Animal Welfare Specialist – Part-Time

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Department: Animal Care

Reports to: Animal Welfare Supervisor

Status: Non-exempt

Revised: January 2021

Pay range: $12.50 – $14.90

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


The Animal Welfare Specialist (AWS) is responsible for ensuring a safe and healthful environment for the animals, staff, volunteers and visitors to our shelter.  The AWS must demonstrate, mentor, and reinforce Willamette Humane Society (WHS) values, principles and mission-driven culture.


  • Perform job duties in a positive, helpful manner.  Providing exceptional customer service and representing WHS in a professional manner in all situations with the public, volunteers and staff.
  • Assist the public in all aspects of shelter programs and share information to enhance the public’s knowledge of animal welfare as well as their knowledge of WHS mission and programs.  
  • Clean and disinfect all species kennel and cage areas, euthanasia room, exam areas, visitation areas and other animal care areas (infirmary, isolation, etc.) according to procedures.  Maintain cleanliness standards throughout the day. 
  • Monitor and report any animal health or behavioral concerns to the supervisor or manager. 
  • Assist in maintaining the order and cleanliness of the shelter facility and grounds.  Duties include vacuuming, dusting, cleaning bathrooms, mopping, washing windows, etc.  May assist with recycling of paper, glass, plastics and metals.
  • Share responsibility for laundry: ensure items are washed, dried and stored appropriately. 
  • Train and monitor volunteers and community service workers as instructed by the supervisor or manager in your area, while maintaining a general but thorough understanding of all WHS operations to support the training and understanding needed.
  • Ability to communicate with a multitude of individuals or groups with varying backgrounds and present information on a variety of animal welfare topics. 
  • Administer medications to animals as assigned by the supervisor or manager.
  • Perform opening and closing duties.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the supervisor or manager.


None, but will engage with, train and support WHS volunteers. 


The AWS works under the direct supervision of the Animal Welfare Supervisor.  Confidentiality and professionalism must be adhered to at all times.  


The AWS will have regular contact with other shelter employees, stakeholders and volunteers from all departments, as well as the public.  Some interactions may be difficult due to the nature of the customer’s needs.  May work with area veterinary clinics, animal control officers, and other agencies.  All contacts with others will require a tactful and a professional demeanor and ability to work cooperatively with others. 


  • Work takes place both indoors and outdoors. 
  • Will have regular contact with animals with varying degrees of domesticity and physical condition. (Will be expected to work around live and deceased animals.)
  • Will work directly with animal wastes, kennel and cage cleaners and disinfectants, soiled kennels and cages, animal bedding and dishes. 
  • May be exposed to heights, such as step stools or ladders. 
  • Must employ basic safety standards at all times.  Will have access to, and be required to use, protective equipment such as boots, gloves, protective eye and ear wear, etc.
  • Evening, weekend, and holiday work is required.


  • Ability to stay standing or active during the entire shift. 
  • 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.
  • May be required to take a physical examination paid for by WHS prior to the start of work activities.


  • Must be detail-oriented and organized, have the ability to do the duties of the position and prioritize tasks appropriately.  Able to accurately work with detailed information in paper and computerized format. 
  • Demonstrated ability or strong interest to work and interact effectively with diverse audiences, including those with differing histories and experiences. 
  • Working knowledge of dog and cat breeds, an understanding and recognition of common diseases in animals and how to treat, and considerable knowledge of safe procedures for handling animals and their behavioral tendencies.  
  • Must understand and support humane options of training and be able to counsel the public in matters of training, behavior modification, and socialization.  
  • Must possess the ability to use exceptional judgment to provide the best counsel and customer service to both customers and animals even under stressful conditions.
  • Knowledge of WHS policies and protocols, such as, but not limited to, intake, cleaning and medical protocols.
  • Ability to create and sustain positive working relationships within WHS with volunteers, the public, and be a team player.  Must be able to deal with conflict in a professional and constructive manner. 
  • Must work in a manner that reflects a safe environment for animals, the public and other employees.  Ability to handle animals safely and with patience, gentleness and compassion.
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks in a busy workplace environment.
  • Ability to learn and quickly adapt to changes in programs and procedures.


  • 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 followed.
  • Previous shelter or veterinary experience is desired.

Additional requirements:  A demonstrated interest and enthusiasm for animal welfare and WHS Mission; be willing to work weekends, holidays, and evenings as required by the job; 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”.