Adoptions Counselor II
Sacramento, CA Adoptions

Job Title:             Adoptions Counselor II

Department:     Adoptions

Reports To:       Customer Care Manager, Adoptions Supervisor, Animal Services Practice Manager

FLSA Status:      Non-Exempt

Entry Salary:                $13.36 - $15.50

General Summary:

The Adoptions Counselor II, under the direction of the Customer Care Manager and Adoptions Supervisor, will deliver excellent service by assisting the public with specific adoption service needs, answering questions and concerns, and providing accurate information to clients.  Individuals in this classification represent Sacramento SPCA philosophies and procedures to the public and are expected to maintain a positive and compassionate environment for those individuals visiting or calling the Sacramento SPCA.


Essential Job Functions:

  1. Be able to perform all job functions of Adoption Counselor I efficiently and without error.
  2. Greet and welcome each and every client into the Adoptions Lobby.
  3. Deliver excellent customer service to all clients, staff, and volunteers.
  4. Project warmth while actively engaging with members of the public throughout the entire facility, and answer questions regarding the adoption process or specific animals.
  5. Diligently monitor care, changing behavior, and welfare of all in-house animals, and promptly notify appropriate staff members to any concerning changes or areas requiring attention.
  6. Be able to both interpret and respond quickly to the body language both of animals and clients in a counsel so that both parties feel comfortable and safe.
  7. Facilitate meaningful relationships between adopting parties and animals with the mindset of advancing compassion in order to save lives.
  8. tendencies and characteristics, and be able to communicate these candidly to potential adopters.
  9. Provide potential adopters with tools to navigate behavioral traits specific to different breeds and species, and be confident educating adopters how to work with these instincts.
  10. Accurately recognize and interpret body language in multiple species of animals, and be comfortable handling different species that may, on occasion, become fractious.
  11. Be able to adjust and cater manner of education and the topics discussed with each potential adopting party, in order to create meaningful relationships and provide a customized adopting experience for each and every client.
  12. Objectively assess the level of compatibility and safety when conducting introductions between client and shelter dogs, while recognizing opportunities to educate adopting parties on dog to dog communication, and facilitating the transition of an adopted animal into the client’s home.
  13. Keep accurate and dependable records of discussions with potential adopters in regard to health, medical, or behavioral concerns exhibited by adoptable animals, noted either while in our care, or by surrendering parties.
  14. Having the ability to make thoughtful, informed, and unbiased decisions when evaluating whether to release an animal to a potential adopter or conduct a denial.
  15. Have the ability to tactfully and confidently deny an adoption if the adopting party’s housing intentions or ability to care for the animal does not fall within the SSPCA’s philosophies and guidelines for adoption placement.
  16. Be well versed in introductions between different species of animals and be able to educate adopters on how to best successfully facilitate peaceful interactions in a home environment during transition.
  17. Communicate principles that convey and impart an understanding of the philosophies and procedures of the SSPCA to the public with compassion and candor.
  18. Possess the ability to continuously advance compassion and remain calm when dealing with fueled or emotionally charged situations and interactions with members of the public.

Additional Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Treat all animals humanely, with compassion and concern, and transmit these values to others.
  2. Keep accurate and dependable records of discussions, behaviors, and medical concerns brought to the attention of the Adoptions Counselor.
  3. Assist with special events, including those held off campus, and occasional fundraising as needed.
  4. Must be committed to a high standard of safety and be willing and able to comply with all safety laws, as well as all of the employer’s safety policies and rules. Must be willing to report safety violations and potential safety hazards to appropriate supervisory or management personnel.


  1. Ability to work effectively with the public, fellow employees, management, and volunteers, as well as other agencies and groups that work in conjunction with the SSPCA.
  2. Consistently advance compassion and patience towards members of the public, fellow employees, management, and volunteers.
  3. Must be punctual and maintain regular, predictable attendance.
  4. Must be able to utilize email as a primary means of communication, including the use of spreadsheets, scheduling adopted animal rechecks, and scheduling surgeries and other medical procedures.
  5. Will be occasionally called upon to vaccinate, restrain animals, and administer medication or treatments.
  6. Type and enter data at a rate of 35 words per minute.
  7. Ability to read and retain instructions, short correspondences, and memos.
  8. Possess a valid California Driver’s License with a clear driving record for at least one year prior to application.
  9. Basic computer skills using standard office programs such as Word and similar programs.

Note: The statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by employees, but are not a complete list of responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified.  Nothing in this job description restricts management's right to assign or reassign duties.

Education and Experience:

  1. High school graduate or GED equivalent.
  2. Associate’s Degree preferred, but can substitute experience for education.
  3. One year experience in providing excellent customer service.
  4. Basic animal care knowledge, including knowledge of domestic animals in regard to breeds, behavior, appropriate care and housing, common health problems, disease symptoms and handling techniques. Such knowledge is typically attained through 6 months experience in animal care.

Physical Requirements:

  1. Any allergic condition that would be aggravated from exposure or through contact with animals or chemicals used to sanitize facilities, vehicles or equipment, may be a disqualification.
  2. Must stand, walk, bend and stoop frequently to perform duties. Have the ability to perform prolonged strenuous physical activity, including lifting and carrying objects weighing up to 50 pounds alone or up to 100 pounds with the help of fellow employees for short distance.

Working Conditions:

  1. May be exposed to hostile or abusive members of the public. Must be able to provide compassion and empathy with an often times emotion-charged public.
  2. Deliver excellent service while carrying a fast-paced and changing workload, which at times can be stressful.
  3. Occasional exposure to harsh weather conditions such as heat, rain, wind, and cold
  4. By nature of the industry, there may be occasional exposure to dead, injured, sick, unruly, vicious, and dangerous animals in addition to exposure to parasites and infectious diseases.
  5. Must be available and willing to work weekends, holidays, overtime, and attend mandatory training and meetings as the employer determines are necessary or desirable to meet its needs in providing excellent customer service to the public and shelter clients, as well as internal staff and volunteers.

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