Animal Care Specialist (Lead) (#924040)
$28.41-$34.53 Hourly / $4,924.52-$5,985.78 Monthly / $59,094.24-$71,829.41 Yearly
Apply as a Transfer to Comparable Class applicant


Serves as lead worker in performing specialized work to provide 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, providing customer service, and maintaining records.


This class is characterized by the responsibility to lead others engaged in shelter maintenance and the care and disposal of animals.  Incumbents are responsible for assisting in coordinating the work being performed in the animal shelter.  This class is distinguished from the Animal Care Supervisor in that the latter is responsible for supervising animal shelter operations.

Supervision Received and Exercised

Receives supervision from the Animal Care Supervisor.
Provides technical and functional assistance to animal care staff.

Examples of Duties

Provides direction, training, and assistance to employees, volunteers, and/or other workers; trains new employees in department/program policies and procedures; coordinates daily work activities; assists in organizing, prioritizing, and assigning work; monitors status of work, inspects completed work, and troubleshoots problem situations; participates in the evaluation process by monitoring and reporting on work performance.
Serves as lead worker in coordinating activities associated with animal shelter operations and care of animals; explains shelter policies and procedures; troubleshoots difficult situations involving animals or customers.
Performs administrative tasks in a lead role; reviews documents prepared by shelter staff; reviews correspondence submitted by outside agencies; assists in developing procedures and forms relating to shelter operations.
Processes impound/intake, adoption, euthanasia, and reclaim of animals; receives, classifies, and documents all 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; records medical history of animals; obtains license information from files to identify owners of impounded animals; prepares, files, and maintains adoption documentation; identifies and schedules animals for euthanasia.
Euthanizes and disposes of animals according to prescribed guidelines and methods; records use of euthanasia drugs and monitors inventory levels; maintains records of euthanized animals; disposes of deceased animals and carcasses; maintains insecticide dispenser and distributes insect bait.
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; maintains daily logs of animals received, redeemed, and adopted; maintains accurate records of each animal’s identity, condition, and movements within the shelter; completes bite reports and related forms; maintains records of medications and controlled drugs; prepares service requests; compiles data and maintains records regarding data such as calls received, animals brought into shelter, animals picked up, animals euthanized, drug records, demographics, or other activities.
Conducts animal headcounts and maintains records.
Prepares or completes various forms, reports, correspondence, animal records, intake logs, impound logs, euthanasia logs, drug logs, headcount forms, incident reports, impound identification sheets, cage cards, bite reports, behavior evaluation forms, medical sheets, temperament evaluation forms, rabies testing cards, inmate training forms, service requests, or other documents.
Receives various forms, reports, correspondence, logs, animal records, veterinary reports, material safety data sheets, policies, procedures, animal breed books, animal care books, medical books, manuals, directories, catalogs, reference materials, or other documentation; reviews, completes, processes, forwards or retains as appropriate.
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.
Coordinates placement of animals outside of shelter; researches owner information through microchips, rabies tags, and identification tags, and contacts owners to reclaim found animals; contacts rescue organizations or foster families for animal intake.
Operates a personal computer, general office equipment, animal restraint equipment, catch pole, net, syringe, stethoscope, stretcher, medical supplies, testing materials, washer, dryer, pressure washer, cleaning tools, shovel, two-way radio, or other equipment as necessary to complete essential functions, to include the use of word processing, database, e-mail, or other computer programs.
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 orders for new/replacement items; receives and stocks incoming supplies.
Follows safety procedures, utilizes safety equipment, and monitors work environment to ensure safety of employees, customers, and other individuals.
Communicates with supervisor, employees, volunteers, inmates, other departments, animal control agencies, veterinarians, customers, the public, rescue groups, outside agencies, and other individuals as needed to coordinate work activities, review status of work, exchange information, or resolve problems.

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.
Considerable knowledge of 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.
Protect oneself and others from vicious animals by the proper use of tools and equipment.
Euthanize and medicate animals in a humane manner.
Ability to:
Lead the work of others engaged in maintaining the animal shelter.
Comprehend, interpret, explain/enforce, 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; follow precisely procedures designed to ensure safety; maintain a calm, courteous, and tactful demeanor under stressful conditions; communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing; compose correspondence independently.
Establish, maintain, and foster positive and harmonious working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.
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.
Handle required mathematical calculations.

Education and Experience

One (1) year of full time work experience involving animal care/handling in an animal control/care agency, a Human Society, or a veterinary clinic. 
High school diploma or equivalent.


Possession of valid Euthanasia Certification is required.
Must receive pre-exposure rabies vaccination within three months of appointment.


Incumbents are required to work holidays and rotational weekends.

CLASS: 924040; EST: 7/1/2001;