Job Description


The Recovery & Rehabilitation Center (R&R Center), currently under construction in Pawling, NY, is a unique program dedicated to providing sheltering, behavioral and medical care and treatment for dogs from cruelty case backgrounds. The R&R Center team is part of Rehabilitation Services, which also includes the ASPCA’s Cruelty Recovery Center (CRC) in Columbus, OH, and Behavioral Rehabilitation Center (BRC) in Weaverville, NC. All three facilities provide opportunities for animals to heal after rescue. Protocols and procedures used by Rehabilitation Services teams promote constant collaboration across all areas of expertise to achieve the best, most balanced support for animals. As they engage in hands-on rehabilitative care, teams prioritize ongoing learning. BRC, CRC and R&R Center staff play an integral role in advancing the animal welfare field through research, developing effective, efficient interventions, and establishing new best practices, which the ASPCA shares through the Learning Lab—the fourth Rehabilitation Services team—on ASPCA Pro, and at professional conferences.

Preparing for launch in early 2024, the Vice President will focus on building the R&R Center program, as well as hiring and onboarding a new team of over 60 staff. After the facility opens, the Vice President will oversee all operations, including team and program management, daily care and a robust enrichment program, behavioral and medical assessment and monitoring, behavior rehabilitation, medical treatment, and frequent collaborative work with internal and external groups. This role requires a passion for creating and fostering strong team cohesion to achieve mutual goals. To that end, the VP will work to ensure excellent communication and cooperation among operations, behavior and medical staff at the R&R Center.

The VP and R&R Center team will work closely with numerous ASPCA teams across the country to ensure well-coordinated operations and holistic, high-quality care for animal victims of neglect and abuse. The R&R Center VP will also maintain strong connections with VPs leading other Rehabilitation Services teams, the Behavioral Sciences Team, and Shelter Medicine Services to ensure team and organization-wide operational and philosophical alignment, to facilitate collaborative projects, and to produce consistent messaging for external partners.

The ideal candidate for this position has mastered balance in multiple respects: working with animals and with people, providing energizing motivation and calm stability for staff, showing dedication and a solid work ethic coupled with the ability to model work/life balance, and paying meticulous attention to detail while leading the way forward with big-picture strategies in mind.


Please note the responsibilities outlined below are broken down into two phases: the Development Phase, which will take place from 2022-2023 before the R&R Center launches and the Implementation Phase, which will take place from 2024 onward after the R&R Center officially launches.

Development Phase

R&R Center Program Development (40%)

Oversee the R&R Program Development Core Team’s preparatory work by monitoring and adjusting timeline milestones, keeping stakeholders informed about progress, unifying a growing group of contributors to the project, and ensuring a smooth launch in early 2024
Align work with ASPCA organization-wide goals and strategies
Build new, collaborative relationships with other Rehabilitation Services teams and other teams across the organization; identify areas where work intersects
Oversee the development of a comprehensive R&R Center SOP package; lead a team tasked with developing program-specific protocols, creating new cross-departmental protocols, and integrating org-wide procedures/processes
Work with ASPCA experts to finalize both internal and external communications plans for launch
Develop strong relationships with community stakeholders
Create and execute a launch plan for use during the final stages of the facility build and program development
Team Hiring and Onboarding (40%)

With the support of the Program Development Core Team, lead the development of an onboarding package to introduce all new hires to SOPs, work, goals and other key information
Hire and onboard the Senior Directors of the R&R Center’s Operations, Medical and Behavior branches
Develop a clear vision for team culture, norms, and communication, grounded in an integrative care model and aligned with ASPCA Core Values
Collaborate with R&R senior management and the People team to develop interview plans; hire and onboard the first wave of staff to launch the R&R Center at half capacity in 2024 and hire the second, post-launch wave of staff in 2025
Ensure the development and maintenance of a healthy, cohesive culture
R&R Center Facility Build Leadership Support (20%)

