Behavior and Care Manager – Full-Time

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Department: Behavior

Reports to: Assistant Operations Director 

Status: Exempt

Revised: September 2021

Pay Range: $35,568 – $47,000

Hiring appointments are made at the start of the range. Multilingual employees of WHS may receive a pay differential. All qualified and interested individuals including BIPOC, disabled, LGBTQ+, Veterans, 50+ applicants are encouraged to apply. 


The Behavior and Care Manager (BCM) plays a primary role in ensuring our animals’ emotional, physical, and mental needs are met and positioning Willamette Humane Society (WHS) as a community resource for dog training and dog and cat behavioral assistance. As a member of the Leadership Team, the BCM must demonstrate, mentor, and reinforce WHS values, principles, and mission driven culture.


  • Perform job duties in a positive, helpful manner providing exceptional customer service.
  • Represent WHS with activities and behaviors designed to improve our reputation in the community and enhance the public’s knowledge of animal welfare as well as their knowledge of the WHS mission, vision, and programs.

Behavior and Care

  • Provide guidance and day-to-day management of all Behavior and Care activities.
  • Develop, monitor and support shelter-wide behavior management and enrichment programs for dogs and cats aimed at reducing stress and facilitating quick, successful transitions to adoptive homes or other outcomes. Ensure these programs focus primarily on the overall needs of our population of dogs in care rather than individual animals.
  • Develop, promote, coordinate, and conduct a full range of animal training programs (classes, private consultations, post-adoption support, etc.) to enhance the public’s knowledge of animal welfare, behavior, and training while generating revenue for WHS.
  • Participate in daily rounds of the animal housing areas to verify the health and well-being of animals, the safety and cleanliness of the facility, and the accuracy of visible information. Communicate issues with relevant staff and follow-up as needed on assigned tasks.
  • Conduct and oversee cat and dog behavior evaluations and make treatment and/or placement recommendations.
  • Participate in the placement and review process for animals in care, including participation in weekly 360 meetings and euthanasia recommendations.
  • Coordinate and conduct regular animal handling and behavior training sessions for both new and existing staff and volunteers and supervise volunteers assisting in Behavior and Care activities such as playgroups and training classes. Provide the Volunteer Team with performance feedback.
  • Work closely with Foster Coordinator to develop and maintain a behavior foster program and assist in the recruitment and training of volunteers to carry out that program.
  • Coordinate and oversee a robust playgroup program for shelter dogs.
  • Resources allowing, develop and implement individualized behavior modification plans for special needs animals, monitoring closely to ensure progress towards established goals and effective use of resources.
  • In the absence of the Animal Welfare Supervisor, oversee the Animal Welfare team’s efforts to maintain the cleanliness and sanitation of the animal housing areas and implement behavior and enrichment program activities.
  • Follow proper safety protocols for people and animals and set a high standard for quality animal handling, monitoring the need for staff and volunteer training and coordination provision of that training as needed.
  • Work closely with Adoptions team to assist in counseling prospective adopters and conducting dog-dog introductions as needed.
  • Update and maintain a resource library of animal behavior materials for staff and customers.
  • Maintain, monitor and replace behavior and care program supplies and equipment as needed.
  • Work with the Volunteer Team to identify volunteer needs and assist in recruitment and training of volunteers for Behavior and Care needs.
  • Assist in the planning and execution of special events which involve the Behavior and Care department, including representing WHS at public events and fundraisers.

