January 30, 2023

Mayor Lightfoot Announces Susan Cappello to Serve as Acting Executive Director of the Chicago Animal Care and Control

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO — Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today announced that Susan Cappello will serve as Acting Executive Director of Chicago Animal Care and Control (CACC). Cappello, who began working with the City in 1990, will assume the lead role, effective January 30, after serving as Deputy Director since July 2021. 

In her 32 years of city service, Cappello has held various roles, including Administrative Services Officer, HR Business Partner, and most recently, Deputy Director of CACC. In her roles at CACC, she has managed the departmental budget and served as a liaison between City Departments, Aldermanic Offices, and outside governmental agencies. Cappello has worked with community partners toward the common goal of minimizing the number of homeless and abandoned animals that come into the City shelter, and saving all healthy and treatable animals through adoption and transfer to rescue partners.   

“I want to thank Executive Director Mamadou Diakhate for his years of leadership at CACC,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “As the first veterinarian to hold the Executive Director position, Mamadou cared deeply for the pets at our shelter and our city's wildlife. I wish him and his family all the best as he embarks on an exciting new chapter.  

“Additionally, I am excited to announce that Susan Cappello will step up and serve as the Acting Executive Director. Her years of experience at CACC have provided her with the skills and expertise needed for the role, and she has proven her dedication to the City and its animals. I am grateful for her leadership as we work to identify the next executive director who will continue fostering success at our shelter.” 

In her new role, Cappello will continue to lead the department to work tirelessly for Chicago residents, pets, and wildlife. The department is working hard to promote adoptions, reunite stray animals with their families, and offer assistance to help keep animals with the people who love and care for them. Cappello, who oversees adoption events, vaccine and microchip clinics, and community engagement events, plans to increase community engagement in communities across the city. 

CACC protects public safety and ensures the humane care of animals through sheltering, pet placement, education, and animal law enforcement. As the only open-admission municipal shelter in Chicago, CACC receives more than 40,000 animal-related inquiries and service requests through the 311-call center each year. CACC houses approximately 500 animals in separate kennels and has a fully equipped medical division to care for the animals in its care. It employs over 60 employees with a $7M annual budget.  

“On behalf of the city, I would like to thank outgoing Executive Director Mamadou Diakhate for his years of dedication and leadership at Chicago Animal Care and Control,” said Acting Executive Director Susan Cappello. “The City of Chicago and its animals are indebted to him for strengthening the department’s vision these past 19 years. During his tenure at CACC, Mamadou held the roles of Supervisor of Animal Care Aides, Shelter Manager, Operations Manager, and Deputy Director. Mamadou’s focused leadership has resulted in changes that ultimately maximized the outcomes and lives of animals at CACC. We wish him well in all of his future endeavors.”