Veterinary Technician
Palm Desert, CA Veterinary Services
Job Type


The Living Desert (TLD) is seeking a qualified candidate to join the Veterinary Care and Animal Care Teams as a Veterinary Technician. This full-time veterinary technician assists in the administration of the zoo’s animal health program. The Veterinary Team consists of two full-time veterinarians, two additional full-time veterinary technicians, one intern veterinarian. The successful candidate will support TLD in our mission of, “Desert conservation through preservation, education and appreciation,” and will help TLD achieve a forward-thinking vision of a modern zoo and inclusive culture.

The Veterinary Care Team: 

- Practices high quality medicine and maintains exceptional professional standards. 

- Has great enthusiasm for the profession of zoological medicine. 

- Adheres to the highest animal welfare standards and works as a team.

- Performs all job assignments with a positive attitude that will move TLD into the future.

Essential Duties:

· Delivers uncompromising excellence in animal care, welfare and guest engagement

· Facilitates and assists with medical and surgical procedures, anesthesia, and diagnostic imaging

· Performs laboratory analyses and sample processing 

· Maintains hospital and hospital equipment in clean and working repair

· Provides nursing care for patients, including patient observations; communicates daily with veterinarians regarding animals under care

· Provides medical treatments for “outpatient” animals

· Triages and communicates directly to veterinarians for Animal Care Team animal health concerns

· Helps maintain and implement preventive medicine care

· Serves as an active member of the emergency animal darting team

· Maintains timely and accurate medical records in ZIMS and other record systems 

· Collaborates with Animal Care staff to implement operant conditioning for veterinary procedures

· Provides mentorship and feedback to veterinary and veterinary technician students 

· Provides assistance to other departments as needed

· Other related responsibilities as necessary to accomplish department objectives

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

· General knowledge of zoo animal and wildlife husbandry

· Ability to handle and restrain a variety of animals

· Excellent observational skills, active listening, and strong organizational skills

· Knowledge of contemporary practice standards of zoo veterinary care particularly as established by the AAZV and as practiced in AZA accredited institutions

· Knowledge of zoonotic diseases that may affect the collection animals, personnel and guests 

· Ability to work with potentially dangerous animals and exercise sound judgement in emergency situations

· Ability to communicate effectively both orally and written, and maintain open communications with both the Veterinary Care and Animal Care Teams

· Able to interact with guests courteously and effectively while representing TLD at the highest standard of professionalism





· Graduation from an AVMA-accredited school of veterinary technology.

· Bachelor’s, AA or AS degree in Zoology, Biology, Animal Science or other related degree preferred. (Will substitute training and experience that provides the required knowledge, skill, and abilities. Generally, one year of paid full-time animal husbandry experience substitutes for one year of college level work.)

· Minimum of 2 years of experience as a licensed veterinary technician; preference will be given to candidates with 1-2 years of zoo, exotic, and/or emergency animal experience.

· Must be a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) in the state of California or obtain CA licensure within 6 months of hire. 

· Must obtain a valid California driver’s license within 3 months of hire.

· Must be insurable on The Living Desert’s automobile policy. 

· Must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination and booster.

Equipment Used:

PC computer, general office equipment, radio, vehicles, medical equipment, standard capture equipment, small hand-held power tools.

Physical Position Description

Essential Physical Tasks: Standing, walking, twisting, climbing, crawling, kneeling, reaching motions, lifting (up to 50lbs). 

Typical Working Conditions: Exposure to extreme heat, chemicals, and dust/airborne materials. Works with potentially dangerous animals (carnivores, venomous animals) and potential for zoonotic disease exposure.

Holiday Work: Holiday, evening and weekend work required. Available on an as needed basis for emergencies. 

Travel: Occasional off-site travel. Continuing education conferences and workshops, as required to maintain licensing. 

How to Apply: Qualified applicants should send resume, cover letter, and names and contact information (including email address) for 3 references to  Morgan Dustin, RVT, Lead Veterinary Technician, at

Deadline for submissions: applications accepted until position is filled

This class specification should not be interpreted as all inclusive. It is intended to identify the major responsibilities and requirements of this job. The incumbents may be requested to perform job-related responsibilities and tasks other than those stated in this specification.

Salary Description