Full-Time Veterinary Assistant

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Department: Medical Services

Reports to:  Medical Programs Supervisor

Status:             Non-exempt

Revised: January 2021

Pay Range: $13.30- $16.40

Hiring appointments usually start at the beginning of the salary range, but previous relevant experience will be considered. 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 Veterinary Assistant (VA) is responsible for the daily care of all surgical patients, assisting the veterinarian and technician with surgical and anesthetic procedures as well as general housekeeping.  The VA represents the Willamette Humane Society (WHS) clinic professionally and courteously while actively promoting spays and neuter services and education.  The VA must demonstrate, mentor, and reinforce WHS values, principles and mission-driven culture.


  • The VA shall perform job duties in a positive, helpful manner.  
  • Assist the public in all aspects of shelter programs. Share information to enhance the public’s knowledge of animal welfare as well as their knowledge of WHS mission and programs.  

Patient Care 

  • Assist with triage of patients as they are checked in, reporting health concerns to attending veterinarian.  
  • Transports patients to and from the surgery table. 
  • Keeps the Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) and Veterinarian informed of animal behavior and health concerns. 
  • Assist CVT with anesthesia induction and intubation. 
  • Monitor anesthetized patients. 
  • Prepare patients for surgery as instructed. 
  • Assist in surgery as instructed. 
  • Monitor patients in recovery. 

Client services 

  • Assist clients with unloading and loading animals and intake paperwork. 
  • Set patients up in kennels.  
  • Answer phones/schedule appointments. 
  • Actively promote spay and neuter and educate clients on responsible animal ownership. 
  • Assists CVT in providing postoperative instructions.


  • Stock prep room and operating room.
  • Clean surgical laundry, clean and sonicate instruments and prepare surgical packs as needed.
  • Clean, fold, and stock kennel laundry throughout the clinic.
  • Spot clean periodically throughout the day and perform end of day cleaning of all rooms. 

Clinic Staff Training

  • Assist new staff in providing clinic procedures and workflow processes.
  • Monitor and assist volunteers, assigning duties and performing volunteer functions as needed. 


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


The VA works under the general supervision of the Clinic Manager and will follow daily operational direction from the CVT and the S/N Veterinarian. 


The VA will have regular, ongoing contact with clinic and shelter employees and volunteers from all departments, members of the public, vendors and members of the veterinary community.  Contact and communication is carried out through face to face, telephone, and electronic interactions.  Communication must be clear, understandable, professional, and respectful in all circumstances.


This work requires a positive attitude, tolerance to stress, and the ability to maintain composure and friendly demeanor while dealing with stressful situations.  The VA will have regular contact with animals of varying degrees of domesticity and physical conditions.  The VA will have repeated/prolonged exposure to medical instruments, bodily excretions and chemicals used for surgery and for cleaning.  The VA will have access to protective equipment such as boots, gloves, protective eye and ear wear, etc.  


Must be able to stay standing or active during the entire shift and be able to lift 50 lbs.  Work performed both in and out of shelter requires lifting, bending, stooping, pushing and other strenuous activities.  May be required to take a physical examination paid for by WHS prior to the start of work activities.


  • Learn and adhere to the ASPCA Spay/Neuter Alliance protocols and procedures adapted by WHS.
  • Possess considerable knowledge of cat and dog health and behavior and demonstrate safe procedures for handling.
  • Possess excellent communication skills and be able to work with others in a manner that is positive and educational. 
  • Demonstrated ability or strong interest to work and interact effectively with diverse audiences, including those with differing histories and experiences.
  • Able to assess situations rapidly, accurately, and calmly and take appropriate actions as necessary.
  • Able to manage multiple tasks at one time; quickly and accurately shift attention among tasks under distracting conditions without loss of accuracy or appearance of frustration.
  • Demonstrate high tolerance for stress and repetitive work. 
  • Maintain a positive outlook and maintain composure and a friendly manner while dealing with stressful situations. 
  • Work with others in a collaborative, solution-oriented manner, shares relevant information with others in a prompt and accurate manner.
  • Exhibit honesty, discretion, and sound judgment.
  • Demonstrate exceptionally strong verbal and written communication skills during interpersonal and technical, job specific interactions.
  • Possess strong mathematical skills including the ability to add, subtract, multiply, divide, compute rates and ratios, and convert units of measurement.


  • Must be a high school graduate or equivalent. 
  • At least one year of veterinary assistant experience is preferred. 

Additional requirements: A demonstrated interest and enthusiasm for animal welfare and WHS mission; be willing to work weekends 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.

WHS is an “at-will employer”.