Jackson County Hires Joseph Barlow as New Animal Shelter Director

The Board of Supervisors, on March 23rd, hired Joe Barlow to be the County’s new Animal Shelter Director. He will begin working with current Director Diane Robinson this week to ensure a smooth transition before she leaves in April to take a position with the Atlanta Humane Society.

“With all of the new programs and positive changes that have been implemented over the last year under Diane’s leadership,” says County Administrator Brian Fulton, ”Joe’s management experience, leadership and knowledge base are the perfect match for where the shelter is now and the direction it is going.”

Barlow, a lifelong resident of Jackson County, will bring 25 years of managerial experience to the shelter. He most recently served as Operations Manager for Sodexo, a quality of life services company. Prior to that, he was Director of Ocean Springs Hospital’s Environmental Services, a department of 45 employees, for the majority of his 22 years of employment with Singing River Health System.

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Although Barlow has not worked directly in an animal shelter environment, his experience plays a vital role in day-to-day shelter operations. He has a degree in Criminal Justice from USM and a strong background in policy development and implementation, data management, budgeting, conflict resolution, and problem solving. While at S.R.H.S., Barlow also served in other capacities relating to emergency management, safety, and hazardous materials and waste – all of which tie into shelter work. In addition, he does have a passion for animals and is ready to step into the role with ideas but also an open mind in determining the next step.

“The County’s Animal Shelter is an important part of our community and I have a sincere interest in seeing it continue to move in a positive direction,” said Barlow. “I am looking forward to working with the staff to refine current programs and develop new ways to engage the community and ultimately reduce the number of unwanted animals that end up having to be euthanized.”

Barlow, along with other County staff, will be attending Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Care Expo next week. This will be a great opportunity for them to gain important skills and strategies in improving animal care and services at the shelter directly from experts in the field.