Career Opportunity – Operations Director

Are you interested in working with animals? Do you appreciate a detailed, collaborative and supportive work environment? We may be just the team for you! 
We are a team of 60+ staff and over 700 volunteers working jointly to achieve our mission: establishing, maintaining, and enhancing the bond between companion animals and people of Marion and Polk counties.


The Operations Director (OD) is responsible for the operational oversight of the Willamette Humane Society’s (WHS) animal care programs including shelter intake and adoption services, animal welfare, customer service, behavior and training programs, TNR, and spay/neuter clinic.  Operational oversight is delivered by setting meaningful and realistic goals, exceptional planning and management, thorough analysis of issues, dealing with disagreements and problems quickly and decisively, in addition to managing structure and staff and developing systems and processes that maximize department and organization effectiveness.  All WHS staff members contribute to the stewardship of the organization’s mission and are expected to stay current on and understand issues related to animal welfare and WHS programs and must support all board policies.  



  • Guide development and implementation of comprehensive annual plans for all programs within the Operations department.  
  • 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 WHS mission, vision, and programs. 
  • Actively promote spay and neuter services and humane education.  Respond compassionately to customers/stakeholders regarding challenges, inquiries, comments or appeals.  
  • Professionally represent WHS and provide support to both internal and external customers to accomplish the organizational mission.  
  • As a key member of the directors’ team, collaborate and coordinate actions with other directors, managers, and staff to assist in the implementation of activities and endeavors that support the overall organizational mission. 
  • Attend regular meetings with the Board of Directors, participate in strategic planning and other Board activities as requested.
  • As a member of the leadership team, the OD must consistently exemplify, mentor, and reinforce WHS values and mission-driven culture of service.  
  • In the absence of an Executive Director, OD or FBOD will perform the duties of interim Executive Director.

 Fiscal Management

  • Contribute to enhancing the financial position of WHS through effective annual budgeting, adoption and retail revenue generation, cost containment, and regular monitoring.
  • Responsible for establishing and maintaining the most beneficial vendor relationships. 
  • Authorize spending requests in accordance with established WHS guidelines and policies. Promote a culture of philanthropy and stewardship within assigned departments.


  • Provide development department with background stories, data, and reports as needed for appeals, and other objectives. 
  • Serve as a member of the grant team, under the leadership of the Development Manager. Identify industry-specific opportunities for funding, and assist in the development of case statements and other supporting material for applications and reports.
  • Maintain an up-to-date list of operations department projects suitable for grant underwriting or major donor funding.

 Animal Care Program

  • Provide leadership, direction, and guidance for the development and management of all animal care programs. always aspiring to implement industry best practices. 
  • Focus on identifying, developing and continuously improving resources that maximize the adoption potential for each animal received through adoption promotions, off-site adoptions, foster, rescue, transfer, training, intake strategies, kennel enrichment and design, spay/neuter incentives, or behavior consults. 
  • Work includes, but is not limited to, animal care standards creation and documentation, protocol and procedure development and documentation for safe and efficient shelter operations.   
  • Prepare quarterly animal care statistics and strategic reports using existing software and platforms, noting trends in areas such as intake, adoptions, medical needs, length of stay, surgeries and surgery customers.
  • Responsible for regular reporting to the Shelter Animals Count database.
  • Prepare year-end reports according to Asilomar standards.
  • Ensure monthly leadership program updates are completed.
  • Analyze and make recommendations and decisions as a result of data assessments. 
  • Provide troubleshooting of databases and required drug logs to ensure accurate and complete data. 

 Personnel Management

  • Direct, supervise and monitor staff to ensure all clients and animals are cared for in accordance with WHS policies and procedures.
  • Recruit and hire the right people for permanent and temporary assignments within assigned departments.  Build a strong team with complementary strengths. Assist and support supervisors and managers in recruitment, hiring and management of staff. 
  • Coach, develop, challenge, and empower staff members within the Operations department.  Accurately assess strengths and set development goals with direct reports. Set high standards of performance.  Give timely and specific feedback. 
  • Assist direct reports in identifying personnel needs, job duties, productivity goals, performance and disciplinary actions, and any personnel matter that requires a second level of oversight.
  • Manage employee development and performance ethically and legally.  Provide opportunities for professional development; ensure a safe workplace and compliance with all worker regulations and laws.   Perform other duties as assigned by the Executive Director. 


The OD directly supervises the Animal Care and Customer Care Managers, Behavior and Training Manager, SN Clinic Manager, SN Clinic Lead Veterinarian, and the Shelter Veterinarian and Shelter Vet Tech.  Works collaboratively with government contract partners.


The OD works under the general direction of the Executive Director and is expected to pursue the established duties with minimal supervision.  Confidentiality and professionalism must be adhered to at all times.  


This position interacts with and collaborates with all levels of the organization ranging from entry-level staff members to executive team members, members of the Board of Directors, customers, donors and representatives from the general public and public/private agencies.  Responsible for gaining and sharing information, influencing others, conflict resolution, and constructive collaboration. All work requires tact, empathy, and personal composure to be maintained in the face of stressful situations. Communication must be clear, understandable, professional, and respectful in all circumstances.


Shelter work requires regular contact with animals of varying degrees of domesticity and physical condition.  The noise level in the work environment can be very loud. May occasionally work directly with animal wastes and chemicals for cleaning and disinfecting. May be exposed to heights, such as step stools or ladders. Must employ basic safety standards at all times. This position is a member of WHS Director team and is required to be available after hours and on weekends as necessary.


The OD may fill in when short staffed and therefore may require the ability to stay standing or active during the entire shift which could include lifting, bending, stooping, pushing, pulling, and other strenuous activities.  The position requires regular use of a computer, telephones, and other standard office equipment. May be required to take a physical examination paid for by WHS prior to the start of work activities.


  • Must have extensive knowledge of animal welfare issues related to sheltering and adoptions, animal behavior and health care, herd-health, and disease prevention.
  • Able to demonstrate a high degree of independence, initiative, and organization.
  • Must have excellent communication skills, both oral and written, such as performance documentation, newsletter preparation, procedures, and daily to intermittent personal interactions with staff, volunteers, and customers, as well as presentations and trainings.  Able to communicate with a diverse population in a consistently informative, confident, respectful, and professional manner.
  • Must be able to influence others to work toward common goals, and exercise tact, diplomacy, and independent judgment with public, staff, and volunteers. 
  • Able to develop and manage people and projects in order to achieve and/or exceed organizational objectives.
  • Able to demonstrate exceptional discretion, judgment, integrity, and confidentiality when dealing with personnel issues, financial issues, and intellectual property.
  • Must be able to anticipate organizational needs, identify best practices in animal shelter management, and implement effective solutions. 
  • Must be able to define program objectives and carry out strategic directives. 
  •  Able to effectively respond to project workflow issues and demonstrate sound judgment.
  • Willing to learn new tasks and databases and able to become proficient quickly.
  • Able to demonstrate a high degree of independence, initiative, and organization.


  • Bachelor’s Degree, preferably in a field related to Animal Welfare or Business Administration.  Education requirement may be reduced if there is sufficient, well-documented, and related professional work experience.
  • 5+ year(s) related work experience, including progressively complex project and/or personnel management responsibilities. 
  • Demonstrated executive experience with multi-level supervision, leadership, personnel management, and adult training methods and techniques.  
  • Accomplished in setting goals, prioritizing, delegating work, and providing feedback to others in order to complete multiple tasks on or before deadlines.
  • Documented experience preparing, evaluating, and reporting financial and operational performance metrics of moderate to high complexity.
  • Proficient in the use of Microsoft Office tools including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Google suite programs.


  • 7-10 years related work experience
  • Nonprofit executive management experience.
  • CAWA credentialed.

Additional requirements:  Must have a demonstrated interest and enthusiasm for animal welfare and WHS Mission, be willing to work weekends and evenings as required by the job, have a valid Oregon driver’s license and insurable by WHS vendors, meet the physical requirements of the job, and be able to be bonded.  Must understand and be able to support Board policies and position statements regarding animal welfare subjects.

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.

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