Under supervision, do varied record keeping and data processing work; input data about incidents and animals received at the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter; provide information to the public on stray and injured animals received at the shelter; process adoption applications to place adoptable animals in suitable homes; receive calls from the public; provide the public with information on laws and regulations that govern the keeping of animals; process, record, and collect fees for boarding, rescuing and adopting animals and collecting fines for violations; other duties as assigned.
Animal Services Assistant is a journey-level classification. Incumbents are expected to use judgment and solve most problems without assistance, including exercising discretion in adjusting schedules to meet changing priorities and demands from the public at a public counter. Incumbents will have frequent contact with other employees, the public and volunteers. These positions require knowledge of specific laws, rules, and procedures governing the keeping of animals and the sheltering of animals. Positions in this class may conduct initial training and orientation of new employees. These positions involve collecting, sorting, entering, and distributing large volumes of information and correspondence, supplies and other materials at the shelter and at locations throughout the County.
Checks records, reports, applications and data input documents for accuracy, completion and conformance with established procedures and rules; conducts follow-up inquiries requiring independent judgment to secure required or additional information, and match lost and found animals with their owners, or with a suitable new home; inserts and extracts materials from subject matter files and from the computer database; classifies material by subject matter, or by animal identification for accurate tracing, and prepares new paper or electronic files and records as needed; keeps records and prepares statistical and other types of reports in accordance with predetermined forms and procedures; interacts with a high volume of clients both in person and over the phone dealing with sensitive subject matter, confidential information and provides information to the public dealing with such matters; use assessment, interviewing and communication skills to perform moderate to complex services; updates information in files; operates standard office equipment; assists the public by referring them to sources of information, giving out forms and explaining how to complete them, answering requests for factual information by consulting various available sources, and explaining standard policies and procedures; acts as a resource for other employees on materials in files and records maintained or processed; prepares bills, orders, notes, receipts, permits, and issues licenses; assesses and receives fees and monies from fixed schedules; posts billings and receipts into the database and prepares daily records of billings and receipts; balances cash received against cash register tapes or tapes run on daily posting sheet; prepares deposits; operates a cash register; relieves technical staff or administrator of more routine details, including making appointments, ordering supplies, answering routine requests for information, and collating or extracting information from files and other readily available sources which require knowledge of the Animal Shelter’s operations and rules; collects, opens, stamps, sorts, and distributes interoffice and U.S. mail; determines postage on outgoing mail; may perform a variety of errands and delivery of lab specimens, enclosed animals, and documents; may assist with inventory of equipment and supplies, and supply ordering; may move office equipment as required; may provide initial orientation and training to new employees; may be assigned to review the work of other employees; may provide vacation and other temporary relief for supervisor or other classes as required; updates database of lost and found animals on a daily basis, records animals delivered to the shelter with photo identification; posts information to telephone response systems or to a website; interviews clients regarding animal adoptions, and makes decisions about suitability of potential adopters; resolves issues between the public, animal service staff, and others, often under stressful conditions. On an occasional basis, may be assigned Animal Care duties.
- Working knowledge of office procedures and practices, computers, database information entry, retrieval and storage.
- Knowledge of State and local rules, regulations, and good practices regarding animal care and keeping.
- Knowledge of communication devices including telephone, pager, cell phones, and two-way radio.
- Knowledge of good practices and guidelines for successful matching of homeless animals with suitable adopters.
- Some knowledge of habits and characteristics of domestic animals, especially with dogs and cats.
- Some knowledge of good customer service and relations.
- Perform clerical work involving a good degree of independent judgment and requiring speed and accuracy.
- Quickly learn the specific operations to which assigned.
- Understand and follow written and oral directions.
- Operate standard office equipment.
- Establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with the public and others, and represent the agency and the work of the agency positively to the public at large.
- Make simple arithmetic computations.
- Communicate effectively orally and through written expression, and communicate effectively on the telephone.
- Recognize problems, gather relevant information, establish facts, draw valid conclusions, respond promptly and communicate clearly and concisely both orally and in writing.
- Maintain current, complex and accurate records.
- Exercise discretion and judgment in dealing with the public, co-workers, and staff of other agencies, including law enforcement agencies, sometimes under stressful and emotional circumstances.
- Work effectively under pressure and deadlines.
- Adjust schedules to meet changing priorities and demand for services by the public.
- Be able to word process and enter data at a moderate rate of speed.
- Lift up to 50 pounds unassisted.
- Stand for periods of time, walk and retrieve animals from the shelter; receive animals from the public, and place animals into receiving cages.
- Work in a noisy, active, and busy environment, at close quarters.
Training and Experience: Any combination of training and experience that would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the training and experience would be:
One year of experience in general office clerical work or customer service relations that demonstrates application or possession of the required knowledge and abilities listed above. Six months of experience with habits and characteristics of domestic animals, especially dogs and cats, may be substituted for up to six months of the required experience on an hour-for-hour basis.
License Requirement: Possession and maintenance of a valid California Class C Driver License, or the ability to provide suitable transportation approved by the appointing authority.
Special Working Conditions: Exposure to variable temperatures and weather conditions, high levels of noise, unpleasant odors, possible sunburn, bodily injury or contact with toxic substances or chemical irritants, exposure to animals who may be hostile or dangerous and potentially hostile clients. Physically and mentally capable of performing the position’s essential functions as summarized in the typical tasks section of this specification.
Hours: Ability to work flexible schedule, including nights, weekends, and/or holidays.
Bargaining Unit: 41
Workers’ Comp Code: 1073
EEOC Code: 03
OCC Unit Group: 91