Seelbach to lead animal nonprofit

Ohio Alleycat Resource & Spay/Neuter Clinic has named former Cincinnati City Council President Chris Seelbach as its new executive director.

Named by the Humane Society of the United States of America the 2019 “Humane Legislator of the Year,” Seelbach has a long history championing animal rights. A Louisville native and Xavier University graduate, Seelbach made history in 2011 when he became the first openly gay politician elected to Cincinnati City Council. He left council in early 2022 due to term limits and took most of the last year as a sabbatical.

Chris Seelbach

While serving on council, Seelbach established the first ever “Animal Welfare” Task Force, repealed the city’s ban on pit bulls, passed legislation making it illegal to sell non-rescued cats and rabbits in commercial pet stores, enhanced penalties for tethering animals outside in extreme temperatures and banned exotic animals from from traveling circuses.

“This is an opportunity of a lifetime, combining a deep love and passion for animals with my unique ability to lead a growing and diverse community organization,” said Seelbach, who starts his new role March 6. “The dedicated team at OAR are the best in the business. I look forward to telling their stories, building on successes and making OAR the model for cat rescue in our country.”

Ohio Alleycat Resource & Spay/Neuter Clinic is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to enrich the lives of cats and communities in Greater Cincinnati by providing low-cost, high-quality spay/neuter services for ferals, strays and pets. The clinic is a no-kill adoption center serving 20 counties with 30 employees and 450 volunteers. It performed nearly 11,500 spay and neuter surgeries in 2022, placed 1200 cats in foster homes and saw 1500 cats adopted.

“We are thrilled to have Chris join OAR. His education, experience, and unique perspective qualify him for this leadership role. His passion for animal welfare and vision for the future make him a perfect fit,” said George Jonson, board president.

In addition to bringing on Seelbach as executive director, OAR announced the promotion of Blair Caviness as chief operating officer.

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