Per Diem Feline Behavior Specialist

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


This is a part-time position located at 424 East 92nd Street. We are looking for candidates with strong cat training skills that can commit to working onsite at least one day a week (minimum of 4-8 hours). A candidate that can offer additional hours would be a plus.

The ARC (Animal Recovery Center) recovers and rehabilitates animals admitted through the NYPD, the ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement (HLE), and Community Engagement (CE) programs, and to prepare them for placement whenever possible.

The Per Diem Feline Behavior Specialist (the Specialist) works with the Director, Feline Behavior to provide safe, high-quality behavioral support from intake to outcome or discharge, in accordance with organizational protocols. The Specialist will assist with assessments, behavior modification, enrichment and placement recommendations for cats seized by the New York City Police Department or surrendered through the ASPCA’s Community Engagement (CE) Program. The cats from these cases are often severely undersocialized and potentially dangerous; prior experience handling and working with fearful and aggressive animals is required. The Specialist will help develop enrichment/behavior modification protocols for individual animals and coordinate with caretakers to facilitate the delivery of these interventions. The animals may be housed at various locations including the ASPCA Animal Recovery Center (ARC), partner veterinary clinics and boarding kennels.

The Specialist supports, communicates, and collaborates with staff in ARC, Adoptions, the Animal Hospital (AAH) and Forensics, to optimize the health and welfare of animals and, whenever possible, to set them up for success in a new home.


Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Provide behavior support and expertise for NYPD and CE cat intakes
  • Ensure timely evaluation of animals and appropriate documentation of evaluations for each animal, including recommendations for disposition and placement
  • Clearly communicate the results of each animal’s assessment, including behavioral prognosis, safe handling guidelines, plan for behavior modification and enrichment, and the animal’s suitability for foster and placement
  • Identify behavior concerns and address them by coming up with appropriate behavior modification plans alongside the team
  • Implement behavior modification and treatment plans for all cats
  • Create, execute, and assign enrichment, training, and behavior modification for animals on-site, at boarding partners, and in foster homes for behavior treatment; monitor and track their implementation and effectiveness
  • Advise on appropriate housing and other forms of environmental enrichment for ARC cats to improve and maintain quality of life
  • Ensure timely and consistent delivery of specialized low stress handling as required for intake, medical handling and/or procedures
  • Respond to and manage emergent behavior needs as they arise and communicate revised handling/daily care plans and safety measures to ensure staff safety
  • Use active listening and respectful dialogue to answer questions and help staff understand behavioral signs that indicate potential fear, 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 Adoptions
  • Assign behavior treatments for the volunteer cat behavior program; provide feedback to the volunteers to help develop their skills and improve treatment sessions
  • Utilize multiple databases to ensure animal records are complete and up to date, including but not limited to treatment notes, behavior observation reports, foster notes, behavioral medication, history of location changes, and evaluations
  • Collaborate with members of various departments including, but not limited to, CE, Adoption Center, and AAH as needed
  • As needed, direct staff and volunteers in assisting with behavior tasks, supporting holistic care and prioritizing behavioral welfare


  • High School degree or GED required
  • Certification from a reputable behavior professional program (i.e. CCPDT, IAABC) or comparable work experience

Additional Information:

  • Must have flexibility in schedule and be able to work between the hours of 9am-8pm (4-8 hour shift).

  • 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

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

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.

Education and Work Experience:

  • High School Diploma (Required)
  • At least one year experience in animal shelter required
  • Minimum of 2 years’ experience working as a professional trainer/behaviorist, handling, evaluating, and conducting behavior modification for behaviorally compromised animals required
  • Expertise in feline behavior and hands-on experience working with felines in a low stress manner
  • Experience working with fearful cats strongly preferred
  • Fundamental grasp of animal learning theory and its applications
  • Canine handling and behavior skills a plus


Ability to quickly, calmly, and efficiently adjust to changes in direction and re-prioritize work, Able to work closely with behaviorally compromised animals and be prepared to make decisions about euthanasia, including behavior euthanasia., An adept critical thinker., Demonstrates high professional standards that are guided by science rather than personal experience and opinion., 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 organizational and time management skills, Excellent presentation and teaching skills, Excellent written and oral communication skills; able to communicate clearly, effectively, sensitively and professionally with staff at all levels., Must be a self-guided, creative, and motivated individual requiring minimal supervision, Outstanding ability to handle animals for examinations and medical procedures using the least restraint possible, Outstanding defensive handling skills, Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point, Sophisticated animal training and behavior modification abilities, Thrives in a fast paced, dynamic and demanding environment, Willing to accept responsibility for sustaining a healthy work-life balance, Willing to take ownership of and learn from mistakes; enjoys problem-solving and identifying ways to improve.



English (Required)

Education and Work Experience:

High School Diploma (Required)


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.