A new boss is in charge today at Salt Lake County Animal Services.

Shawni Larabee takes the helm of a department dealing with the aftermath of layoffs and budget shortfalls.

In March, three employees were given pink slips in a move to cut the budget and decrease the cost of services to cities who contract with the county for animal services. Later that month, former director Kenneth Miles resigned.

The county needs to keep its cities happy if they want to prevent other cities from bolting. Last year Cottonwood Heights and Taylorsville canceled service, citing increasing costs.

Still on contract are Salt Lake City, Herriman City, the University of Utah, and unincorporated areas of Salt Lake County.

The March layoffs included three upper-level staffers, including media darling Temma Martin, who appeared on all the local television stations pleading with viewers to adopt pets.

Martin now does similar work at the Utah Animal Adoption Center.

Nilsa Carter, associate director of the county's Community Services Department, had been serving as interim animal-services director.

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