Behavior Specialist, ARC & CARE

Please make sure to attach your resume to complete your application.


The ARC (Animal Recovery Center) and CARE (Canine Annex for Recovery and Enrichment) facilities are dedicated to the recovery and rehabilitation of victims of cruelty and neglect admitted through NYPD and the ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) and Community Engagement (CE) programs.

Our dedicated team of more than 45 sheltering, medical, and animal behavior professionals work closely with the ASPCA Animal Hospital, Forensics, Legal Advocacy and Investigations, Behavioral Sciences, Shelter Medicine Services, Community Engagement, Placement, and the Adoption Center teams to ensure coordinated response and operations, and holistic, balanced, high quality care for the animals we serve.

The Behavior Specialist (the Specialist) works with the Senior Manager and the Behavior teams in ARC and CARE to provide safe, high-quality behavioral support from intake to outcome or discharge, in accordance with organizational protocols.

The Specialist supports, communicates, and collaborates with staff in ARC, CARE, Adoption Center, the Animal Hospital (AAH) and Forensics, in order to optimize the health and welfare of animals and, whenever possible, to set them up for success in a new home. The Specialist also provides on-scene support for large scale animal cases and search warrant executions.

*This shift is Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat 9-7pm


Job responsibilities Include but are not limited to:

Provide Safe Behavior Response, Assessment, and Support: (80%)

  • Provide behavior support and expertise for all NYPD and CE intakes
  • Ensure timely evaluation of animals to determine safety for handling, likelihood of rehabilitation and suitability for adoption
  • Ensure timely and consistent delivery of specialized handling as required for intake, medical handling and/or procedures.
  • Respond to and manage emergent behavior needs as they arise and communicate revised handling plans and safety measures to ensure staff safety
  • Communicate verbally and in the database the results of each animal’s assessment, including a behavioral prognosis, safe handling and walking guidelines, plan for behavior modification and enrichment, and the animal’s suitability for foster, boarding or placement programs 
  • Implement behavioral rehabilitation programs for all animals
  • Communicate results of behavior assessments to colleagues, other shelters and rescue groups who may be considering taking these animals; provide write-up’s and/or video
  • Liaise with NYPD officers upon intake of animals to gather behavioral histories and information on the animals’ environment/ living conditions so that this information may be considered in developing safe animal handling guidelines and in determining each animal’s behavioral prognosis
  • Provide behavioral information to inform appropriate disposition decisions (foster, rescue placement, euthanasia, etc.)
  • Document results of standardized assessments, and videotape behavior treatments as needed
  • Use active listening and respectful dialogue to answer questions and help staff understand behavioral signs that indicate potential aggression and/or poor quality of life
  • Assist in transition, acclimation and continuity of care during various stages of rehabilitation process including transitions from the field, AAH, ARC to CARE and Adoptions
  • Offer pre- and post-adoption consultations for animals from NYPD cases with regard to behavior and training as needed
  • Collaborate with members of various departments including, but not limited to, CE, Adoption Center, and AAH as needed

Train and Coach: (20%)

  • With the Senior Manager, coach staff and qualified volunteers, when appropriate, in assisting with behavior modification and enrichment programs
  • Create and present formal trainings to ASPCA departments in animal behavior, low stress handling, recognizing, and responding to the signs of stress in animals, and other relevant topics as requested
  • Participate in staff training and ongoing coaching about animal behavior (safe and low stress handling, dog walking, socialization, body language, etc.)
  • Participate in, and support, the Red Rover response plans in partnership with leadership from Facilities, AAH/ARC/CARE and the Adoption Center. Be trained and prepared to always respond to panic alarms

Promotes and ensures the continual and consistent practice of organizational core values:

  • Has Commitment and dedication to improving the lives of animals
  • Demonstrates Ownership and feels responsible for outcomes
  • Believes in Team – that we are stronger together
  • Seeks to Elevate others and reimagine what is possible
  • Focuses on Impact, specifically making change for animals

Compensation and benefits:

Starting pay for the successful applicant will depend on a variety of factors, including but not limited to education, training, experience, location, business needs, internal equity, market demands or budgeted amount for the role. The target hiring range is for new hire offers only, and staff compensation may increase beyond the maximum hiring range based on performance over time. The maximum of the hiring range is reserved for candidates with the highest qualifications and relevant experience. The expected hiring salary range for this role is set forth below and may be modified in the future. 

