Job Title: Animal Behavior Technician
Department: Animal Behavior Department
Reports To: Animal Behavior Manager/Animal Services Practice Manager
Schedule: Full-time. Schedule will include weekend/holiday work.
Hiring range: $13.18 - $15.45/hr
FLSA Status: Non-Exempt
The Animal Behavior Technician improves the lives and adoptability of Sacramento SPCA animals by implementing in-house behavior assessments, enrichment, and behavior modification protocols. This position is responsible for conducting behavior evaluations, running dog playgroups, implementing behavior modification protocols, training volunteers, assisting with dog training classes, and showing animals to potential adopters.
Essential Job Duties:
1. Performs animal behavior assessments, ensuring consistency and repeatability of assessment criteria.
2. Under the direction of the Animal Behavior Manager and Animal Behavior Specialist, implements in-house shelter animal enrichment and behavior modification protocols.
3. Observes and records animal’s behavior in kennels.
4. Keeps accurate records regarding our animals’ behavior, any behavior changes throughout their time at the SSPCA, and all behavior modification or enrichment provided.
5. Check and respond to Animal Behavior Department voicemails and email inquiries, providing clients with behavioral information consistent with SSPCA Animal Behavior Department views and guidelines.
6. Assists with maintaining accurate and updated program and statistical information pertaining to all aspects of the Animal Behavior Department.
7. Represent the SSPCA Animal Behavior department at outreach events, proactively offering behavioral support for the community.
8. Reviews behavior history documents for owner surrendered animals.
9. Perform behavior and medical evaluations on animals at other shelters that the SSPCA is considering for transfer.
10. Develops behavioral enrichment programs and ensures involvement of staff members throughout the organization.
11. Reviews, revises, and monitors evaluation criteria so that data is accurate, current, and relevant.
12. Supervises and supports Animal Behavior Department interns and volunteers.
13. Participates in the creation of volunteer training curriculum and written workshop materials.
14. Assists or leads volunteer training and serves as a point of contact for volunteers with animal-behavior related questions or concerns.
15. Assists in showing available animals to potential adopters and informs potential adopters of the animal’s current behavior concerns and modification plan.
16. Conducts dog socials between SSPCA dogs and resident dogs of potential adopters.
17. Oversees dog playgroup program by selecting candidates, implementing playgroup program, and supervising dog playgroups.
18. Co-teaches or assists in shelter dog classes for volunteers and staff.
19. Acquire and maintain California euthanasia certificate and perform animal euthanasia.
20. Works in collaboration with other SSPCA departments.
Additional Duties and responsibilities:
1. Attend continuing education seminars, workshops, and webinars to stay current on animal behavior trends.
2. Must be punctual and maintain regular, predictable attendance.
3. Promote and exemplify SSPCA core values on a daily basis.
4. Provide accurate information and friendly professional service to the public and coworkers in a responsive, positive, courteous and truthful manner. Understand and follows the chain of command, and do not participate in triangulation.
5. Must be committed to a high standard of safety and be willing and able to comply with all safety laws and all of the employer’s safety policies and rules and must be willing to report safety violations and potential safety violations to appropriate supervisory or management personnel.
6. Must be able to work independently and be self-motivated.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
1. Ability to read and interpret complex protocols and documents.
2. Ability to get along and work effectively with the public, management, fellow employees, volunteers, and other agencies and groups.
3. Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedural manuals.
4. Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers, employees and the general public.
5. Ability to humanely euthanize animals when appropriate.
6. Basic computer skills using standard office programs such as Word or similar programs.
7. Have a valid California Driver’s license and clear driving record for one year prior to employment in order to operate SSPCA automatic and standard transmission vehicles.
Education and Experience:
1. High school graduate or GED equivalent.
2. Minimum of one year experience in an animal shelter or animal care facility with knowledge of domestic animals including breeds, behavior, appropriate care and housing, common health problems, disease symptoms and handling techniques.
3. Animal training and behavior knowledge including theory of positive reinforcement, animal training techniques, and temperament testing.
1. Allergic condition which 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 distances.
1. May be exposed to hostile or abusive members of the public. Must be able to deal with an often times emotion-charged public and carry a fast paced and changing workload which at times can be stressful.
2. By nature of the industry, there may be occasional exposure to dead, injured, sick, unruly, vicious, and/or dangerous animals in addition to exposure to parasites and to infectious diseases.
3. Must be available and willing to work such weekends, holidays, overtime, and attend mandatory training and meetings as the employer determines are necessary or desirable to meet its business needs
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 and responsibilities to this job at any time. Either employer or employee may terminate the employment relationship at any time with or without notice and with or without cause.