I had the pleasure of working with Peggy Langle when I was a clinic veterinarian at the Santa Barbara Humane Society (SBHS) in 2005 and then the Director of Medicine for the shelter from 2006 through 2012.
I have the utmost respect and admiration for Peggy, as an individual and as the executive director of SBHS. Her professionalism, communication skills, knowledge of animal welfare, and most of all her deep compassion for every single animal in the shelter made me proud to be a part of the SBHS team.
Peggy was tireless in her commitment to the shelter on a day-to-day basis as well as during the crisis situations she managed during our many fires in Santa Barbara, when shelter personnel were working round the clock and our shelter population sky rocketed with displaced pets.
She instituted so many positive changes in the management of the shelter, which led to better health care and comfort for the animals, better education and training for the staff, and improved community outreach and education. Although instituted after I left the shelter, the Open Adoption Policy, dog play groups, and environmental enrichment programs for the dogs and cats were developed under her leadership. When I retired from the SBHS in 2012, there were 110 dogs and 40-plus cats in the shelter; the animals and the staff were stressed. Since the new policies were instituted, there is a substantially lower shelter population of happier animals that are adopted much more quickly. I count that as a resounding success story for the Humane Society and for Peggy.
I am at a complete loss as to why the board of SBHS would so precipitously fire such a person. I am deeply saddened and distressed by this, and I can’t imagine they will find a better or more committed executive director elsewhere.