The Franklin County commissioners have announced a new director to oversee the county’s Animal Care and Control Department, which includes the Franklin County Dog Shelter and Adoption Center. Kaye Dickson will take over the position beginning on Monday, August 6th. In addition, the commissioners have hired an assistant director, Dwayne Young, who will begin next month.
As director, Dickson will oversee an agency that takes in about 10,000 dogs each year, and which is responsible for enforcing Ohio’s canine laws within Franklin County. The department employs more than 60 personnel, including 20 deputy wardens, and has an annual budget of about $5.1 million.
“Public safety and the health of the animals in our care are of the utmost importance,” said Board of Commissioners President Kevin L. Boyce. “Director Dickson understands this and has an impressive combination of education and experience that will help her lead our Animal Care and Control Department, and to ensure that the shelter is the best that it can be.”
Dickson is an Ohio native and a life-long public servant who spent 27 years with the Pinal County Sheriff’s Department in Arizona, where she rose through the ranks as a deputy, including serving on the SWAT team, to eventually become commander of patrol and support services. She went on to serve as the director of Pinal County Animal Care and Control for four years, and was also previously director of Franklin County Animal Care and Control before returning to Arizona in 2016 to run for political office. She has a bachelor degree from the University of Phoenix, and a Master of Public Administration from Grand Canyon University. She is also a member of the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators and National Animal Control Association, as well as a certified Emergency Animal Medical Technician, a certified Public Administrator, and holds a National Animal Control Certification Level 1-4.
“Kaye Dickson is a dedicated public servant, and has shown herself to be a smart, tough leader throughout her career,” said Commissioner Marilyn Brown. “I’m confident in the plan, resources, and leadership now in place to ensure that the shelter is the best that it can be, and I’m excited to have her and Dwayne both joining our team.”
Dwayne Young is originally from Cincinnati, and has a bachelor’s degree from Tuskegee University in Alabama. He has worked as a park ranger with the National Park Service, as a biological science technician with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and is currently the animal care supervisor for the SPCA in Houston, Texas. Young is slated to begin in his new position as assistant director on September 4th. In their new roles, Dickson will be paid $106,000 annually, and Young will make $80,000 per year.
“In hiring Kaye Dickson and Dwayne Young, we’ve put together a team that understands the challenges that a shelter like ours faces,” said Commissioner John O’Grady. “I know that they will be strong advocates for the animal welfare community, and especially for the dogs in our care.”
As an open admission shelter, the Franklin County Dog Shelter accepts all dogs regardless of age, health, or temperament. It’s one of the only 24/7 shelter in the state, and has a live release rate of greater than 90%. The shelter has recently contracted with the University of Wisconsin Shelter Medicine Program to provide recommendations and ongoing consulting to improve the shelter program and help it to maintain its position as one of the premier facilities of its type in the nation.