The Shelter Animal Trainer (SAT) assists the Behavior and Training Manager (BTM) and is a behavior resource to staff and volunteers; keeps the behavior and training records for the shelter animals current, and sees that the protocols established by the BTM are carried out. The SAT serves as a liaison between the volunteers and the behavior and training department. The SAT must demonstrate, mentor, and reinforce Willamette Humane Society (WHS) values, principles, and mission-driven culture.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Perform shelter-wide behavior modification, training, and enrichment programs for dogs and cats.
- Train staff and volunteers to carry out behavior modification, training, enrichment, and low stress handling recommendations.
- Conduct training classes for volunteers to improve handling and training skills that enhance adoptability and enhance both handler and animal safety.
- Conduct other training classes, as needed, such as public classes to enhance pet retention, foster puppy or kitten classes, classes for newly adopted dogs, etc.
- Counsel adopters and potential adopters to assist with transitions and increase success of adoptions.
- Conduct shelter playgroups and train staff and volunteers as playgroup assistants and runners.
- Conduct family and dog meets for dogs on the Behavior & Training Team.
- Under the direction of the BTM, train staff, volunteers, and the public about animal behavior (dog walking, low stress handling, socialization, body language, etc.).
- Perform positive reinforcement training of shelter dogs in accordance with the CCPDT Humane Hierarchy and by current WHS protocols and standards.
- Assist in transition, acclimation, and continuity during the animal’s time in the shelter system.
- Observe shelter dogs during playgroups, assess canine play strategies, and review documentation of behavior.
- Record behavior observations and needs in PetPoint for consistent and detailed communication with other staff, adopters, and our rescue partners of the animal’s behavior and protocols.
- Participate in identifying dogs that would be suitable for foster or rescue placement.
- Collate and communicate behavior and training information to BTM.
- Participate in the euthanasia review process for in-house behavior cases including participation in weekly 360 meetings.
- Positively coach volunteers and staff regarding training behavior modification and low stress handling protocols.
- Provide behavioral support for dog adopters through email and phone consults. Follow-up with Behavior Team dog adopters.
- Assist in the preparation and implementation of events which involve the B&T Department.
- Must maintain a tidy, clean, and organized appearance of Canine Classroom for both customer experience and functionality.
- Respond to all telephone and email communications in a timely and professional manner.
The SAT has no supervisory responsibilities. The SAT coaches volunteer trainers and staff members in the performance of behavior protocols as established by BTM.
CONTROLS OVER WORK
The SAT works under the general direction of the BTM.
CONTACTS WITH OTHERS
Will have regular contact with shelter employees from all departments and volunteers to carry out and direct daily activities. Will have regular contact with the public for the purposes of adoption, surrender, and behavior consultation. Will occasionally collaborate with other shelters, rescue groups, area veterinary clinic staff, and other animal related organizations.
- 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, physical condition, emotional condition, and behavioral condition.
- 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. Will have access to, and be required to use, protective equipment such as boots, gloves, protective eye and ear wear, etc.
- Work is often done in a time sensitive and demanding environment.
- Evening and weekend work is required.
- 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.
- May be required to take a physical examination paid for by WHS prior to the start of work activities.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES
- Must be able to learn and communicate WHS policies and procedures such as, but not limited to, animal care, admissions, adoptions, euthanasia, dog programs, and cat programs.
- Must understand, support, and be able to employ humane, positive-reinforcement based training methods and low stress handling techniques that are consistent with the mission of WHS
- Must be able to counsel the public in matters of handling, training, behavior modification, and socialization.
- Must provide a high level of customer service at all times, even under stressful conditions.
- Participate in decisions that result in our customers and animals receiving outstanding, personalized service.
- Strong organizational skills, with an attention to detail and accuracy and good follow up skills; time-management skills with the ability to implement priorities, and the ability to consistently meet deadlines with steadfast dependability.
- Must follow instruction well, accept constructive criticism, and respond with alacrity.
- Possess excellent communication skills, including conflict resolution, negotiation, and active listening.
- Must take initiative and be accountable.
- Knowledge of Microsoft Office and the Google environment.
- Capable of learning industry databases, i.e. PetPoint and QuickBooks Point of Sale software.
- Ability to create and sustain positive working relationships with WHS staff, volunteers, and the public, and be a team player.
- Ability to handle animals safely and with patience, gentleness, and compassion.
- Ability to handle multiple tasks in a busy workplace environment.
- Ability to speak and understand Spanish is desirable but not required.
- Ability to learn and quickly adapt to changes in programs and procedures.
- Must work in a manner that reflects a safe environment for animals, the public, and other employees.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
- 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. Associates or higher degree or diploma from a dog trainers program is desirable but not required.
- Must have experience working in a team environment, especially within an animal shelter.
- Must have a minimum of 2 years dog training and experience with multiple breeds.
- Candidates with CPDT-KA certification preferred but not required.
- Previous experience with positive reinforcement based behavior modification protocols preferred.
- Experience handling cats preferred.
- Experience working independently while under the supervision of a manager 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; have a valid Oregon driver’s license and insurable by WHS vendors; meet the physical requirements of the job, and be bondable.
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.
Wage: Starting at $13.90 hour DOE. There is no relocation benefit for this position.
Schedule: Not to exceed 30 hours per week. Schedule may change with the changing needs of the animals.
Benefits: Paid time off provided after 90 days. Employee Assistance Program benefits available. A 401(k) retirement plan is available after one year of service.
INCOMPLETE APPLICATION PACKAGES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED
Due to the large volume of responses, WHS will contact only those candidates who are selected for interview.
Completed application materials received by the business office will be reviewed upon receipt. This position may close at any time.
All WHS employees are committed to the following mission-driven values:
Positive Service to All
Collaborative Problem Solving
Initiative and Innovation
Accountability and Responsibility
Under the provisions of the Immigration and Reform Act of 1986, the successful candidate will be required to provide evidence of identity and eligibility for employment. WHS is an Equal Opportunity Employer that does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, genetic profile or any class protected by law. WHS is a drug free/smoke free workplace. Employment will be contingent upon successfully passing a drug screen conducted at the Society’s expense.