Job Description

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Director of OC Animal Care
(Executive Manager)

To be considered for this opportunity, please attach your resume and a cover letter to your application. Your cover letter must describe how your experience has prepared you for the position of Director of OC Animal Care.

Resumes and cover letters will be reviewed, and the most qualified candidates will be invited to interviews. Candidates will be advised of their status following finalists’ selection. Reference will be contacted only following candidate approval.

The deadline to apply is December 19, 2023 at 11:59 PM (PT).

The County of Orange is a regional service provider and planning agency whose core businesses include public safety, public health, environmental protection, regional planning, public assistance, social services and aviation.

OC Community Resources is a multi-faceted department comprised of OC Animal Care, OC Community Services, OC Housing & Community Development, OC Parks, and OC Public Libraries.

OC Animal Care's mission is to provide refuge and care for animals, foster the human-animal bond and promote safety in our community to ensure a safe compassionate community for all. OC Animal Care promotes responsible pet ownership; health and safety of people and animals and spay/neuter programs. OC Animal Care provides temporary shelter and medical care for lost, owned, or stray animals and opportunities for adoption for these animals.

OC Animal Care (OCAC) was founded in 1941 in the City of Orange in Orange County, California as a rabies control center with only 25 dog kennels. Since then, OCAC has expanded to play an important role in Orange County's animal care community. OCAC serves 14 cities and the unincorporated areas of Orange County with its expanded programs and services.

OCAC's goal is to deliver prompt, temporary care and refuge to homeless animals, reunite animals with their owners, facilitate adoption, ensure public safety, and enhance the human-animal bond in the community. The shelter is designed to provide a positive experience for animals and people alike, and is the backdrop for the adaptive animal programming continually developed by OC Animal Care to provide enrichment, engagement and adoption services for the animals in its care. 

The Director of OC Animal Care is an at-will position and serves at the pleasure of the OC Community Resources Director.

The Director of OC Animal Care will be responsible for the strategic development, administrative objectives and operational practices of the Department. The position will balance the animal-centered programming of the facility, the safety of staff and the community, and the business development needs of the organization.

The primary responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Lead an organization committed to responsible pet ownership as well as the health and safety of people and animals
  • Review and guide the implementation of a strategic plan of animal care programs, processes and guidelines, balancing legal requirements and industry best practices within approved budget
  • Develop strategies to guide the department through economic, regulatory and legislative challenges, including the utilization of existing resources as investments to meet the future needs of the County
  • Develop and implement financial strategies for estimating, forecasting, and anticipating trends, analyzing alternate revenue options and aligning monetary resources
  • Maintain collaborative, effective working relationships with the Board of Supervisors, contract cities, local and state government entities, community groups and other stakeholders
  • Develop policy recommendations for the CEO or Board of Supervisors in conjunction with elected and appointed officials, members of the community and civic and industry leaders
  • Develop and manage positive relationships with contract cities and City Managers
  • Represent OCAC before boards, committees, councils and commissions and collaborate with animal rescue groups and other non-profit organizations
  • Ensure collaboration between and direct various OCAC departments to ensure the effective and efficient flow of animals through the shelter system, including proactive procedural analysis, maintaining thorough and accurate electronic records and minimizing the length of stays
  • Provide leadership, direction and guidance for a well-developed volunteer support organization that is critical to the shelter's success
  • Develop and promote education programs that increase awareness and community participation in responsible pet ownership, animal adoption, animal care, and safety
  • Engage in effective personnel management as it relates to ensuring proper staffing, coaching, mentoring, and building morale within the division
  • Effectively manage the emotional aspects of working in and leading a team in an animal shelter environment in a positive and professional manner
  • Negotiate and manage contracts and grants required for the daily operations of the Animal Shelter

The ideal candidate will possess extensive management experience demonstrating their ability to plan, organize, and direct the overall operations, services and activities of OCAC. This should include comprehensive knowledge of animal control, sheltering, and animal care services or other similarly complex operation or program. Additionally, the candidate should have experience in the following areas:

  • Forecasting future trends and legislation in the industry
  • Negotiating contracts with revenue agreements
  • Developing partnerships among a diverse group of stakeholders
  • Making recommendations and presenting policy items to boards and committees
  • Developing innovative solutions to address challenges related to shelter management and providing animal care services
  • Promoting teamwork, cooperation, spirit and synergy across a multidisciplinary staff
  • Motivating and managing staff to produce high quality results and outcomes
  • Cultivating and managing relationships with community stakeholders

The most qualified candidates will also demonstrate exceptional leadership and management skills, along with a thorough understanding of public administration, fiscal management, and budgeting practices. They should possess the ability to manage complex issues, collaboratively resolve conflict, and improve and implement best management and operations practices.

Candidates should have at least five (5) years of progressively responsible experience as described above. A bachelor's degree or higher in Public Administration, Business Administration, Animal Care, or related field is preferred for this position.



The annual salary for this position is $144,206.40 - $273,478.40. Placement within this range is dependent on qualifications and internal parity with other executive level directors and would typically be mid-range.

The County also offers an attractive benefits package that includes:

Health Plan Coverage

There are currently (5) five different plans to choose from including two Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) Plans and three Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) Plans. Rates are available on the Employee Benefits website at

Employee Wellness Program

The County’s contribution towards biweekly health premiums is higher when employees choose to participate in the three-step wellness program each year. In addition, there are many resources and voluntary opportunities for employees to set and achieve personal health and wellness goals. For more information visit the Employee Benefits website at

401(a) Defined Contribution Plan - Employer Contribution

County contributes 4% of biweekly base salary into a 401(a) Defined Contribution Plan.

1937 Act Retirement Plan Administered by OCERS

New Employees who do not have reciprocal California public service time are considered PEPRA members of OCERS*:
New employees who do not have reciprocal California public service time (or have reciprocal time on or after 1/1/2013) will automatically be enrolled in the Plan T “1.62% at 65” PEPRA retirement benefit formula. In addition to the mandatory OCERS Defined Benefit Pension contributions, employees in the “1.62% at 65” retirement benefit formula are also eligible to voluntarily participate in the 1.62% Defined Contribution Plan. County will match 100% of the biweekly Executive Manager’s contributions to the 1.62% 457 Plan, up to 2% of base salary per pay period. These amounts may change based on changes to the Plans. Employee contributions will go into the 1.62% 457 plan and are vested immediately on behalf of the employee. Employer contributions will go into the 1.62% 401(a) plan and will vest on behalf of the employee after five (5) years of continuous employment with the County.

New Employees who have reciprocal California public service time*:
New employees who have reciprocal California public service time prior to 1/1/2013 are considered Legacy members with OCERS and are required to choose between Plan P (1.62% at 65) and Plan J (2.7% at 55) retirement benefit formulas. The election is irrevocable. Only employees that elect Plan P are eligible to also voluntarily participate in the County’s 1.62% Defined Contribution Plan, as described above.


  • Previous California public service must be declared by the employee on the OCERS Member Affidavit. If prior public service is identified, reciprocity eligibility must be confirmed by OCERS. Once reciprocity has been confirmed, OCERS will communicate via letter to the employee if a different retirement formula is applicable. If a retirement formula election is available, OCERS will include a Member Affidavit that documents the benefit formulas available and the employee will have 45 days from the date of OCERS determination to make their election. New employees must make an irrevocable retirement election within 45 calendar days from date of reciprocity eligibility determination by OCERS.

New Employees Over Age 60
New employees who have attained the age of 60 or greater and have no service credit or funds on deposit with the OCERS at the time of hire with the County, may elect to opt out of OCERS membership pursuant to Orange County Employee Retirement System regulations. The election to opt out of OCERS membership is irrevocable.

Employees who elect to opt out of OCERS membership will be automatically enrolled in the County’s Section 3121 Deferred Compensation Plan, which is a 457 plan with a Social Security replacement feature under the Internal Revenue Code Section 3121. Participation in the Plan is mandatory for eligible employees that elect to opt out of OCERS membership. Participants in the 3121 Plan will have a fixed employee contribution of 7.5% of compensation, which will be deducted from each regular paycheck on a pre-tax basis. All contributions in the Plan will be invested in a stable value fund, which seeks to provide stable returns and capital preservation. The employee contributions plus accrued interest, if any, may be withdrawn at retirement or upon separation from County employment, rolled over into another deferred compensation plan, or left in the Plan where it can continue to accumulate interest on a tax-deferred basis.

Supplemental Benefits

Dental Coverage: 100% County paid for full-time employee and dependents.

  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D): The County provides $125,000 of basic coverage; and additional coverage may be purchased.
  • Life Insurance: The County provides $125,000 of basic coverage; and additional coverage may be purchased.
  • Optional Benefit Plan (OBP): $4,500 Annually (pro-rated in year of hire)

Some or the entire $4,500 OBP amount may be used as a taxable cash lump sum, OBP Health Care Reimbursement Account (subject to annual limits) or deposited to your 457(b) Defined Contribution Plan (subject to annual contribution limits).

  • Salary Continuance: 60% of salary on approved applications.
  • Auto Allowance: County paid monthly taxable allowance of $765.

Other Benefit Programs

  • 457(b) Defined Contribution Plan (participation is voluntary, no County match)
  • Dependent Care & Health Care Reimbursement Accounts (optional pre-tax programs)
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Annual Physical


Email is the primary form of notification during the recruitment process. Please ensure your correct email address is included in our application and use only one email account.

NOTE: User accounts are established for one person only and should not be shared with another person. Multiple applications with multiple users may jeopardize your status in the recruitment process for any positions for which you apply.

Candidates will be notified regarding their status as the recruitment proceeds via email through the site. Please check your email folders, including spam/junk folders, and/or accept emails ending with "" and "" If your email address should change, please update your profile at

For specific information pertaining to this recruitment, please contact Vanessa Rosas at 714.480.2867 or




Orange County, as an equal employment opportunity employer encourages applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply.

This is a full time job

Contact Information

Job Contact Details

Vanessa Rosas
Admin. Asst.

Closing Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Posting Date:

Closing Date: