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Department: Animal Care

Reports to: Operations Director

Status: Exempt

Revised: February 2021

Salary Range: $48,000 – $62,000 

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 Assistant Operations Director (AOD) provides leadership, direction, and guidance for day-to-day operations of the Animal Care programs in order to expedite the flow of animals through WHS while ensuring a high standard of care, customer service, documentation, and adherence to WHS policies and procedures. Animal Care includes the Animal Welfare, Behavior/Training, Foster and Transfer programs. The AOD assesses and improves operational effectiveness and plays a key role in developing, implementing and enhancing an organization-wide focus on a HASS (Human Animal Support Services) approach to sheltering and community outreach. A member of the Leadership Team, the AOD consistently exemplifies and reinforces WHS values and mission-driven culture of service.


  • 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 and programs.

Animal Flow

  • Ensure humane daily care is provided to all WHS animals, including those housed offsite.
  • Monitor and balance the WHS animal population with available resources, capacity and demand.
  • Work closely with fellow Animal Care leadership to communicate specific needs and develop short- and long-term strategies that thoughtfully yet efficiently drive animals through the system, taking special note of how long animals remain in various stages and what measures can responsibly reduce their length of stay.
  • Complete structured daily rounds to check on the well-being, stage and status of every animal onsite and train others to ensure coverage for this vital task offsite and in the AOD’s absence. Communicate all requisite action steps to relevant staff and follow up to ensure compliance.
  • Utilize shelter management software daily to review and update animal records, run reports, and guide population management priorities.
  • Lead formal weekly “360” discussions with fellow Animal Care leadership on animals under evaluation, fielding and offering recommendations for adoption, training, transfer, foster, euthanasia, RTH (return-to-home) and other outcomes.
  • Research and help implement updated cat intake strategies based on data-driven best practices.
  • Oversee the Animal Welfare program, working with the team to analyze and improve cleaning methods and other tactics to support the physical and behavioral health of animals in the shelter  and reduce length of stay, including strengthening the alignment of goals and efforts between the Animal Welfare and Behavior teams.
  • Oversee the Behavior and Training program, supporting the team’s efforts to deliver a thoughtful, consistent, structured approach to WHS’ behavioral health care efforts and explore ways to enhance both the curriculum and the revenue-generating potential of public classes.
  • Oversee the Foster program, supporting efforts to quickly place all eligible animals in foster care, train Foster Volunteers for standard and specialized foster placements, and help shift WHS to a more foster-centric model of animal housing.
  • Oversee the Transfer program, working with fellow Animal Care staff to explore transfer-out as an option for specific animals as well as transfer-in as one of many tactics used to maintain a diverse population of available animals. Guide and promote efforts to grow our network of transfer partners and nurture partner relationships.
  • Coordinate check-in, processing and placement of animals in WHS’ care for protective custody and intake diversion/pet retention reasons, maintaining confidentiality and guiding staff through all requisite deviations from standard care and communication protocols.
  • Maintain accurate records and direct the preparation of accurate and timely reports.
  • Share in opening and closing responsibilities as needed to ensure reliable operating hours.
  • Perform the duties of a Certified Euthanasia Technician as needed.

Personnel Management

  • Provide training and oversight of Animal Care staff at all levels to ensure WHS animals and customers receive a high level of compassionate care including, but not limited to, the latest industry-adopted animal and customer care standards, consistent administration of WHS procedures, swift and thoughtful animal disposition and placement decisions, effective training methods, and safe shelter operations.
  • Work with Operations Director (OD) to develop and implement clear, shared expectations and measurable goals and work standards for Animal Care teams, leading staff in overcoming barriers to meeting those goals and expectations.
  • Create, maintain and enforce training and reference resources including SOPs, forms and policies, ensuring staff adhere to established standards and expectations. Encourage staff to find their own answers in written procedures rather than asking colleagues in order to facilitate learning and procedural consistency.
  • 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.
  • Exemplify the WHS Workplace Culture Agreement in dealing with personnel issues and coach staff to abide by those standards. Assist as needed with resolving complex situations while enforcing proper chain of command.
  • 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.
  • Mentor supervisors in management skills, creative problem solving, and the ability to identify and recommend personnel changes to put the right people in the right roles.
  • Work with supervisors to design work schedules that reflect the needs of the program, 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.
  • 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.
  • Collect and review Incident Reports, ensuring requisite follow-up steps are completed promptly.

Fiscal Management

  • Contribute to the annual budget creation process by making recommendations for changes to the Animal Care line items.
  • Review monthly financial reports to monitor spending compared to projections, ensure proper account classification, and follow up on irregularities. 
  • Consider and plan for short- and long-term budget needs to support Animal Care programs. 
  • Draft, review and approve purchase orders for Animal Care program expenses, ensuring proper account attribution and submission to the Business Office in a timely manner.
  • Work with the Business Office to oversee billing for municipal and community partners, communicating with appropriate parties to ensure eligibility of identified animals, accurate invoices and proper, timely documentation.


  • Oversee the administration and enforcement of Animal 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 output.
  • Work closely with the Customer Care Manager and other WHS leadership to guide the strategic shift towards a more HASS-centered approach to sheltering, including exploring community partnerships, developing strategies, and supporting the Development team’s efforts to raise funds for pet retention programs designed to keep pets in loving homes.
  • Keep abreast of the latest trends, research, and best practices in animal welfare, 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 Animal Care programs for analysis and discussion, including weekly population statistics and analysis.
  • Champion the WHS volunteer program as an invaluable asset to effective and efficient Animal Care program delivery, working with the Community Engagement team to encourage increased participation and new ways of utilizing volunteers.
  • Model appropriate interaction with customers and work closely with the Customer Care Manager to provide information and assistance to internal and external customers, including resolving grievances and following up with applicable staff to address the concerns raised by the grievance.
  • Assist in the research and preparation of emergency plans for shelter operations, including procedures and training for emergency scenarios.
  • Ensure the safety and cleanliness of the WHS facility, including coordination with the Facilities and other teams to ensure all physical areas and equipment are maintained in good, safe, and efficient operating condition, including technology.
  • Attend meetings as assigned.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Operations Director.


The AOD directly supervises the Behavior and Training Manager, Foster Coordinator, and Animal Welfare Supervisor.


The AOD works under the general direction of the OD and is expected to pursue the established duties exercising prudent discretion and judgment.


The AOD will have regular, ongoing contact with shelter staff from all departments, members of the public, and volunteers. Some interactions may be difficult due to the nature of the situation in question, many of which may be emotionally-charged. External contacts include vendors, other shelters, rescue groups, veterinary clinic staff, municipal animal control and other law enforcement officers, and other animal-related organizations. Contact with others requires prompt, tactful exchanges and a positive, professional demeanor. Contact and communication is carried out both in-person and via electronic channels including email and phone.


  • 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 and physical 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.
  • Regular use of a computer, phone, and other standard office equipment required.
  • Work is often done in a time-sensitive and demanding environment.
  • May be required to take a physical examination 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 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 understand and support humane options of training and care and handle all animals safely with patience, gentleness, and compassion.
  • 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 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. 
  • Capable of learning industry databases, i.e. PetPoint.
  • 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.


  • 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 three (3) 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 five (5) years of increasingly responsible experience in the field of animal care/welfare with at least three (3) of those years in a supervisory or lead role.
  • Strong consideration will be afforded to Certified Animal Welfare Administrators (CAWAs).
  • 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.
  • Work experience, education, and/or training relevant to the work described. 
  • Previous experience demonstrating a capability to define program objectives and carry out program direction on schedule using independent judgment.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and a Google environment.
  • Oregon Animal Euthanasia Technician certificate or ability to receive certification within 6 months of hire is required. Experience as a euthanasia technician is preferred. 

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.