Animal Care & Adoptions Associate

JOB SUMMARY: Responsible for daily cleaning, feeding, and provision of any medical treatments to the animals in our care. Employees will also be expected to perform euthanasia, assist staff and the public with handling animals, and keep the non-administrative areas of the shelter clean. Employees will also be trained in the Customer Service/Adoptions functions of the shelter, and will be expected to move between departments as the need arises.


This position is supervised by: Deputy Director


Animal Care:
• Ensure that all animal areas are clean, sanitary, and comfortable
• Feed, water, groom, and medicate animals on a daily basis, while monitoring the physical condition and behavior of each animal
• Provide affection and socialization to all animals on a regular basis, including walking dogs as needed for housetraining purposes
• Administer emergency first aid to sick or injured animals
• Humanely euthanize animals when necessary

Adoption Counseling:
• Assist the public in making appropriate adoption matches
• Explain AWLA adoption policies and procedures to potential adopters
• Use customer service skills to facilitate potential applications in a positive manner in support of AWLA mission and objectives.
• Conduct adoption and behavior consultations
• Ensure that all adoption related literature is assembled prior to the adoption consultation
• Review all pertinent information on the application with the potential adopter privately
• Conduct all post-consultation activities prior to the adoption
• Maintain a complete and accurate file regarding all actions associated with the adoption
• Ensure that the completed adoption contract is at the shelter prior to the adopter’s scheduled pick-up time
• Advise shelter personnel of the pick-up time as well as any required pre-adoption medical procedures
• Arrange transfer of veterinary records from the previous owner to the new adopter if appropriate
• Conduct all final adoption processes
• Ensure that all required actions are completed prior to releasing the animal to its new home
• Telephone the adopter following the pick-up of the animal to maintain contact and advise on any potential problems as needed
• Conduct consultations for owner surrendered animals
• Document a complete personality profile of the animal
• Discuss the adoption potential of the animal and gather detailed information on the history of the surrendered animal

• Ensure that paperwork and records are maintained accurately and that Chameleon information is updated
• Learn and use the descriptive identification used by the League, and develop a current working knowledge of all American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized breeds and other commonly seen dog breeds, as well as commonly seen cat breeds
• Develop a basic working knowledge of the League’s procedures, guidelines, and protocols for the safe handling of animals:
o Legal and statistical reporting procedures, and veterinary protocols
o Federal and Commonwealth of Virginia substance regulations, and Commonwealth of Virginia and municipal animal regulations
o Understand and comprehend League Animal Care Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
• Assist on an as needed basis with League inventory and report necessary product orders
• Coordinate the intake of stray, injured and owner-relinquished animals
• Accurately complete all animal intake paperwork
• Contact drivers and rehabilitators for wildlife as appropriate
• Maintain accurate animal intake information in database
• Retrieve general voice mail messages and respond to calls and/or forward them to the appropriate department
• Coordinate the Lost & Found process
• Accurately complete the daily tracking for lost and found including matching lost reports with any stray animals in the League’s care
• Contact potential owners when a stray animal matches their description of their lost pet

• Sell Spay/Neuter certificates and process licenses, accurately completing all paperwork and input into database
• Accept monetary and in-kind donations from the public, thank the donor and forward notices of donation to the Development Assistant
• Correctly complete cash and non-cash receipts
• Accurately process cash, check and credit card transactions, adhering to League accounting policies
• Assist clients with retail item purchases, maintain inventory and ensure displays are stocked and orderly.

Other duties/Functions
Provide support to the League’s team effort including, but not limited to:
o Assist in keeping the Vortex and Healthy Hold areas neat and clean
o Communicate regularly with supervisors and coworkers to ensure that they are aware of any issues pertinent to their areas of responsibility
o Participate in staff meetings to share ideas and suggestions for improving animal care and the quality of the organization as a whole
o Communicating regularly with supervisors to ensure that they are aware of any issues pertinent to their areas of responsibility
o Keep the lobby neat and tidy
o Participate in playgroups as needed
o Participate and attend community outreach events in support of AWLA mission
o Ensure that all supplies and forms are stocked by communicating to the administrative department as to current and future needs
o Perform other duties as requested to ensure the internal and external well being of the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria

Position Specifications
• High school diploma or equivalent
• Minimum of one year experience in a customer service environment
• Proven ability to handle multiple tasks in a busy workplace environment
• Ability to accurately perform basic mathematical calculation
• Understanding of humane care and treatment of animals
• Ability to obtain certification as a euthanasia technician within the first six months of employment
• Ability to accurately and consistently perform data entry
• Strong customer service skills and the ability to maintain a professional appearance and demeanor at all times
• Valid Driver’s License
• Fluent in English

• Experience in animal care
• Proficient with written and spoken Spanish
• Experience with Chameleon database
• Experience volunteering or working in an animal shelter environment

Working Conditions:
• Indoors in a high noise, air-conditioned/heated building, outdoors at shelter, or on-location for various activities
• Equipment use:
• Includes use of PC, laser printer, copy machine, fax machine, telephone, power washer, industrial dish washing machine, laundry machine, dryer, and cleaning supplies
• Work hours:
• Work hours will vary
• Early morning, evening , weekend and holiday hours are required

• Regular exposure to animals, cleaning chemicals, fumes, dust, animal feces, bites, scratches
• The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 100 pounds
• The employee must frequently bend, grip and be flexible to do so
• Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and the ability to adjust focus
• Ability to work around pet dander, dust and other allergens without issue
• Regularly required to stand and walk
• Strong data entry skills and the ability to maintain accurate records in Chameleon
• Requires working alone or with minimal supervision – must be self-motivated
• Requires patience and tact when working with difficult, emotional, or angry people
• Must have the ability to effectively communicate; verbally and written, over the phone and intercom, with a wide variety of both internal and external individuals, including the Directors, Managers, Coordinators, the staff, a volunteer workforce, partner organizations, and private citizens
• Requires treating people and animals in a pleasant, courteous and professional manner
• Adherence to the League’s policies and philosophies
• Must be willing to receive Rabies vaccine and/or titers test upon request

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.

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.
To apply, please submit your cover letter, resume, and application (see link below) to, with the subject line “Animal Care & Adoptions Associate”.


Download our Application for Employment (View Word .doc)

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