Director, Animal Behavior

4 days left

Nebraska Humane Society
Omaha, Nebraska, US
Apr 28, 2021
May 21, 2021
Employment Type
Full time
Salary Type
Title: Director, Animal Behavior

Departments: Behavior

This position reports to: Vice President, Shelter Operations

This position supervises: Behavior Assessment Specialists, Behavior Modification Specialists, and Animal Program Coordinator

Hours: Full-time; 40+ hours/week

Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm with occasional weekend, holiday, and evening hours required

Purpose of Position: The Director, Animal Behavior oversees behavior assessments, behavior modification and other forms of behavioral support for shelter dogs. The Director, Animal Behavior collaborates with other departments to improve the wellbeing of dogs while in the shelter and prepare them for successful placement or identifies other appropriate outcomes.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

This position description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by the employee occupying this position. Employees are required to follow any other job-related duties assigned by their supervisor. This document does not create an employment contract implied or otherwise and does not alter the "at ‐ will" relationship.

• Hire, train, promote, supervise, discipline, and terminate employment of the behavior team.

• Oversee the implementation of behavior evaluations of shelter dogs, develop, and modify evaluations to keep current with best shelter practices, and determine placement options for specific dogs.

• Research, design, monitor, and support staff in applying behavior modification plans for dogs in the Molly Project.

• Provide behavioral support to shelter dogs by developing and implementing programs that enrich their environment, prevent and manage problem behaviors, improve their adoptability, and facilitate their placement in homes.

• Oversee the volunteer Canine Companion program and assist the Animal Program Coordinator in providing regular training sessions.

• Lead meetings to discuss dogs' progress, update their behavior plans, and make timely, appropriate decisions regarding dogs' pathways.

• Meet regularly with other members of the Animal Welfare Panel to discuss specific animals presenting with welfare-related challenges and develop plans to expedite their path out of the shelter.

• Coordinate with other departments to identify dogs in need of behavioral support and evaluate available resources, including working with veterinarians to provide pharmaceutical support to dogs with behavioral concerns.

• Coordinate with foster care and adoptions staff to locate placement options for dogs in urgent need through the Shelter at Home foster program.

• Conduct appointments and provide behavioral support to fosters and adopters of dogs with specific challenges.

• Work with recue groups and other shelters for alternative placement options for dogs.

• Communicate with the Public Relations department on a regular basis to promote dogs to find placement options outside of the shelter or spotlight other noteworthy behavior cases.

• Compile statistics, evaluate trends, and provide summary reports for dogs treated in the Molly Project on a semi-annual basis, and share them with other departments upon request.

• Create and update departmental standard operating procedures and protocols.

• Screen, interview, onboard, and supervise Animal Behavior student interns.

• Create and provide educational presentations and seminars to staff, volunteers, camp kids, and members of the community.

• Assist other departments with coordinating fundraising and adoption events.

• Achieve financial objectives by preparing an annual budget, scheduling expenditures, analyzing variances and initiating corrective actions.

• Perform other duties assigned by the Vice President, Shelter Operations.

Position Qualifications: Education, Experience, Certification, and Knowledge/Skills/Abilities


• Advanced knowledge of animal/canine behavior and learning principles, and ability to communicate these concepts to others

• Experience with Windows 10 and Office 365 and above, capable of learning shelter system database

• Must have valid driver's license with acceptable driving record and be able to provide proof of vehicle insurance

• Ability to work independently and as part of a team

• Ability to exercise independent judgment, evaluate all possible options and make difficult decisions about dogs' outcomes

• Must be comfortable and skilled working with a culturally diverse staff and community

• Must be self-motivated and able to work efficiently with minimal supervision

• Must possess affection for animals, concern for their welfare and willingness to accommodate animals in the workplace

• Must possess maturity, good judgment and professional manner and personal appearance

• Must be considerate, respectful and display a helpful demeanor to all employees, volunteers and customers

• Must be able to work cordially, efficiently and in a safe manner while working in a fast-paced and sometimes challenging environment

• Must exhibit the organizations' core values of compassion for all animals, respect and dignity for all, strive for excellence and teamwork

• Ability to respectfully give and receive feedback

• Ability to work in close proximity of others

• Good vision for detailed work and how to maximize efficiencies in processes and procedures

• Ability to multitask and think clearly during intense situations

• Adaptable to different work circumstances or challenges

• Ability to handle the emotional aspect of work in an animal shelter environment, including the use of humane euthanasia


  • Associate's or Bachelor's degree in a related field (biology, animal sciences, animal husbandry, psychology, zoology, or an associated field of study) OR 5 years of equivalent and applicable work experience in a shelter or animal welfare agency

  • Previous experience managing personnel, preferably in an animal-related industry
  • Certification in canine behavior or training from CCPDT, APDT or IAABC (or similar)
  • Advanced degree in a related field (biology, animal sciences, animal husbandry, psychology, zoology, or an associated field of study)
  • Experience working with dogs exhibiting aggression, fear and excessive arousal behaviors

Work Conditions:

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions within the work environment.

•Minimum of 40 hours per week. Weekend, evening and holiday hours may be required.

•Must be able to be reached on phone after hours

•Must be available to work special events

•The noise level in the office environment is usually quiet, though barking or whining of animals may be escalated at certain times in certain areas of the building.

•High exposure to animals whose reactions to the shelter environment cannot be predicted.

•Temperatures in the shelter environment are varied, though usually moderate, and dependent on the season.

•Potential exposure to zoonotic diseases and hazardous chemicals.

•Ability to work around animals without severe allergic reactions.

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