Job Description

Job Title: Behavior Specialist
Department: Adoptions Department
Report To: Shelter Behavior Manager
FLSA Status: Non-Exempt

Job Summary
The Behavior Specialist is part of a team responsible for the implementation of programs intended to identify, correct, and optimize behavioral health in pets within our shelter environment. This includes but is not limited to, evaluating shelter pets for adoption, supporting shelter pets through applying behavior modification plans, counseling and educating the public regarding pet behavior; providing staff & volunteer
Training, and conducting adoptions and admissions as needed.

This position must consistently model skills in outreach, compassionate communication, emotional regulation, and self-care. The Behavior Specialist must be able to manage the emotional aspect of end-of- life services and humane euthanasia, and support others in the same way.

Work Environment
• Consistently models a high level of professionalism, ethical standards, humane handling of pets, and behaviors that align with our customer service values.
• Consistently contributes to a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence, working to advance shared goals and priorities.
• Assists in the training of Animal Humane New Mexico staff and volunteers, support and provide constructive feedback on counseling of the public, mediation of customer complaints, and answer requests promptly.
• Consistently maintains a safe and sanitary environment for our pets and the public, maintaining the professional appearances of the Behavior areas.

Support of Pets in the Shelter
• Performs behavior programming to identify, correct, & optimize the behavioral health of pets in the shelter environment.
• Performs behavior assessments/evaluations and writes & implements behavior modification plans to address the mental & physical needs of shelter pets.
• Performs daily behavior rounds, observing animals for behavioral health, and communicate findings to supervisor.
• Reports any health or behavioral changes through the appropriate channels in a timely manner.
• Ensures prompt & accurate documentation of actions taken on behavior modification logs, Pet Project assignments, etc.
• Provides professional recommendations on cases that are not showing progress or are deteriorating, up to and including recommendations for humane euthanasia, referencing Animal Humane’s Behavior Matrix.
• Administers medications to pets enrolled in Behavior Modification under the direction of the Clinic and Animal Care staff.
• Assists the Shelter Enrichment Coordinator in ensuring that enrichment for all pets is provided.
• On an as needed basis, assists with the adoption experience, including counseling adopters, performing meet & greets, and completing the adoption.

• On an as-needed basis, assists with the admissions process when requested for behavioral support or recommendations for admissions candidates.
• Coordinates with Safety Net staff for intake intervention as appropriate.
• Participates in private consultations to support newly adopted pets and their families as they solidify their bonds.
• Participates in public events and programs as requested.

Staff & Volunteer Training
• Assists with internal education efforts surrounding behavior training theory & practice. This includes assisting with staff immersions across departments.
• Assists the Senior Behavior Specialist in providing Civilized Canine, Safe Dog, Advanced Dog Walking, Safe Cat & Advanced Cat Socialization.
• Performs one-on-one and group training sessions.

Administrative & Other Duties
• Standard Operating Procedures: Be well-versed in all current standard operating procedures (SOPs), working with the Behavior team on updates & creation of new SOPs.
• Behavior Resources: Participates in the annual review and update of the Shelter Behavior Matrix. Working with the Behavior Team, provides suggestions for handouts and resources for newly adopted pets.
• Reporting: Provides information to the Shelter Behavior Manager for the monthly board report, annual reporting, and other reporting as needed. Ensures the timely and accurate documentation of behavior modification.
• Meetings: Attendance at Population Management round in the absence of the Shelter Behavior Manager or Senior Behavior Specialist. Attendance at EPA at the request of the Adoption Operations Director.
• Other: Attendance at Animal Humane’s events, speaking engagements, and offsite transfers and conferences as requested by the Adoption Operations Director. Recommend budget & supply requests to the Behavior Manager as needed. Other duties as assigned by management.

Job Conditions
Indoor / Outdoor facility exposed to the elements. The role includes office and animal management activities, including handling fractious and excited animals. They often weigh over 50 pounds. Some of the work is done standing, walking and bending. Urine and feces are often present, as are a variety of hazardous chemical agents and money handling. Workers are exposed to animal bites, various viruses, needles and other sharp objects. Regularly exposed to strong and pungent odors.

This position will be scheduled based on the staffing needs of the Behavior department. The shift requires working at least one weekend day, sometimes two based on shelter or event needs. May require “on call” status on days the campus is closed to the public when other managers are off-shift, or during times the Behavior Manager is unavailable.


• Education
Requires high school diploma.
- If Fear Free Sheltering certification has not already been achieved, then it will be achieved within the first 30 days of employment.
- If SAFER certification has not already been achieved, then it must be achieved within the first 30 days of employment.

• Experience
 Requires one (1) year of experience working with animals, the public and computers in a professional setting.

• Required Skills and Abilities
 Excellent teamwork and customer service skills.
 Ability to use computers, industry-specific software (ShelterBuddy) and standard business software (Excel, Word), office equipment, vehicles, and animal restraint equipment.
 Must have or be able to obtain a valid New Mexico Driver’s License within thirty (30) days of employment.
 Must be able to manage the emotional aspect of end-of-life services and humane euthanasia, and to support employees in high-emotion circumstances.
 Competent and humane animal handling.

This is a full time job

Contact Information

Job Contact Details

Eva Trevizo
Human Resources Assistant

Closing Date: Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Posting Date:

Closing Date: