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From Parks to Pets: Erin Gettis Starts Anew 

Long-time animal advocate Erin Gettis started her new journey today as director for Riverside County Animal Services. 

Gettis previously worked as an assistant director for the Riverside County Park and Open Space District. At RivCoParks, she also served as bureau chief for planning and development. 

Now she’s going from parks to pets. Not that it’s much of a transition for the longtime advocate for shelter animals. Ms. Gettis has volunteered for rescue organizations and assisted as an individual trying to save homeless pets. Recognizing just how much public shelters need help, Ms. Gettis has adopted all of her pets from such shelters. 

Earlier today, Ms. Gettis introduced herself and shared some of her hopes during an all-staff meeting on Zoom. 

“The team at Animal Services truly believes in our mission ‘Working Together to Improve Riverside County for People and Animals,’” Ms. Gettis said. “I take this mission seriously too and appreciate the spirit of togetherness and the act of serving Riverside County citizens contained within. The work isn’t always easy, but that is what public service is – doing those hard jobs to the best of our ability for the community.” 

Public service is her passion. She has spent the past 30 years working in community engagement within the parks, planning and architecture fields. Ms. Gettis is originally from the Pacific Northwest, but she’s worked the past 22 years in Southern California, including 12 years at the city of Riverside as a division manager for the Neighborhood Engagement Division and a principal planner for the Community and Economic Development Department. 

Ms. Gettis is an avid hiker and camper and often heads out with her family and rescue dogs to their favorite spots near the water, either in the mountains or at the beach. 

Before working for public agencies, she worked for architectural firms in Seattle, Madison, Wis., and San Diego, including projects for a variety of public schools and restoration of two state capitols. She has championed many public projects and organizations, including the Santa Ana River Trail, Grow Riverside and the Riverside Neighborhood Partnership. 

Riverside County Parks Department Director Kyla Brown said she is sad to lose Ms. Gettis. But Animal Services is in good hands, she said. 

“Erin is an exceptional and thoughtful leader,” Brown said. “She has helped RivCoParks advance challenging projects and built wonderful relationships along the way. We will miss Erin in Parks, but are excited to work with her in this new capacity. I have no doubt she will do amazing things for Animal Services.” 

Erin Gettis portrait with her late German shepherd Oskar ADOPTED from Riverside County Animal Services

Erin Gettis-portrait with her late German shepherd, Oskar, ADOPTED from Riverside County Animal Services

Erin Gettis smiling with Maxwell age 12

Erin Gettis smiling with Maxwell-age 12

Contact a Shelter

Western Riverside: (951) 358-7387 (PETS)
San Jacinto: (951) 358-7387
Coachella Valley: (760) 343-3644
Blythe: (760) 921-7857
Toll Free: 1-888-636-7387 (PETS)

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