Job Opportunities

Behavior and Training Coordinator

Summer Camp Assistant


AWLA is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any classification protected by federal, state, or local law.


Responsible for ensuring all shelter animals receive a behavioral evaluation; coordinate with animal care staff to assist with determining best placement options for animals; train staff and volunteers on behavior evaluations, safe animal handling, animal enrichment and working with transfer organizations. This position reports to the Deputy Director.

Essential functions of the job include:

  • Ensure that each shelter animal is behaviorally evaluated soon after their disposition date and ensure all findings are properly documented;
  • Develop strong working relationships with other shelters and rescue organizations to transfer animals in and out of the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter;
  • Coordinate with animal care, adoption and veterinary staff to keep the shelter relatively full of adoptable animals at all times while adjusting shelter capacity based on a wide variety of factors;
  • Move animals to adoption as needed and coordinate with Adoption Manager on each animal’s needs
  • Participate in animal care meetings to make decisions about placement / euthanasia of shelter animals
  • Evaluate housing for animals and make recommendations for improvements based on behavior needs of the animals;
  • Train staff on behavior assessments/evaluations and review their work;
  • Train staff on safe handling of animals;
  • Train volunteers on animal related topics as determined by the Volunteer Manager;
  • Perform other duties as assigned;

Position specifications:


  • A high school diploma
  • Minimum of three years experience working within an animal shelter
  • Minimum of two years experience in animal behavior – animal training and/or behavior certifications highly desired;
  • Extensive experience evaluating animals as adoption candidates;
  • Experience working with animals with challenging behavior issues, including an understanding and belief in multiple training techniques including positive reinforcement based training;
  • Experience training staff and/or volunteers.
  • Current euthanasia certification in Virginia desired

Working Conditions:

  • Indoors in a high noise air-conditioned/heated building, outdoors at shelter,  or at various locations depending on nature of emergencies
    • 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
  • Equipment use: Includes use of PC, laser printer, copy machine, fax machine, telephone, power washer, cleaning supplies, animal control van
  • Work hours: Work hours will vary, and evening, weekend, and holiday hours may be required based on need

Mental, Physical, and Communication Requirements:
A successful candidate must be able to:

  • Maintain a polite, professional, and informative demeanor with staff members, volunteers, veterinarians, police department officials, attorneys, representatives from other agencies, and the general public.
  • Handle exposure to animals, cleaning chemicals, fumes, dust, animal feces, bites, scratches
  • Lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.
  • Enter data in a computer database system and maintain accurate records
  • Ability to approve euthanasia of animals when needed
  • Work alone with minimal supervision

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. Starting salary is $36,000 and 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.

To apply for this position, please send your resume and completed employment application to with the subject line “Behavior and Transport.”

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SUMMER CAMP ASSISTANT (Seasonal, Part-time) – Open until filled

The Summer Camp Assistant will assist the Summer Camp Teacher with AWLA Summer Camp for rising first through eighth graders. Summer Camp is Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, and is held at the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter in Alexandria, Virginia. This position is supervised by the Summer Camp Teacher.

Essential Functions of the Job Include: 

  • Assisting the Summer Camp Teacher with supervision of children
  • Assisting the Summer Camp Teacher with the facilitation of camp activities
  • Preparing materials and supplies as needed for daily camp activities
  • Performing administrative duties related to camp
  • Other projects as assigned

Minimum Requirements: 

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Experience supervising groups of children
  • Experience working with children grades 1 to 8
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Must be able to write and speak effectively
  • Well-versed in Microsoft Office software applications
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Ability to pass a criminal background investigation
  • Ability to pass a check of the Child Protective Services Registry to the satisfaction of the employer
  • Passion for teaching children
  • Passion for animal welfare

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • First aid and CPR certified
  • Spanish proficiency
  • Experience working with/around animals

Working Conditions: 

  • Indoors in a high-noise, air-conditioned/heated building or outdoors in our play yards
  • Exposure to animal dander and other allergens
  • Work hours: The hours of the camp will be 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The Summer Camp Assistant will work between the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The Summer Camp Assistant must be available for at least 4 hours before the first day of camp to work with the Summer Camp Teacher to prepare for camp. This time will be flexible.

Mental, Physical, and Communication Requirements: 

A successful candidate must be able to:

  • Be around animals with little fear or allergic reactions
  • Handle small animals, cats, and calm dogs to show children
  • Communicate effective in English verbally and in writing
  • Enter data in a computer database system and maintain accurate records
  • Move tables and furniture within classroom and carry supplies

To apply for this position, please send your resume and completed employment application to with the subject line “Summer Camp Assistant.”
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