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Behavior & Training Technician

Humane Rescue Alliance
Washington, Dist. of Columbia, US
Closing date
May 30, 2022

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Job Description
Are you an animal lover and a people person with an interest in learning more about animal training and behavior? We are excited to be expanding our behavior programs to make a difference in the lives of homeless pets and the people who love them.

At the Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA), we honor more than 150 years of commitment to protecting animals, supporting families, and advocating for positive change to create a world where all animals can thrive. HRA serves as a national leader and local champion for all animals.

In this role, you will work one-on-one with cats and dogs, and learn how to conduct canine playgroups. By providing training and enrichment, you will help to improve the quality of life of animals in need.

The ideal candidate has worked with animals for at least one year and has an interest in expanding their knowledge and skills in the field of animal behavior and training.

Job Summary:
Participate in animal intake processes and perform routine behavior evaluations with a goal of identifying most efficient movement of animals through to appropriate placement. Provide positive reinforcement training and enrichment activities for shelter animals, and contribute to multi-departmental shared animal care duties.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities:
  • Participate in behavioral assessments on all potentially adoptable animals.
    • Conduct intake interviews with pet owners at time of surrender.
    • Perform and/or assist with behavior evaluations
    • Accurately record memos and evaluation reports in PetPoint on a timely basis.
    • Report findings of behavioral assessments through oral and written communication.
  • Work with the Behavior team to identify potential participants, provide enrichment activities and behavior modification protocols to shelter animals, in conjunction with other departments when needed. Document treatment and training notes in Petpoint, and other databases when indicated, completely and in a timely manner.
  • Follow up on and respond to shelter animal behavior concerns.
  • Report any observed shelter animal behavior abnormalities to a department supervisor and document observations in Petpoint immediately.
  • Participate in regular departmental meetings and intra-departmental communications regarding shelter animal treatment plans and placement recommendations.
  • Respond to requests for information and assistance from the public as assigned and with a sense of urgency.
  • Assist in training of volunteers and work with volunteers to reach department goals.
  • Assist in training of new department staff on all aspects of department responsibilities.
  • Follow proper cleaning and sanitation protocols in training and observation areas.
  • Assist various departments with outreach events and activities as needed.
  • Perform other duties and projects as assigned.

Qualifications and Requirements:
  • Basic understanding of canine and feline behavior, animal health, and positive reinforcement training methods.
  • Knowledge of enrichment in an animal shelter setting, including concepts and interventions that will improve or maintain physical and psychological well-being of shelter animals.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication, presentation, organizational, time management and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with a customer service orientation. Ability to communicate effectively, courteously, and professionally with a variety of individuals representing the public, board members, volunteers, donors, and employees.
  • Computer literacy with proficient use of programs including Microsoft Office programs, email, internet and database management software to efficiently accomplish work.
  • Ability to work effectively, both independently and in a team environment, in an atmosphere of multiple projects, shifting priorities, and deadline pressures with a positive, proactive approach.
  • Attention to detail, ability to prioritize tasks, and strong time-management skills.
  • Ability to manage emotional aspect of work in an animal shelter environment in a positive, professional manner, including providing input on euthanasia decisions.
  • A commitment to and passion for the HRA mission, and for caring for all animals regardless of age, breed, temperament or species.
  • Ability to travel between the DC campuses.
  • HRA/St. Hubert's requires all staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless a medical or religious exemption applies. New employees must submit proof of full vaccination, or request for medical or religious exemption, before their first day of work in HRA's workplace. Employees receiving a medical or religious exemption will be required to submit a weekly, time-stamped, negative COVID test to HR.

Physical Requirements and Work Environment:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the primary functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds unassisted regularly, 50+ pounds assisted.
  • Confidence working with cats, dogs, small animals, reptiles, fish and wildlife.
  • Ability to perform strenuous physical activity on a daily basis, including but not limited to: lifting and carrying, reaching, stooping, standing, squatting, standing, and bending. Regularly moves about and between the facilities to coordinate work.
  • Due to the nature of shelter work, may be exposed to deceased, fractious, or aggressive animals; hostile or irate persons; zoonotic or other diseases; unpleasant noises, odors, or sights; and extreme temperatures.
  • Consistently exposed to animals and animal allergens under conditions with limited alterations available.
  • Availability to work Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.

Education and Experience:
  • Minimum 1 year of experience working at an animal shelter, boarding kennel, or other facility where animals are housed.
  • A combination of relevant education and experience is acceptable.
  • May be required to successfully complete euthanasia certification and become proficient in the administration of animal vaccines and medications.

Multilingual candidates are encouraged to apply. A salary premium may be offered for multilingual candidates who demonstrate proficiency in written and oral testing.

HRA is committed to being an Equal Opportunity Employer, and does not discriminate because of race, color, creed, gender, religion, national origin, disability, age, pregnancy, genetic predisposition or carrier status, marital status, citizenship status, or sexual orientation. Accommodations will be provided to qualified individuals requiring them.

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