Shelter Manager

Essential Duties and Primary Job Purpose

Responsible for managing and supervising the operation of the shelter and shelter staff. Oversees animal custodial and remedial care, admissions, adoptions and euthanasia. Ensures the safety, sanitation and upkeep of the facility. Provides staff training, prepares operational reports and educates the public about responsible pet ownership and animal regulations and laws. May perform duties of an animal care worker.

Representative Tasks & Major Responsibilities

  1. Is responsible for the hiring, supervision, promotion, discipline, and termination of shelter workers, providing regular, on-going feedback and timely evaluations. Makes daily inspection of shelter to ensure work is accomplished, animals are cared for and facility is sanitary. Monitors safety compliance of staff and volunteers. Addresses both union and non-union employee problems and grievances.
  2. Maintains numerous files, records and statistics that include but are not limited to: animal population, adoption, euthanasia, spay and neuter, incident and personnel data. Maintains controlled substance records and renews license yearly. Prepares all worker assignments, schedules and rosters. Provides direction for operation of shelter’s computer system and software programs.
  3. Supervises incoming animals and adoptions and ensures that the public receives accurate information and friendly service. Takes control of tense situations with distraught or angry customers. Is responsible for final adoption approval.
  4. Prepares budget, projection figures, program estimates and payroll information. Monitors revenue and expenses in relation to annual budget and regularly reviews and modifies procedures to maintain an efficient yet effective service. Oversees billings and depositing of all monies.
  5. Monitors the general health of shelter animals and insures proper medical care. Makes final decision regarding adoption or euthanasia. Supervises euthanasia to insure proper techniques are used. Relates staff concerns to veterinarian regarding specific animals and insures veterinary instructions are carried out. Recommends placement for wild and exotic animals.
  6. Performs the duties of an animal care worker as needed. Works collaboratively with workers to achieve shelter goals.
  7. Conducts and participates in meetings with staff to review procedures, discuss workplace issues and share ideas to improve animal care. Meets with executive director to develop long-range programs and regularly review policies and procedures.
  8. Oversees all inventories and ordering of shelter supplies and equipment and assures that appropriate quantities of all supplies are on hand at all times. Regularly inspects shelter property for needed repairs and maintenance and secures contractors as necessary to maintain buildings and grounds. Contacts and negotiates with vendors.
  9. Recruits, selects and trains new staff providing for their growth and safety. Strives to remain current on animal care and control issues.
  10. Develops and maintains cooperative work relationships with other community agencies and organizations. Fulfills speaking engagements and prepares media releases as needed.

Qualification Requirements

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty and task satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.

  1. Demonstrated supervisory knowledge to include knowledge of principles and techniques of supervision, motivation techniques, and basic training methods. Knowledge of union contract specifics and relevant labor issues. Knowledge of decision-make techniques, skill in mediating dispute, conflicts and grievances.
  2. Demonstrated program management knowledge to include basic statistical methods, fiscal and budgeting practices and procedures, knowledge of local, state and federal regulations for the workplace, knowledge of federal and state wage and hour regulations.
  3. Knowledge in animal health and well being to include nutrition needs, resources for information, knowledge of common animal diseases, skill animal first aid and CPR, skill in performing euthanasia. Ability to identify animal species, breeds, ages and sexes. Ability to identify signs of animal illnesses and injuries.
  4. Demonstrated personal communication knowledge to include effective phone skills, effective interviewing techniques, public speaking and ability to communicate effectively in writing and orally.

Education and Background

Courses in business administration and animal health and behavior are recommended. Experience working in a shelter, with demonstrated traits such as attention to detail and reliability, are essential.

Professional Studies

Humane Society Univeristy offers an undergraduate degree and graduate certificate in Humane Leadership, as well as noncredit online courses and workshops for sheltering professionals. Visit the HSU Course Search for details.

Executive Leadership Certificate program

Pets for Life program

Sample Job Description

Learn more about Animal Sheltering and Pet Care: