Senior Manager, Animal Behavior

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

Summary:

Are you dedicated to companion animal behavior and passionate about delivering high-quality care and optimizing welfare for animals in need? Are you committed to bringing multiple areas of animal sheltering expertise together and working with a team to ensure the overall well-being of animals? Are you a dynamic leader and mentor dedicated to developing teams for the benefit of shelter animals? If so, the role of Senior Manager, Animal Behavior at the ASPCA’s Cruelty Recovery Center (CRC) might be right for you!

The CRC, located in Columbus, OH, is the largest and newest ASPCA facility in the Rehabilitation Services Group, which also includes the Behavioral Rehabilitation Center (BRC) in Weaverville, NC, and will include the Recovery and Rehabilitation Center (R&R) in Pawling, NY. All three facilities provide opportunities for animals to heal after rescue. As they engage in hands-on care, teams prioritize the elevation of our work through ongoing learning, advancing the animal welfare field through research, developing effective, efficient interventions, establishing new best practices, and sharing innovations with other organizations nationwide.

At the CRC, a dedicated team of professionals serve animals rescued in ASPCA national cruelty cases and disaster responses. Experts in shelter medicine, operations and shelter animal behavior constantly collaborate to provide high-quality integrative care, prioritizing both physical and psychological well-being.  

The Senior Manager, Animal Behavior is based at the CRC but travels regularly to provide behavior leadership and services at emergency shelters and to assist the Behavioral Sciences Team (BST) with low-stress handling during animal removals on-scene. Led by the Senior Director, Animal Behavior, this role works alongside two other Senior Managers. Each supervises 4 Behavior Specialists (a team of 12 in total), providing ongoing mentorship, coaching and development support. Together, the members of the CRC behavior branch focus on continually assessing and optimizing behavioral health.

To succeed in this role, the Senior Manager, Animal Behavior must have a comprehensive understanding of shelter animal behavior and animal learning principles, superior animal handling skills, excellent communication skills, the ability to compromise, experience successfully managing staff, and the ability to serve as a leader on a unified management team.

Responsibilities:

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

CRC Behavioral Support & Data Collection (50%)

  • Monitor the behavioral health of all animals in our care
  • Conduct daily behavior rounds of all animals in the shelter and regularly participate in shelter daily rounds to ensure timely delivery of care and open communication.
  • Create daily treatment plans and work closely with the two other Senior Managers to coordinate activities of behavior staff
  • Participate in Medical, Sheltering, and Behavior meetings to ensure smooth collaboration among all areas of expertise and holistic care for animals
  • Assign dogs to playgroup participation; monitor and track their behavior; conduct successful    
  • Conduct behavior evaluations for a variety of populations (hoarding case and puppy mill dogs, fighting dogs, shelter dogs and cats, animals rescued during disaster relief efforts)  
  • Serve as an expert handler for fearful and/or aggressive dogs (e.g., during medical exams, intake procedures, humane euthanasia)
  • Monitor the effectiveness of treatment interventions through behavior database to track shelter animal progress
  • Lead weekly treatment meetings with CRC behavior staff to troubleshoot behavior modification techniques and collect info to inform outcome decisions
  • Provide behavior support to Response Partners and foster parents or delegate this task to Behavior Specialists when appropriate
  • Ensure that all team members have received training and mastered the skills to handle dogs and cats in a low-stress manner, and that they implement these handling techniques consistently in all their interactions with animals
  • Provide a safe and compassionate environment for animals in our care, our staff, and for our clients by using low-stress handling techniques.
  • Instill the guiding principle that everyone can—and should—actively support the animals’ behavioral and mental health in everything they do.
  • Oversee the collection and organization of footage for behavior video library; provide videos for media, animal placement and educational uses
  • Adhere to all protocols set forth by the ASPCA, including behavior modification and training procedures, enrichment, animal handling, as well as general medical and sheltering protocols
  • Teach classes and give talks for public and professional audiences and do media interviews as needed
  • Work closely with the Behavioral Sciences Team (BST) to develop processes or protocols that are unique to the specific situation or animal population

People Management, Coaching & Team Leadership (35%)

  • Train and supervise a team of four behavior professionals, holding regular one-on-one meetings to share ideas and provide feedback and guidance

