LOS ANGELES : New Chief of Animal Regulation Agency Named

The executive director of the Humane Society of Sonoma County has been named director of the troubled Los Angeles Department of Animal Regulation, ending a 18-month search.

Dan C. Knapp, 38, will take over the $82,000-a-year post Jan. 1. He replaces Robert I. Rush, who resigned from the department in 1992 after 24 years.

In recent years, the department has faced significant cuts in staffing, charges that its six shelters are deathtraps for strays and a call by the Los Angeles City Council for a grand jury audit. Animal rights activists praised Knapp's selection, saying it was important for an outsider to take the helm.

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