for your interest.

Apply Online

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group. Apply online at and include cover letter, resume with salary history, and 3-5 professional references. Applicant information will be kept confidential.


Questions should be directed to Catherine Tuck Parrish at or 240-832-1778.


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