Chief of Delaware Animal Services (#MBBZ03)
$61,258.00 Yearly Min / $76,573.00 Yearly Mid / $91,888.00 Yearly Max

Summary Statement

The incumbent in this class serves as the Chief of Delaware Animal Services (DAS), which is the community service and enforcement unit of the Delaware Division of Public Health, Office of Animal Welfare (OAW). Work includes administering and coordinating law enforcement programs and policies that protect animals from abuse and neglect, enhance public health and safety, and reduce pet homelessness.  Work also includes ensuring efficient response to animal welfare related complaints from residents, and the effective enforcement of laws for the protection of animals and public safety.

Nature and Scope

An incumbent in this class reports to the Director of the OAW and is responsible for overseeing the administration and operation of a statewide animal welfare law enforcement program. Work includes overseeing and conducting 24/7 response to complaints involving dangerous dogs, dog attacks, stray animals, incidents involving possible human rabies exposure, as well as, enforcement of Delaware Criminal Code related to misdemeanor and felony animal cruelty and animal fighting.  A significant aspect of work involves administering DAS programs and services, staffing, budgets, contracts, logistics, fleet management, performance and ensuring allocation of resources to meet program needs.  The incumbent oversees and supervises professional investigative staff assigned to field offices in three districts across the State, which conduct complex animal cruelty investigations, collect evidence from crime scenes, obtain search warrants, arrest suspects and work with prosecutors in bringing cases to trial.  In addition, the class incumbent works in partnership with, and is a resource to, other government and law enforcement agencies, first responders, animal welfare and community organizations, and legislators regarding protection of animals and the public.

Essential Functions

Essential functions are fundamental, core functions common to all positions in the class series and are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all job duties for any one position in the class.  Since class specifications are descriptive and not restrictive, incumbents can complete job duties of similar kind not specifically listed here.

  • Plans, coordinates, monitors and evaluates DAS programs and services to ensure efficient response to animal welfare related complaints from the public, and the enforcement of Delaware Code in regards to misdemeanor and felony animal cruelty and dog fighting, along with other laws related to animal welfare and control.
  • Supervision is exercised over at least two or more merit full time positions per the Merit Rules. The elements of supervision include planning, assigning, reviewing, evaluating, coaching, training, recommending hire/fire and discipline.
  • Oversees enforcement activities to ensure compliance with all laws, regulations, policies and procedures, including response to complex and emergency cases.
  • Directs the implementation of multiple law enforcement programs and projects.
  • Participates in strategic planning, and budget preparation and management.
  • Develops, evaluates and implements policies and procedures to ensure effective operations, proper enforcement of laws, humane handling of animals and safety of the public.
  • Advises the Director and other top agency officials on policy issues applicable to animal welfare.
  • Represents DAS in providing advice and consultation on emerging issues relating to animal welfare and enforcement to legislators, elected officials, animal welfare organizations, the public, and government agencies. 
  • Oversees inspections of animal shelters to ensure adherence to shelter standards. 
  • Develops and implements animal welfare officer training and certification requirements.
  • Analyzes and reports on program data such as complaint statistics and outcomes, performance measurement and productivity data to ensure the effectiveness and accountability of programs and services; and monitors trends.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

The intent of the listed knowledge, skills and abilities is to give a general indication of the core requirements for all positions in the class series; therefore, the KSA’s listed are not exhaustive or necessarily inclusive of the requirements of every position in the class.

  • Knowledge of state and federal laws, rules, regulations, policies and procedures related to animal welfare.
  • Knowledge of proper animal handling techniques.
  • Knowledge of the principles, practices and techniques of law enforcement.
  • Knowledge of search and seizure and arrest laws.
  • Knowledge of constitutional rights and court processes and procedures.
  • Knowledge of investigative methods, techniques and procedures including the collection/preservation of evidence.
  • Knowledge of the use of DELJIS and CJIS computer network systems.
  • Knowledge of technical and investigative reporting.
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of management.
  • Knowledge of the principles, practices and methods of budget preparation, analysis and control.
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of supervision.
  • Skill in dealing with people in stressful situations.
  • Skill in conducting and supervising complex investigations.
  • Ability to communicate effectively.
  • Ability to prosecute cases in various courts.
  • Ability to evaluate and analyze laws, rules, regulations, policies, procedures and operations and implement changes.
  • Ability to establish goals and objectives and integrate multiple and conflicting objectives.
  • Ability to assess operations, performance standards, training, work output, staffing, equipment, policies and procedures, identify problems/needs and make recommendations.

Job Requirements

JOB REQUIREMENTS for Chief of Delaware Animal Services
Applicants must have education, training and/or experience demonstrating competence in each of the following areas:

  1. Three years experience in interpreting and enforcing compliance with laws, rules, regulations, standards, policies, and procedures.
  2. Three years experience in staff supervision which includes planning, assigning, instructing, reviewing, and evaluating the work of others.
  3. Six months experience in regulatory or law enforcement program administration such as overseeing and directing the development, implementation and evaluation of regulatory or law enforcement programs and services; establishing program objectives; planning short and long range program goals; developing and implementing program policies and procedures and ensuring compliance and funding requirements. Provides advice to other agency organizational units through consultation.
  4. Six months experience in overseeing and conducting investigations such as gathering evidence, documenting findings, obtaining search warrants, arresting suspects and working with prosecutors to bring cases to trial.
  5. Knowledge of principles, practices and techniques of law enforcement.
  6. Possession of a valid Driver's License (not suspended, revoked or cancelled, or disqualified from driving).