Shelter Veterinarian


JOB SUMMARY: Since 1946 the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) has been providing assistance to homeless animals in the City of Alexandria. As a progressive animal welfare organization, in recent years our mission has expanded to include assisting owned animals in our community to ensure they can stay with families who love them even if those families are experiencing economic difficulties. 

The AWLA is currently looking for a shelter veterinarian to join our team. The ideal candidate will be compassionate with great communication skills and an ability to perform as part of a team. A passion for the mission of the AWLA is a must! 

As an added benefit, as the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria is a non-profit 501c3 employment qualifies the selected candidate for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.


This position is supervised by: Chief Operating Officer

The following positions identified report to this position: 1.5 Veterinary Assistants




The Shelter Veterinarian will be responsible for: 

  • Examining, diagnosing and treating animals under the care of the AWLA
  • Maintaining an on-site surgery space - adhering to all state guidelines pertaining therein
  • Performing basic surgical procedures such as spay/neuter, enucleations, etc. on AWLA animals
  • Developing treatment plans for wide range of animal species including cats, dogs, rabbits, small mammals, reptiles and birds 
    • Effectively communicating those treatment plans with AWLA staff 
  • Maintaining accurate medical records utilizing Chameleon software system
  • Developing and maintaining positive relationships with local veterinary hospitals, and veterinarians
    • Consulting with veterinary specialists on special medical cases when appropriate
    • Be available for after-hours communication from AWLA staff, Animal Services and local veterinary hospitals
  • Working with Animal Services on cases of animal abuse and neglect in the city of Alexandria, including court testimony when necessary
  • Maintaining appropriate euthanasia protocols and best practices for the AWLA
    • Continuously researching best practices for shelter medicine and update AWLA protocols accordingly
  • As part of the AWLA team, contributing their professional opinion to the euthanasia decision-making process, and perform and assist with euthanasia as needed
  • Training staff to administer medications and in AWLA euthanasia protocols
  • Tracking of controlled substances used within the AWLA
    • Participating in routine AWLA inspections by the Board of Pharmacy and other state agencies
  • Working with other AWLA managers to provide staff training
  • Occasionally will be required to communicate with the public regarding adoption and surrendering when veterinary assistance or guidance is warranted, demonstrating professionalism and compassion

Secondary Responsibilities:

The shelter veterinarian will assist the Community Programs Department with the following:

  • Participate in our 4 times per year offsite Pets and People Wellness Events
  • Participate in our monthly low-cost vaccination clinics when needed
  • Assist with the medical care of owned animals if time permits and if approved by COO and/or ED

Administrative Duties:

The Shelter Veterinarian will:

  • Maintain appropriate licensing and complete required continuing education courses
  • Maintain a professional stance and encourage professionalism in all operational activities 
  • Maintain productive relationships with all staff, volunteers, foster volunteers, board members and local veterinarians
  • Work with the COO to establish and maintain the veterinary budget for the AWLA
  • Maintain AWLA-controlled drug substances and supply inventory while meeting and maintaining DEA and state of Virginia requirements
  • Attend weekly Manager and Director meetings and monthly All-Staff meetings
  • Write monthly reports which are submitted to the Board of Directors




  • Degree from an AVMA-accredited college or university with a DVM or VMD degree
  • Active Virginia veterinary license in good standing at the time of hire or have the ability to become licensed in VA


  • Additional training or certifications in shelter related areas
  • Board certification
  • Ability to communicate in Spanish



  • Minimum of two years practicing as a veterinarian


  • Two years practicing as a shelter veterinarian


  • Knowledge of AAHA, AAFP vaccine protocols, heartworm disease and preventatives
  • Knowledge of the animal welfare and shelter medicine fields, and common programs and practices in these fields
  • Knowledge of cat and dog breeds, behavior, handling and care


  • Effective verbal skills for in-person, written and telephone communication, for interaction with the public and colleagues
  • Basic computer skills Knowledge of Google Suite, including Gmail and Google Drive preferred
  • Detail-oriented
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Ability to communicate in Spanish would be an advantage


  • Able to safely and effectively work with animals
  • Able to work with disinfectants and cleaning supplies
  • Able to properly administer vaccinations, medications, and treatments, and perform health exams
  • Able to learn, retain and communicate a wide variety of information
  • Able to prioritize duties and perform multiple tasks
  • Able to work in a high-stress, fast-paced environment


  • Indoors in air-conditioned/heated office, outdoors at shelter 
  • Equipment Use: Includes use of PC, laser printer, copy machine, fax machine, telephone
  • Work Days: Monday through Friday, 9:00 am - 5:30 pm; occasional weekend days may be requested for community Pet Care Fairs
  • Work is subject to frequent interruptions
  • Work schedule will be Monday through Friday with occasional weekend work should a veterinary emergency arise


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Ability to:

  • Work around pet dander, dust and other allergens without issue
  • Accurately enter information into a computer database
  • Lift and/or move up to 50 pounds; 100 pounds with assistance
  • Handle strong and powerful dogs and other animals
  • Have patience and tact when working with difficult, emotional or angry people
  • Speak and write effectively and clearly in a professional manner: in person, to a group, over the telephone and intercom systems to internal or external individuals
  • Treat people with a pleasant, courteous and professional manner
  • Work in a team environment and to provide team leadership

This position description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by the employee occupying this position. Employees will be required to follow any other job related duties required by their supervisor. This document does not create an employment contract implied or otherwise, other than an “at-will” relationship.

Compensation: The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria offers an excellent benefits package and competitive compensation. The AWLA provides health care, dental, and vision coverage, a retirement plan and additional employee benefits. Pay will be commensurate with experience. 

The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria is a non-profit 501c3 and as such employment qualifies the selected candidate for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. 


The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age, disability, gender identity, results of genetic testing, service in the military, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.

Equal employment opportunity applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leave of absence, compensation and training.