Animal Services_get_image.aspThe Hillsborough County Animal Services, which has seen its share of trouble in recent months, is hoping to turn a new leaf this year by means of new leadership.

Bringing more than 12 years of experience and training in the animal services field, the county selected Scott Trebatoski as the services newly-appointed director, replacing former director, Ian Hallet, who has been moved to the Parks Department as the manager of Parks Services.

With the change, the county hopes to reverse the tainted public opinion that formed in the wake of some ups and downs in connection with operations at the shelter including complaints of poor leadership, overcrowding as well as a virus outbreak among the animals, which effectively shut down shelter operation, not to mention reports of dogs being mistakenly euthanized.

County officials said that under Trebatoski’s leadership, the shelter has significantly increased the live outcome rate. In addition, Jacksonville Animal Care and Protective Services was named Outstanding Agency of the year by Florida Animal Control Association three times during his tenure, which includes 2013. Trebatoski has served on the board of directors of the Florida Animal Control Association and was president twice.

He is also the Animal Control Representative for the American Microchip Advisory Council for Animals and is a licensed Animal Control Officer.  All of that is good news for the many volunteers that give their time and effort to make sure the animals at the shelter are properly cared for.

One of those volunteers is Bloomingdale resident, Michelle Colesanti, who has worked at the shelter for a little more than a year.

“I decided to volunteer because of my love for animals. If I only help one animal that needs a home to get adopted on any particular day that I help out, it’s still a good day,” Colesanti said.

Volunteers help meet and greets with those who are interested in adoptions as well as find out what they visitors are looking for and try to guide them in the right direction.

Joining the eager volunteers as the new director, Trebatoski will begin work at Hillsborough County Animal Services located at 440 Falkenburg Rd. in Tampa, on Monday, March 10 at an annual salary of $120,000. Until his start date, the former head of code enforcement Dexter Barge acts as interim director.


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