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OC Animal Care Director's Message

I am honored and excited to accept the Director of OC Animal Care position.  I am thankful to OCCR, the County of Orange, and the Board of Supervisors for the confidence they have shown in me to lead our agency into the future.  My career has been all about helping animals in need, and that’s what this team at OC Animal Care does best.  I look forward to continuing to engage with the community and meeting with our stakeholders, volunteers, and community members in the months ahead.   


OC Animal Care is fortunate to have so many compassionate, dedicated community members who choose to help animals in need.  Whether you have rescued, fostered, adopted, or licensed your pet with OC Animal Care, your support has truly made a world of difference.  

During the past 10 months, I have been incredibly impressed by the amazing accomplishments of this team from the launch of multiple successful pilot programs last summer to pivoting daily operations throughout the Tustin Hangar Fire response to the integration of Daily Adoption Options, a free microchip program, and everything in between.   

Along the way, our community has supported our team.  We are beyond grateful to the hundreds of rescue and sister-shelter partners who work with us to help some of the most at-risk animals in our community.  To every adopter, we say thank you for opening your heart and home to an amazing animal from OC Animal Care.  To our fosters, those selfless individuals who sign up to temporarily give an animal a break from shelter life, provide much needed growing time for underage babies, or sign on to be a medical foster during rehab, thank you for being there each time we call.  And to our community members who license their pet, thank you for being part of our extended family and enabling us to provide critical services for lost, injured, and at-risk animals.  

I very much look forward to this next chapter as Director of OC Animal Care and what we can achieve as a municipal shelter, working together with community members like you, toward the shared goal of improving the lives of people and pets in Orange County.  For more information on how you can partner with us, please visit, email, or call 714-935-6848. 

Thank you, 

Monica's Name

Monica Schmidt



"Best Friends Animal Society congratulates Orange County on their selection of Monica Schmidt as Director of Animal Care. Under Monica’s interim leadership there has been successfully collaborative efforts to establish the shelter’s critical lifesaving foster programs. Her commitment to programmatic improvement throughout the animal shelter has contributed greatly to the level of service that Orange County residents (both animals and humans alike) receive. We look forward to a continued increase in public service, public safety, and lifesaving." - Michelle Dosson, Pacific Region Director, Best Friends Animal Society 


“The City of Fountain Valley is excited to see the selection of Interim Director Monica Schmidt into the OC Animal Care Director position. We anticipate seamless transition and continuation of the partnership that Schmidt has already established during the interim period.”Matthew Sheppard, Chief of Police 


“Comprehensively addressing animal welfare issues – especially during times of disaster – requires strong collaboration across local and national organizations that share the common goal of improving the lives of vulnerable animals,” said Joy Ollinger, ASPCA National Field Response. “The ASPCA has been pleased to partner with OC Animal Care, led by Monica Schmidt, and we look forward to future opportunities to work together to protect and care for the animals of Orange County under their new leadership.”


"I am extremely pleased to learn that Monica Schmidt has been selected as the new Director for Orange County’s Animal Care (OCAC) agency. Monica is a highly skilled and experienced animal welfare professional and brings a deep understanding of OCAC’s mission and services. I am confident that under Monica’s leadership, OCAC will continue to offer and expand their progressive and compassionate programming to serve the people and animals of Orange County."Jackie Rose, Director of Animal Services, County of Ventura 


"I am very pleased Ms. Schmidt will be the new permanent director of the OC Animal Care center. I believe she has come out on top in a difficult and thorough process. I look forward to supporting her new mission and with implementing the 2018 strategic plan, delayed due to Covid and personnel changes."Elizabeth Cowen, Advisory Committee Member, OC Animal Care Community Outreach Committee