Personnel Management

  • Provide training and oversight of Behavior and Care staff at all levels to ensure WHS customers and animals receive a high level of compassionate care including, but not limited to, the latest industry-adopted customer and animal care standards, consistent administration of WHS procedures, swift and thoughtful animal disposition and placement decisions, effective training methods, and safe shelter operations.
  • Work with the Assistant Operations Director (AOD) and direct reports to develop and implement clear, shared expectations and measurable goals and work standards for Behavior and Care teams, leading staff in overcoming barriers to meeting those goals and expectations.
  • Oversee and assist with the creation, upkeep and enforcement of Behavior and Care training and reference resources such as SOPs, forms and policies. Encourage staff to find their own answers in written procedures in order to facilitate learning and procedural consistency.
  • In close collaboration with AOD, identify personnel needs for Behavior and Care programs and support direct reports in the recruitment and hiring process, with a focus on putting the right people in the right roles.
  • Work with supervisors and direct reports to design work schedules that reflect the needs of the Behavior and Care programs, including volunteer contributions. Support supervisors’ efforts to coordinate coverage for absences and vacancies and to manage daily work assignments, meal/break periods, and special projects.
  • Evaluate the performance of direct reports including professional development, compensation recommendations, coaching, feedback and disciplinary action and ensure direct reports are in compliance with these requirements for their teams as well.
  • Maintain a positive work culture and promote accountability through training and copious communication. Foster teamwork and unity among departments and individuals that allows for disagreement, requires direct conflict resolution, and values diversity.
  • Ensure all staff follow established safety protocols, including proper use of required personal protective equipment, to promote a safe workplace and compliance with applicable WHS policies and local, state and federal laws and regulations.
  • Review and approve timecards for direct reports, including PTO requests.
  • When serving as the Person in Charge, review any Incident Reports, ensuring requisite follow-up steps are completed promptly as needed.
  • Serve as the Person in Charge and oversee opening and closing duties as assigned.

Fiscal Management

  • Contribute to the annual budget creation process by making recommendations for changes to the Behavior and Care line items.
  • Consider and plan for short- and long-term budget needs to support Behavior and Care programs. 
  • Review monthly financial reports to monitor spending compared to projections, ensure proper account classification, and follow up on irregularities. 
  • Draft, review and approve purchase orders for Behavior and Care program expenses, ensuring proper account attribution and submission to the Business Office in a timely manner.


  • Oversee the administration and enforcement of Behavior and Care policies and procedures, addressing violations, deviations and contradictions as needed to ensure clear understanding and appreciation among staff for adopted methods.
  • Observe and evaluate established procedures to look for improvements that will enhance speed, accuracy, efficiency and customer benefit.
  • Work closely with AOD and other WHS leadership to develop strategies that support efforts to build pet retention programs.
  • Keep abreast of the latest trends, research, and best practices in dog and cat behavior and care, scrutinizing ideas and recommending improvements to WHS procedures accordingly, especially changes that incorporate new techniques designed to improve effectiveness and reduce cost.
  • Model the ability to work and interact effectively with diverse audiences, including those with differing histories and experiences.
  • Collect and provide statistical and anecdotal data related to Behavior and Care programs for analysis and discussion on a regular basis and as requested.
  • Participate in the annual strategic planning process, leading the development of comprehensive annual plans for Behavior and Care programs.
  • Attend meetings as assigned.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


Supervises the Animal Welfare Supervisor, Behavior and Training Instructors (2), and Behavior Volunteers, and when applicable, contracted trainers.


The BCM works under the general direction of the Assistant Operations Director and is expected to pursue the established duties exercising prudent discretion and judgment.


The BCM will have regular, ongoing contact with shelter staff from all departments, members of the public, and volunteers. Contacts will require consistently demonstrating WHS core values with both internal and external customers; interactions will exhibit diplomacy, compassion, and a respectful professional demeanor. Some interactions may be difficult due to the nature of the situation in question, many of which may be emotionally-charged. Occasional contact with external vendors, other shelters and rescue groups and other animal-related organizations may occur. Contact with others requires prompt, tactful exchanges and a positive, professional demeanor. Contact and communication is carried in person and via phone and email.


  • Work takes place both indoors and outdoors on even and uneven surfaces in all weather.
  • Will have regular contact with animals with varying degrees of domesticity and physical condition. Will be expected to work around and physically handle live and deceased animals as well as dogs and cats of all sizes, ages and temperaments. This role requires keen observational skills, as well as dexterity with a leash and other training equipment.
  • Will work directly with animal wastes, potentially harmful cleaners and disinfectants, high noise, and potentially hazardous conditions, including the risk of animal bites and zoonotic diseases.
  • May be exposed to heights, such as step stools or ladders. 
  • Must employ basic safety standards at all times and wear appropriate PPE. Must be committed to a high standard of safety and be willing and able to comply with all safety laws and policies.
  • Evening, weekend, and holiday work is required.
  • Must have reliable transportation.


