DEPARTMENT: Animal Services
FLSA STATUS: Exempt
In collaboration with the Executive Director of the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) and the Animal Services team, the Chief of Animal Services works to ensure the AWLA’s Animal Services Department provides modern, humane and professional animal services to the residents of the City of Alexandria as outlined in AWLA’s contract with the City.
In addition, the Chief of Animal Services is responsible for overseeing all criminal investigations, continuing and strengthening the AWLA’s relationship with Alexandria Police Department and the Department of Emergency Communications (DEC), and participating in disaster preparedness planning and coordination for the AWLA.
Supervised by: Executive Director
Supervises: Animal Control Sergeant, Animal Control Officers (when Sergeant is not available)
ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS OF THE JOB INCLUDE:
1. Perform all functions of an Animal Control Officer including responding to calls for service;
2. Provide training and mentoring to Animal Control Officers and provide feedback to the Sergeant on their performances;
3. In coordination with the Sergeant, ensure department’s SOPs are up to date and appropriate;
4. Ensure the AWLA’s Executive Director is appropriately informed of any issues that could escalate to the City of Alexandria, Board of Directors, or the public;
5. Train Department staff to follow AWLA’s complaint policy and investigate citizen complaints of animal services staff misconduct;
6. Maintain and expand the AWLA’s relationship with the Alexandria Police Department and DEC, including reviewing agreements, engaging Police Department in criminal cases, coordinating cross trainings, and integrate Animal Service’s criminal reports in to the Police Department;
7. Maintain the AWLA’s relationship with the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) ensuring compliance with rabies mitigation as outlined in the AWLA/AHD MOU
8. Review all animal services’ investigative reports to assess the quality of each ACO’s investigation, and implement any identified areas for improvement to advance the quality of future inquiries. Track all cases and report totals each month and provide to the Sergeant for inclusion in the monthly report.
9. Coordinate with the Police Department on investigations, perform follow up investigation as needed, present cases to the Commonwealth, prepare ACO’s for testimony and oversee seizure hearings;
10. Review all court verdicts and/or sentence negotiations and track outcomes;
11. Stay up to date on city, state and federal animal related laws including revisions/additions in order to ensure Department maintains compliance;
12. Coordinate revisions of City of Alexandria ordinances with City Attorney’s Office and provide input on proposed city, state, and federal legislative changes when requested;
13. Create an inventory of safe animal handling equipment for AWLA and animal services vehicles and areas of the shelter, review any animal related injuries, train staff on proper use, meet with managers twice a year to discuss safety concerns and identify and implement ideas for improvements such as alarm devices and specialized trainings;
14. Work with the Executive Director on implementing activities to increase the number of dogs/cats licensed in the City;
15. Represent the AWLA and Animal Services Department at meetings, training sessions and special community events, as needed;
16. Approve and perform euthanasias when necessary;
17. Working with the Director of Community programs, assist in the AWLA’s Disaster Preparedness Program (including the shelter’s evacuation plan) and ensure that staff are trained yearly, fire department lock box is stocked with appropriate information and all signage/equipment is useable;
18. Serve as a contact on City animal related disaster preparedness activities, attend meetings, assist with planning and work with CART Director of Community Programs on next steps;
19. Facilitate regular Department team meetings and participate in AWLA wide staff meetings and leadership planning activities to build a cohesive AWLA team and actively be engaged in creating a positive work environment.
a) A high school diploma, Bachelor degree preferred
b) A minimum of 8 years as a animal control or law enforcement officer
c) Minimum of three years of supervisory/management experience with a demonstrated ability to lead a team
d) Willingness to attend ACO academy in the State of Virginia
e) Willingness to become euthanasia certification in the State of Virginia
f) Ability to receive rabies PEP
g) Current driver’s license and insurable driving record
h) Experience investigating and charging misdemeanor and felony levels crimes
i) Experience testifying in court
j) Experience with liaising and working with different departments within a municipal government
k) Experience working with community based organizations
l) Proven ability to write and update policies and procedures
m) A demonstrated understanding of the links between animal abuse and violence against humans
n) A proven willingness to assist and help people care for their animals rather than approach all situations with a law enforcement approach
o) Ability to speak to large audiences and represent the AWLA in a professional manner in the community and beyond
p) A compassionate, friendly, team oriented personality
a) Experience responding in a disaster situation(s)
b) Training and certification in federal and/or Virginia state disaster preparedness, such as CART, NIMS, etc.
c) Demonstrated knowledge of State and municipal codes and ordinances
d) Successfully completed all Virginia required ACO certification trainings
e) Currently vaccinated against rabies or titer positive
f) Current euthanasia certification in Virginia
g) Current field tranquilization certification
h) Conflict mediation certification / experience
i) Ability to converse in Spanish
a) Indoors in a high noise air-conditioned/heated building and outdoors in heat / cold
b) When on call situations may involve sometimes unsafe and uncomfortable conditions where exposure to environmental factors such as human or animal violence, disease, traffic, wetness, dust or equipment and machinery pose a risk of injury
c) Equipment use:
1. Includes use of PC, laser printer, copy machine, fax machine, telephone, power washer, cleaning supplies, animal control van, animal control equipment, and other safety equipment.
d) Work hours will vary, and evening, weekend, and holiday hours will be required based on need
e) Will be required to respond to off hour emergency calls on a rotating basis
MENTAL, PHYSICAL AND COMMUNICATION REQUIREMENTS:
A successful candidate must be able to:
a) Maintain a polite, professional, and informative demeanor with staff members, volunteers, veterinarians, police department officials, attorneys, representatives from other agencies, and the general public
b) Handle exposure to animals, cleaning chemicals, fumes, dust, animal feces, bites, scratches
c) Drive an Animal Control vehicle
d) Lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.
e) See close up, distance and have the ability to adjust focus and have normal depth and peripheral vision
f) Sustain a full 8-10 hour day of driving, walking, bending, and physical activity in the field.
g) Enter data in a computer database system and maintain accurate records
h) Ability to approve euthanasia of animals when needed
i) Work alone with minimal supervision Identify issues arise that are a potential liability for AWLA versus City of Alexandria and work with Executive Director as necessary;
j) Resolve conflicts successfully
k) Communicate clearly, including excellent writing skills and an ability to speak in public.
The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria offers an excellent benefits package and competitive compensation. The AWLA provides health care, dental, vision coverage, a retirement plan with matching benefit, and short term and long term insurance. This is an non-exempt position and salary will be commensurate with experience.
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.
A cover letter is required to apply for this position. Please upload your cover letter in the cover letter upload field of the application.