The target hiring range for this role is $34.62-$37.02

For more information on our benefits offerings, click here.

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If you are interested in joining our team but do not see a position listed that fits your experience or interests, please visit our website to join our Talent Community and stay connected to future opportunities with the ASPCA.


  • Certification from reputable dog behavior professional program (i.e. CCPDT, IAABC, KPA) or comparable work experience

Additional Information:

  • Weekends, some evenings, and some holidays are required
  • Must have flexibility in schedule to accommodate program needs
  • Deployment and travel with Behavioral Sciences team will be required once a year
  • Must demonstrate the ability to interact effectively with ASPCA employees, clients and the public. 
  • We encourage a candidate who demonstrates outstanding inter-personal communication and the ability to work in a team or independently, with a high degree of integrity and accountability.
  • This position welcomes a candidate with a sense of humor that can balance flexibility and enthusiasm and thrives on detail in a dynamic, fast-paced environment. 


Ability to thrive in a physically demanding role handling strong, energetic and sometimes fractious animals with calmness and ease, Ability to walk, bend, lift, climb stairs and walk multiple dogs per day, Consistently maintains a positive attitude; treats both animals and people with respect, Excellent canine and feline handling skills required with an emphasis on low stress handling, Good team player; a “people person” who enjoys collaboration, Strong team player, as well as ability to work independently, Superior problem-solving abilities; likes to troubleshoot and find solutions when facing challenges



English (Required)

Education and Work Experience:

High School Diploma (Required)


At least one year experience in animal shelter preferred, Excellent canine handling skills required with an emphasis on low stress methods, Experience in conducting behavior modification in a formal environment such as classes, private lessons, or shelter using adult learning principles required, Low Stress Handling® University Silver-Level certification is required within six months of hire

Our EEO Policy:

The ASPCA is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity or expression, age, marital or domestic partner status, citizenship status, sexual orientation, disability, genetic information, military or veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws, regulations or ordinances.

Applicants with disabilities may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation under the terms of the Americans with Disabilities Act and certain state or local laws.  A reasonable accommodation is a change in the ASPCA’s standard application process, which will ensure an equal employment opportunity without imposing undue hardship on the ASPCA.  Please inform the ASPCA’s People Team if you need an accommodation in order to complete any forms or to otherwise participate in the application process.

Individuals seeking employment are considered without regards to race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity or expression, age, marital or domestic partner status, citizenship status, sexual orientation, disability, genetic information, military or veteran status,  or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws, regulations or ordinances.

ASPCA is an Equal Opportunity Employer (M/F/D/V).

Please don’t forget to attach your resume to complete your application.

About Us:
The ASPCA was founded in 1866 on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment by humans and must be protected under the law. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation with more than two million supporters nationwide, the ASPCA is committed to preventing cruelty to dogs, cats, equines, and farm animals throughout the United States.

The ASPCA is headquartered in New York City, where we maintain a full-service animal hospital, spay/neuter clinic, mobile spay/neuter and primary pet care clinics, a rehabilitation center for canine victims of cruelty, kitten nursery, adoption center, and two community veterinary centers.

The ASPCA also operates programs and services that extend nationwide. We assist animals in need through on-the-ground disaster and cruelty interventions, behavioral rehabilitation, animal placement, legal and legislative advocacy, and the advancement of the sheltering and veterinary community through research, training, and resources.

At the ASPCA, we are committed to fostering a collaborative and compassionate culture and we welcome all voices to contribute to our lifesaving mission. Our staff represent a vast array of backgrounds and diversity dimensions, bringing with them valuable experiences and perspectives. They join the ASPCA to learn, grow, and continually do their best work on behalf of animals. We are inspired by our staff, partners, and the communities we support across the country who work to improve animal lives. We are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion at the ASPCA because it elevates our organizational culture, aligns with our Core Values, and enables us to move further and faster toward the ASPCA’s vision – that all animals live good lives; valued by society, protected by its laws, and free from cruelty, pain and suffering.