Manager, Feline Behavior

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

Summary:

The goal of ARC (Animal Recovery Center) and CARE (Canine Annex for Recovery and Enrichment) is to recover, rehabilitate, and prepare for placement, when possible, animals admitted through our NYPD partnership and Community Engagement (CE) team.

The Manager, Feline Behavior (the Manager) is responsible for overseeing the feline behavior program within ARC. ARC holistically treats and rehabilitates cats and dogs admitted through NYPD and the ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) and Community Engagement (CE) programs and prepares them for placement whenever possible. The Manager ensures the behavior and direct care teams are using behavior best practices to support cats’ psychological wellbeing.

The Manager leads the feline behavior team in providing safe, high quality behavioral care for animals from intake through discharge. This oversight consists of:

A coordinated, balanced approach among behavior, medical and sheltering to provide holistic care. Routine, frequent assessment of each animal’s behavioral, medical, and legal status to allow for efficient, effective interventions and timely disposition decisions. A well-structured, robust daily enrichment program that incorporates physical and mental exercise, socialization and sensory stimulation. For each animal in need of behavior modification, the development and implementation of a structured treatment plan and collection.

The Manager will provide leadership to the feline behavior team which currently consists of one Behavior Specialist, by providing ongoing coaching and training to ensure ASPCA policies, behavioral competencies, and low stress handling techniques are consistently followed. In addition, the Manager will be responsible for establishing a safe and compassionate environment by fostering a positive and productive work environment in accordance with our organizational core values. 

The Manager participates in direct, on-site work with animals in the ARC, ASPCA Animal Hospital (AAH), and the Adoption Center (AC), as well as off-site at partner locations and in foster homes. This position requires sometimes lengthy work with behaviorally compromised animals; the information gathered during this work is used to make disposition decisions which can include euthanasia where appropriate.

Responsibilities:

Job responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Provide Safe Behavior Response, Assessment, and Support (60%):

  • Participate in team meetings to discuss animals’ behavioral status and progress
  • Conduct behavior assessments on cats housed at the ASPCA and with placement partners
  • Assist CE and NYPD in the field with removals and transportation as needed
  • Assist with timely evaluation of animals to determine safety for handling, likelihood of rehabilitation and suitability for adoption
  • Manage and implement environmental enrichment and behavior modification for sheltered animals and animals at boarding partners
  • Provide summaries on behavior evaluations and recommendations for disposition and placement
  • Provide behavior consultations and ongoing support to foster parents of ARC cats and owned CE animals requiring temporary care
  • Collaborate with other ASPCA behavior team members on treatment plans, appropriate housing and other forms of environmental and social enrichment
  • Collaborate with medical, operations, sheltering and direct care teams to ensure a high quality of life and holistic care for sheltered animals and animals at boarding partners
  • Offer and implement suggestions for improving animals’ psychological well-being
  • 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
  • Provide a safe and compassionate environment for animals in our care, our staff, and for our clients by using low-stress handling techniques

Program and People Management (30%):

  • Supervise the Feline Behavior Specialist, ensuring that team members fully understand their role and responsibilities and providing consistent, high-quality feedback to direct reports
  • Conduct monthly one on ones with each direct report and model the Leadership Big 3: set clear direction and expectations, give feedback and receive feedback, and ensure opportunities for development.
  • Conduct timely annual performance reviews (behavioral competency based) for all employees
  • Deliver timely disciplinary action when necessary
  • Address employee concerns promptly and handle employee relations issues with confidentiality and care. Use active listening to understand employee concerns, encouraging and supporting employees to problem solve and create viable solutions.
  • Maintain adequate staffing levels at all times; assign and/or re-assign appropriate responsibilities, as well as direct workflow in order to maximize productivity and maintain coverage in the event of planned absences, call outs, injuries, increased volume, etc. Ensure continuous coverage for events and team meetings and trainings to ensure staff and animal safety.
  • Ensure safety needs are met; incident reports completely and accurately filled out, submitted to benefits, legal and safety team; readily reporting workers’ compensation claims and benefits.
  • Communicate Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requests, etc. to benefits team
  • Develop, document, and implement sound, simple policies and practices to improve SOPs. See that staff and volunteers are trained and competent in SOPs.
  • Oversee the feline enrichment program
  • Instill the guiding principle that everyone can—and should—actively support the animals’ behavioral and mental health in everything they do.
  • Ensure that all team members have received training and mastered the skills to handle in a low stress manner, and that they implement these handling techniques consistently in all their interactions with animals.
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor

Train and Coach (10%):

  • Create learning materials to provide training on animal behavior topics and low-stress handling to other staff members
  • Provide internal lectures and trainings on appropriate topics; coordinate the scheduling of external lecturers when appropriate
  • Recommend and provide staff direct coaching opportunities to elevate the quality and consistency of the care delivered to our patients
  • Supervise and coach qualified volunteers, when appropriate, in assisting with behavior modification and enrichment programs
  • Stay up to date on protocols and SOPs created by the Behavioral Sciences Team; contribute to the development of such protocols as needed
  • Instill the guiding principle that everyone can—and should—actively support the animals’ behavioral and mental health in everything they do
  • Ensure that all team members have received training and mastered the skills to handle in a low stress manner, and that they implement these handling techniques consistently in all their interactions with animals

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

Education:

  • Certification from reputable cat behavior professional program required (i.e. ABS, IAABC) or comparable work experience

Knowledge Requirements:

  • Companion animal behavior and animal welfare knowledge, both basic and clinical
  • Knowledge of different models and techniques for adult learning. Ability to adjust training modules to match each trainee’s learning style.
  • In-depth knowledge of learning theory and its applications
  • Competent in the use of MS Word, Excel, and Powerpoint

Training Requirements:

  • Low Stress Handling® University Silver-Level certification is required within six months of hire

Additional Information:

  • Weekends, evenings and some holidays are required
  • Must have flexibility in schedule to accommodate program needs
  • Deployment with the Behavioral Sciences Team will be required up to 4 times per year
  • Must demonstrate the ability to interact effectively with ASPCA employees, clients and the public.

All duties and responsibilities are subject to change due to specific requirements of ASPCA/NYPD Partnership program needs

Additional Information:

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.  This is a full-time position. Weekends and some holidays are required. Position will require occasional flexibility.

Qualifications:

Ability to give and receive direction in a fast paced, dynamic environment, Ability to plan, organize and effectively present ideas and concepts, Ability to walk, bend, stand and reach constantly during a minimum 8-hour day, Dependable and ability to demonstrate regular and reliable attendance., Excellent ability to provide timely and professional communication and service to internal and external stakeholders, Excellent and demonstrated ability to be a team player, Excellent communication skills with people, enjoy working with people, Excellent organizational and time-management skills, Outstanding ability to handle animals for examinations and medical procedures using the least restraint possible, • Able to lift and carry supplies of up to 40 lbs.

  

Language:

English (Required)

Education and Work Experience:

Bachelors, High School Diploma (Required)

  

2 years management experience preferred, At least one year experience in animal shelter preferred, Experience in conducting behavior modification in a formal environment such as private sessions or shelter environment, Minimum of two years of experience assessing and working with aggressive cats, Minimum of two years of experience assessing and working with fearful and undersocialized cats, Must have excellent humane animals handling skills with an emphasis on low-stress handling

COVID Statement:
The ASPCA strives to maintain a COVID-free workplace. To that end, being fully vaccinated is a condition of employment for all ASPCA employees, including new hires, except where prohibited by applicable state or local law. The ASPCA makes reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants with disabilities or sincerely held religious beliefs that prohibit a person from being vaccinated.

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.