April 4, 2012
Executive appoints experienced veterinarian, manager, and animal advocate to lead Regional Animal Services of King County
Gene Mueller says he looks forward to building alliances with private animal welfare organizations in the region
King County Executive Dow Constantine today named Gene Mueller, the administrator of Chicago’s largest critical-care veterinary hospital, as the new manager of Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC).
"Gene brings a strong record of building partnerships with animal welfare groups, as well as experience leading a major metropolitan humane society and running a large veterinary hospital," said Executive Constantine. "I look forward to bringing his experience to bear to build on the success we've had with our new regional model that has transformed animal care in King County."
Mueller most recently led the Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center, and served as president of the Anti-Cruelty Society of Chicago, where he directed fundraising and managed a team of more than 100 employees and 400 volunteers. Mueller also has experience in the public sector, heading up the Commission on Animal Care and Control for the City of Chicago. He holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He began his career as a veterinarian in the Chicago suburb of Wilmette, Ill.
"I am honored to join King County in this role," said Mueller, who will begin his new duties on Monday, June 4. "I have always considered animal services to be a critical part of two important safety nets: public safety and animal welfare. My goal will be to protect both people and animals in King County, while addressing the needs of our regional partners for professional animal services at a cost consistent with their budgetary realities."
Mueller also looks forward to expanding upon the strong alliances between RASKC and other animal welfare organizations in the Puget Sound region.
"I have seen first-hand that partnerships between public open-admission animal shelters and private, non-profit shelters have proven to be the best model in other large jurisdictions across the country," Mueller added. "I also look forward to pursuing all avenues of funding, including private donations, to help Regional Animal Services keep providing the excellent, cost-effective, caring service that the people and animals of King County deserve."
"Gene is an outstanding leader with decades of experience leading employees and volunteer teams," said Caroline Whalen, director of the Department of Executive Services, which oversees RASKC. "As we continue to develop our regional model, Gene will help us find the best combination of value for our partner cities and service to the people and animals of King County."
Mueller says he is eager to get to work. "The dedicated staff and volunteers of Regional Animal Services of King County have built a program to be proud of," he said. "This was no simple task, but with the support of Executive Constantine, our employees and volunteers, our regional partners, and the animal lovers of King County, I know we can continue on the path of continuous improvement. Working together is the only way we can protect and help the animals that are our responsibility in King County."
Mueller replaces interim manager Glynis Frederiksen, who will return to her role as operations manager for the King County Pet Adoption Center in Kent. "I am grateful for the leadership Glynis provided during the search for a new manager," Whalen said. "Under her leadership, Regional Animal Services achieved a record low euthanasia rate, and found new, loving homes for hundreds of animals."