  • Assign, implement and monitor training and behavior modification protocols
  • Provide hands-on animal behavior coaching for behavior, sheltering, medical and other CRC staff
  • Partnering with sheltering staff, provide expertise to inform the creation and implementation of a robust enrichment program, as well as housing changes to maximize behavioral health
  • Work with Sr. Director Animal Behavior for recruitment, hiring and onboarding of Behavior Staff
  • Create professional development plans and support the career growth of direct reports
  • Consistently utilize ASPCA developmental tools and conduct yearly performance reviews of direct reports to measure progress
  • Maintain proactive communication with the CRC senior management team on critical situations or issues
  • Assist the Sr. Director, Animal Behavior with the recruitment, selection, hiring and onboarding process for new CRC behavior staff
  • Espouse and model positive, people-centric management approaches that are in line with team and organizational Core Values

Emergency Shelter Support & Other Responsibilities (15%)

  • Deploy to provide hands-on behavior services and leadership at ASPCA emergency shelters
  • Oversee behavioral assessment and monitoring, playgroups, and, when appropriate, behavior modification sessions
  • Provide expert handling as needed, using low-stress and defensive handling skills
  • Partner with sheltering and medical staff to provide integrative care as a unified team
  • Support NFR’s and BST’s field and forensics work, handling animals during removal on-scene, serving as an expert handler during transports, and assisting with forensic behavior evaluations as needed
  • Understand Incident Command System (ICS) and adhere to chain of command during deployments
  • Collaborate on Learning Lab Program. Provide facilitation and hands-on training both remotely and in-person as requested.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Senior Director, Animal Behavior

Exemplifies the ASPCA’s 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

Qualifications:

  • Highly effective managerial and staff coaching skills
  • Exceptional behavior modification skills
  • Thorough companion animal behavior and animal welfare knowledge
  • Excellent low-stress animal handing and restraint skills
  • Displays care and concern for the safety and well-being of self, animals, and others, especially during stressful situations
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills
  • Must feel comfortable contributing behavior observations and consultative input to help a panel make humane euthanasia decisions; must feel comfortable handling animals for humane euthanasia procedures
  • Good team player; a “people person” who enjoys and excels at collaboration
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Superior problem-solving abilities; likes to troubleshoot and find solutions when facing challenges
  • Ability to thrive in fast-paced, potentially stressful  environments
  • Must be extremely flexible and easily adapt to frequent changes to plans/protocols
  • Meticulous data collection and reporting skills
  • Able to lift and carry up to 50 pounds
  • Able to work standing for 8 or more hours and bend, crouch, kneel and move freely to perform responsibilities that include handling potentially dangerous animals in stressful conditions
  • Able to occasionally work in physically challenging conditions and able to wear appropriate protective gear, including a protective mask; job responsibilities may entail exposure to chemical and biological hazards, such as feces and blood, exposure to sharp objects, working in noisy environments and working in areas with uneven, wet and slippery surfaces
  • Fluent in the use of MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint; familiarity with Shelter Manager or other shelter software systems; Salesforce a plus
  • Must provide a valid driver’s license upon hire and pass a motor vehicle history check demonstrating a safe driving history
  • Available to regularly work 5 days per week, including one weekend day, and available to work a flexible schedule when needed including days, evenings, weekends, and holidays
  • Must be willing and able to travel up to 25% of the time, often on short notice and for 7- to 10-day periods

Qualifications:

See above for qualifications details.

  

Language:

English (Required)

Education and Work Experience:

  

3 years experience working in animal shelters strongly preferred, B.A. or B.S.in animal behavior field (animal behavior/cognition, experimental psychology, zoology, animal science, etc.) required, CAAB/ACAAB certification, IAABC certification or eligibility for certification is a plus, CPDT-KA/KSA certification required within 1 year of hire, Disaster Sheltering and FEMA Incident Command System courses (100, 200, 700, 800) is required within 90 days of hire, Experience handling and working with cats required, Experience with additional species, such as horses, birds, and livestock, is a plus, Experience working with dogs exhibiting extreme aggression, fear and excessive arousal strongly preferred, Low Stress Handling® University Silver-Level certification is required within six months of hire, Minimum of 2 years experience managing a team, preferably in an animal-related industry, required, Minimum of 3 years experience working as a professional animal trainer/behaviorist, handling, evaluating and treating animals with behavior problems, MS in animal behavior field preferred

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.