Job Description

Please make sure to attach both a resume and cover letter to complete your application.


ASPCA strives to maintain a COVID-free workplace. To that end, being fully vaccinated is a condition of employment for all ASPCA employees, including new hires. ASPCA makes reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants with disabilities or sincerely held religious beliefs that prohibit a person from being vaccinated.

The goal of ARC (Animal Recovery Center) and CARE (Canine Annex for Recovery and Enrichment) is to recover and rehabilitate animals admitted through the NYPD, the ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement (HLE), and Community Engagement (CE) programs, and to prepare them for placement whenever possible.

The Behavior Specialist (the Specialist) works with the Behavior Training Manager and the Behavior teams in CARE and ARC to provide safe, high-quality behavioral support from intake to outcome or discharge, in accordance with organizational protocols.

The Specialist supports, communicates and collaborates with staff in ARC, CARE, Adoptions, the Animal Hospital (AAH) and Forensics, in order to optimize the health and welfare of animals and, whenever possible, to set them up for success in a new home. The Specialist also provides on-scene support for large scale animal cases and search warrant executions.


Job responsibilities Include but are not limited to:

Provide Safe Behavior Response, Assessment, and Support: (80%)

Provide behavior support and expertise for all NYPD and CE intakes
Ensure timely evaluation of animals to determine safety for handling, likelihood of rehabilitation and suitability for adoption
Ensure timely and consistent delivery of specialized handling as required for intake, medical handling and/or procedures.
Respond to and manage emergent behavior needs as they arise and communicate revised handling plans and safety measures to ensure staff safety
Communicate verbally and in the database the results of each animal’s assessment, including a behavioral prognosis, safe handling and walking guidelines, plan for behavior modification and enrichment, and the animal’s suitability for foster, boarding or placement programs
Implement behavioral rehabilitation programs for all animals
Communicate results of behavior assessments to colleagues, other shelters and rescue groups who may be considering taking these animals; provide write-up’s and/or video
Liaise with NYPD officers upon intake of animals to gather behavioral histories and information on the animals’ environment/ living conditions so that this information may be considered in developing safe animal handling guidelines and in determining each animal’s behavioral prognosis
Provide behavioral information to inform appropriate disposition decisions (foster, rescue placement, euthanasia, etc.)
Document results of standardized assessments, and videotape behavior treatments as needed
Use active listening and respectful dialogue to answer questions and help staff understand behavioral signs that indicate potential aggression and/or poor quality of life
Assist in transition, acclimation and continuity of care during various stages of rehabilitation process including transitions from the field, AAH, ARC to CARE and Adoptions
Offer pre- and post-adoption consultations for animals from NYPD cases with regard to behavior and training as needed
Collaborate with members of various departments including, but not limited to, CE, Adoption Center, and AAH as needed
Train and Coach: (20%)

With the Behavior Training Manager, coach staff and qualified volunteers, when appropriate, in assisting with behavior modification and enrichment programs
Create and present formal trainings to ASPCA departments in animal behavior, low stress handling, recognizing and responding to the signs of stress in animals, and other relevant topics as requested
Participate in staff training and ongoing coaching about animal behavior (safe and low stress handling, dog walking, socialization, body language, etc.)
Participate in, and support, the Red Rover response plans in partnership with leadership from Facilities, AAH/ARC/CARE and the Adoption Center. Be trained and prepared to respond at all times to panic alarms
Promotes and ensures the continual and consistent practice of organizational core values:

Has Commitment and dedication to improving the lives of animals
Demonstrates Ownership and feels responsible for outcomes
Believes in Team – that we are stronger together
Seeks to Elevate others and reimagine what is possible
Focuses on Impact, specifically making change for animals

Certification from reputable dog behavior professional program (i.e. CCPDT, IAABC, KPA) or comparable work experience
High school degree required
Training Requirements:

Fear Free® certification required or within 30 days of employment
Additional Information:

Weekends, some evenings, and some holidays are required
Must have flexibility in schedule to accommodate program needs
Deployment and travel with Behavioral Sciences team will be required multiple times a year
Must demonstrate the ability to interact effectively with ASPCA employees, clients and the public.
All duties and responsibilities are subject to change due to specific requirements of ASPCA/NYPD Partnership program needs

Additional Information:

We encourage a candidate who demonstrates outstanding inter-personal communication and the ability to work in a team or independently, with a high degree of integrity and accountability. This position welcomes a candidate with a sense of humor that can balance flexibility and enthusiasm and thrives on detail in a dynamic, fast-paced environment. This is a full-time position. Weekends and some holidays are required. Position will require occasional flexibility.


Ability to thrive in a physically demanding role handling strong, energetic and sometimes fractious animals with calmness and ease, Ability to walk, bend, lift, climb stairs and walk multiple dogs per day, Consistently maintains a positive attitude; treats both animals and people with respect, Excellent canine and feline handling skills required with an emphasis on low stress handling, Good team player; a “people person” who enjoys collaboration, Strong team player, as well as ability to work independently, Superior problem-solving abilities; likes to troubleshoot and find solutions when facing challenges


English (Required)
Education and Work Experience:

High School Diploma (Required)

At least one year experience in animal shelter preferred, Excellent canine handling skills required with an emphasis on low stress methods, Experience in conducting behavior modification in a formal environment such as classes, private lessons, or shelter using adult learning principles required
Our EEO Policy:

The ASPCA is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity or expression, age, marital or domestic partner status, citizenship status, sexual orientation, disability, genetic information, military or veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws, regulations or ordinances.

Applicants with disabilities may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation under the terms of the Americans with Disabilities Act and certain state or local laws. A reasonable accommodation is a change in the ASPCA’s standard application process, which will ensure an equal employment opportunity without imposing undue hardship on the ASPCA. Please inform the ASPCA’s People Team if you need an accommodation in order to complete any forms or to otherwise participate in the application process.

Individuals seeking employment are considered without regards to race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity or expression, age, marital or domestic partner status, citizenship status, sexual orientation, disability, genetic information, military or veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws, regulations or ordinances.

ASPCA is an Equal Opportunity Employer (M/F/D/V).

Please don’t forget to attach your resume and cover letter to complete your application.

This is a full time job

Contact Information

Job Contact Details

Closing Date: Monday, February 28, 2022

Posting Date:

Closing Date: