Animal Care Specialist (#923040)
$24.54-$29.83 Hourly / $4,253.15-$5,169.73 Monthly / $51,037.76-$62,036.72 Yearly
Apply as a Transfer to Comparable Class applicant


Performs specialized work in providing care for animals in the shelter, to include feeding and caring for animals, maintaining clean and sanitary conditions, impounding animals, processing animal adoptions, treating and medicating animals, euthanizing and disposing of animals, maintaining records, and providing customer service.


This is the entry/journey level class requiring limited time on the job before an incumbent is capable of functioning at the full journey level. This class is distinguished from that of Animal Care Officer in that the latter is primarily assigned to patrolling a given area to enforce the provisions of the Solano County Code governing animal control.  Incumbents in this class are primarily responsible for maintaining the shelter and for the care and disposal of animals.

Supervision Received and Exercised

Receives direct supervision from the Animal Care Supervisor.
Exercises no supervision.

Examples of Duties

  • Processes impound/intake, adoption, euthanasia, and reclaim of animals; receives, classifies, and documents animals entering shelter; performs temperament testing of animals and evaluates animals to identify illnesses; determines which animals which will be placed for adoption based on results of temperament testing and evaluations; prepares, files, and maintains adoption documentation.
  • Euthanizes and disposes of animals according to established guidelines; identifies and schedules animals for euthanasia; measures, administers, and records use of drugs used in treatment of sick/injured animals or for euthanasia; handles animal carcasses.
  • Handles, lifts, carries, and moves animals, restraining as appropriate; handles frightened, fractious, and injured animals; conducts health evaluations of animals; conducts parvo/feline leukemia tests; trains animals in general obedience; administers injections of medication, vaccinations, tranquilizers, or other drugs.
  • Provides care for animals in custody of the shelter; performs cleaning, feeding, and watering of animals; grooms animals; breaks up fights and segregates disruptive animals; observes animals for signs of sickness and notifies supervisor of symptoms; treats animals and administers medications as appropriate; prepares medications for owners of adopted animals.
  • Cleans and maintains animal shelter facilities; cleans and disinfects kennels, cages, floors, and other areas; sets up cages and loads animals to be transported for grooming, spaying/neutering, or other activities; washes/dries laundry; makes minor repairs to cages; maintains security of shelter facilities; closes/locks shelter and grounds at end of day.
  • Maintains activity logs and records of work activities.
  • Conducts animal headcounts and maintains records.
  • Performs customer service functions in person and by telephone; provides information and assistance to the public concerning animals, shelter policies, animal care/handling, adoptions, procedures, fees, or other issues; shows lost animals to visitors.
  • Conducts obedience training classes to assist owners with managing their animal’s behavior; staffs the behavior helpline to answer questions and provide suggestions.
  • Performs general/preventive maintenance tasks necessary to keep equipment and tools in clean and operable condition, which may include inspecting equipment, washing/cleaning equipment, or cleaning work areas; monitors equipment operations to maintain efficiency and safety; reports faulty equipment.
  • Monitors inventory levels of equipment, tools, drugs, and supplies to ensure availability of adequate materials to conduct work activities; initiates requests for new/replacement items.
  • Follows safety procedures, utilizes safety equipment, and monitors work environment to ensure safety of employees, customers, and other individuals.
  • Coordinates placement of animals outside of shelter; contacts owners to reclaim found animals; contacts rescue organizations or foster families for animal intake.   

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

Knowledge of:

  • State and local laws, ordinances, regulations, and standards governing animal control and animal care.
  • Policies, procedures, and terminology associated with shelter operations.
  • Practices and methods associated with animal shelter operations and animal control activities, including humane treatment of animals, animal handling, administration of medication, euthanasia procedures, sanitation practices, and operation/care of related equipment.
  • Cleaning methods, techniques, and policies associated with maintaining an animal shelter.
  • Occupational hazards and established safety practices/procedures relating to animal control and animal care activities.
  • Various animals breeds, characteristics, and species in order to properly classify and cage animals.
  • Symptoms of various animal illnesses.
  • Customer service and public contact techniques, including calming hostile, irate, or emotionally distraught individuals.
  • Computers and software programs typically used in the position.

Skills to:

  • Handle animals in a humane manner.
  • Utilizes a variety of tools and equipment for animal care, for cleaning and maintaining kennels and for protection of self and others from vicious animals.
  • Operates a personal computer and general office equipment.
  • Euthanize and medicate animals.

Ability to:

  • Comprehend, interpret, explain, and apply laws, regulations, procedures, and related information.
  • Effectively relate information concerning department/shelter policies, procedures, and services.
  • Effectively communicate and interact with supervisors, the public, and other groups involved in the activities of the department.
  • Interview people to determine circumstances surrounding animal attacks or bite incidents.
  • Deal with violent, hostile, and irate people in a constructive manner.
  • Clean and maintain animal cages, shelter floors, and related facilities.
  • Physically lift, carry, move, and handle animals; provide food, water, and care to animals; handle dead and decomposing animal carcasses.
  • Identify the sex of animals; identify general breeds and species of animals; observe/identify symptoms of illnesses.
  • Protect against animal bites/attacks while handling animals.
  • Determine dosages and measure drugs into hypodermic syringes; administer injections of medication, vaccinations, tranquilizers, euthanasia, or other drugs to animals in a humane manner; hold and control animals during administration of medication or euthanasia.
  • Determine the appropriate course of action in emergency or stressful situations, and maintain a calm, courteous, and tactful demeanor under stressful conditions.
  • Precisely follow procedures designed to ensure safety.
  • Operate or utilize various tools and equipment typically required to perform essential duties.
  • Assemble information, maintain accurate records, document actions taken, and make written reports in a concise, clear and effective manner.
  • Plan, organize, and prioritize daily assignments and work activities.
  • Use independent judgment and work with little direct supervision as situations warrant.
  • Handle required mathematical calculations.

Education and Experience

Six (6) months of full time work experience involving animal care/handling in an animal control/care agency, a Humane Society, or a veterinary clinic.

High school diploma or equivalent.



In accordance with California Code of Regulations, Title 16, section 2039, all persons appointed to this class are required to attend and pass Euthanasia Training within 60 days of appointment to this class.  Failure to successfully complete the training may be cause for disciplinary action.  Persons who possess the Registered Veterinary Technician license meet this requirement and are not required to attend this training. 

Must receive pre-exposure rabies vaccination within three months of appointment.



Incumbents are required to work holidays and rotational weekends.


ADA Compliance

Physical Ability:  Tasks require the ability to exert moderate, though not constant physical effort, typically involving some combination of climbing and balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, and crawling, and which may involve some lifting, carrying, pushing and/or pulling of objects and materials of moderate weight (12-20 pounds); may occasionally involve heavier objects and materials (up to 100 pounds).
Sensory Requirements:  Some tasks require the ability to perceive and discriminate colors or shades of colors, sounds, and visual cues or signals.  Some tasks require the ability to communicate orally.
Environmental Factors: Performance of essential functions may require exposure to adverse environmental conditions, such as dirt, dust, odors, temperature and noise extremes, hazardous materials, toxic agents, disease, pathogenic substances, animal/wildlife attacks, animal/human bites, rabies, or rude/irate customers.

CLASS: 923040; EST: 7/1/2001;