  • Frequently required to stand, walk, sit, and reach. 
  • Must be able to lift 40 pounds. 
  • Must be able to lift 20 pounds repetitively.
  • Work performed requires lifting, bending, stooping, twisting, pushing, and other strenuous activities for extended periods of time.
  • The position requires regular use of a computer, telephones, and other standard office equipment.
  • Work is often done in a time sensitive and demanding environment.
  • May be required to take a physical examination paid for by WHS prior to the start of work activities.


  • Able to thoroughly learn and uphold WHS policies and procedures.
  • Strong organizational and follow-up skills with attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Superb time-management skills with the ability to establish priorities and meet deadlines.
  • Able to create and sustain positive working relationships with volunteers, colleagues and customers. A leader as well as a team player.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with diverse audiences, including those with differing histories and experiences.
  • Able to understand and support humane options of training and care and handle all animals safely with patience, gentleness, and compassion.
  • Understand, support, and be able to employ humane, positive-reinforcement based training methods that are consistent with the mission of WHS and be able to counsel the public in matters of training, behavior modification, and socialization.
  • Exercise exceptional judgment in providing unparalleled counsel and service to customers, even under stressful and emotional conditions.
  • Facilitate decisions that result in customers and animals receiving outstanding, personal service. 
  • A passion for treating people and animals with respect, inspiring trust, and working with integrity.
  • Able to speak clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations, listen and get clarification, respond well to questions, and participate in meetings.
  • Able to deal with conflict in a professional and constructive manner, facilitating rather than dictating resolution.
  • Able to develop and implement goals, policies, procedures, and work standards and develop effective work teams who are motivated to meet those goals and standards.
  • Able to handle multiple tasks in a busy workplace environment.
  • Able to recognize and respond quickly and effectively to unplanned, urgent situations.
  • Able to identify needs and trends, conduct solid research, and provide solutions.
  • Knowledge of domestic animals including breeds, appropriate care and housing, common health problems, and disease symptoms.
  • Able to write clearly, edit work, and interpret written information, such as safety rules and SOPs. 
  • Must work in a manner that reflects a safe environment for animals, customers and colleagues. 
  • A cost-conscious mindset with an interest in identifying and developing potential cost-saving and revenue-building measures.
  • Able to demonstrate reliable attendance and punctuality.
  • Capable of learning industry databases, i.e. PetPoint and appointment scheduling software.
  • Ability to speak and understand Spanish is desirable but not required.


  • A Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university and a minimum of one (1) year of supervisory or lead experience in the field of animal care/welfare OR an Associate’s Degree from an accredited college or university and two (2) years of increasingly responsible experience in the field of animal care/welfare with at least one (1) of those years in a supervisory or lead role OR four (4) years of increasingly responsible experience in the field of animal care/welfare with at least two (2) of those years in a supervisory or lead role.
  • Minimum of one year supervisory experience required.
  • Must be a high school graduate or equivalent and be able to read, write, and speak clearly in English so that written and verbal instructions can be communicated effectively.
  • Previous experience demonstrating a capability to define program objectives and carry out program direction on schedule using independent judgment.
  • Must have formal knowledge and experience with many types and ages of dogs and cats with a minimum of two years’ experience in positive reinforcement animal training. This may include formal training such as that obtained from a professional dog training school and/or apprenticeships at positive reinforcement obedience schools, college psychology and animal behavior courses, extensive reading in animal learning theory and ethology, continuing education such as that obtained through membership and participation in professional dog trainers’ organizations like the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), and professional experience teaching public obedience classes and/or private training and behavior counseling.
  • Preferred candidates will already possess current CPDT certification status and have experience training and working with shelter or rescue dogs and cats.
  • Strong consideration will be afforded to Certified Animal Welfare Administrators (CAWAs).
  • Proficiency in a Google environment.

Additional requirements: Must have a demonstrated interest and enthusiasm for animal welfare and WHS’ Mission; be willing to work weekends, evenings, and holidays as required by the job; have a valid Oregon driver’s license and be insurable by WHS vendors; and meet the physical requirements of the job. 

Note: Under the provisions of the Immigration and Reform Control Act of 1986, the successful candidate will be required to provide evidence of identity and eligibility. WHS is an Equal Opportunity Employer that does not discriminate on the grounds of race, religion, national origin, marital status, disability or any class protected by law.

Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.

WHS is an “at-will employer”.