Serve as lead program expert, collaborating with the ASPCA’s Real Estate and Capital Projects team to shepherd the R&R Center facility from construction to completion
Attend regular meetings with internal partners and external vendors, monitoring progress and challenges; bring program-specific input to conversations as needed to inform decisions
Work with internal partners and external vendors to ensure that all supplies, including furniture, fixtures and equipment, have been purchased, delivered and installed on time for launch
Ensure that staff become familiar with their new building and that all staff receive training on equipment/tools they’ll use during daily operations
Partnering with the ASPCA’s Safety & Security team, ensure that emergency action plans have been developed before launch and included in onboarding for all staff
Implementation Phase

R&R Center Operational Oversight (40%)

Regularly evaluate the efficacy and efficiency of all R&R protocols to achieve programmatic and organizational goals
Lead regular SOP reviews to encourage continual reassessment and ongoing improvement
Ensure maintenance and upkeep of R&R facility; maintain a thorough knowledge of all operating systems and building features; approve minor facility improvements and propose major changes to VP, Rehabilitation Services, for approval
Develop yearly budget proposal and submit to VP, Rehabilitation Services for approval; ensure adequate allocation of R&R resources (budget, staff time, vehicles, etc.), optimizing department efficiency and implementing changes as necessary
Develop yearly strategic plans and submit to VP, Rehabilitation Services for approval; clearly communicate finalized goals to team and track key results throughout the year to drive progress
Ensure that the team’s Outcome Decisions Panel, comprised of sheltering, placement, behavior and medical leads, uses a structured, collaborative framework to make animal timely outcome decisions (placement for adoption, humane euthanasia, etc.); if the Panel cannot reach consensus, make ultimate decisions
Share the work of the R&R Center by hosting donors, potential corporate and individual supporters, Board members, internal teams, veterinary interns, animal behavior students and representatives from other organizations, always maintaining a high level of professionalism
Collaborate with Media & Communications and Philanthropy to share R&R Center work internally and externally by giving tours/presentations, providing image and video assets, and giving radio, print and television interviews
Maintain relationships with professional partners and community representatives in New York
Ensure compliance with all applicable laws, rules, regulations, standards, policies, and procedures; ensure adherence to established safety procedures
Team Development and People Management (30%):

Supervise and develop R&R Center Senior Directors and the Administrative Manager; support the work and development of all other R&R Center staff
Conduct regular one-on-one meetings with direct reports and hold skip-levels with other members of the leadership team; hold regular team leads meetings
Lead regular all-staff meetings and facilitate cooperation among operations, medical and animal behavior staff
Develop current and future individual leaders by providing guidance and tools to ensure individual and team growth and success across all levels and functions
Complete quarterly goal reviews and annual performance evaluations; recommend salary changes and promotions, helping staff achieve goals and meet expectations
Lead the regular reevaluation and improvement of the team onboarding process to ensure that all new staff members receive a consistent, thorough introduction to R&R and ASPCA work, mission, systems and Core Values
Work with the leadership team to cultivate and continually foster a healthy team culture, where a positive attitude and collaborative spirit are strongly emphasized; lead staff in upholding Team Norms and adhering to ASPCA Core Values
Ensure that team leads model mutual respect for all areas of expertise in order to provide top-notch holistic care for animals and maintain a cohesive team
Provide guidance to management team in supporting staff while holding them accountable for meeting clearly articulated expectations
Collaborate with the Behavioral Sciences Team and Shelter Medicine Services to oversee continuing education and professional development for R&R Center staff
Provide a safe and compassionate environment for animals in our care, our staff, and for our clients by using low-stress handling techniques
Instill the guiding principle that everyone can—and should—actively support the animals’ behavioral and mental health in everything they do
Ensure that all team members have received training and mastered the skills to handle in a low-stress manner, and that they implement these handling techniques consistently in all their interactions with animals
Learning Lab Collaboration (15%)

Help review applications and serve on a committee tasked with choosing new shelter partners to participate in retreats and other collaborative learning experiences; travel to potential Learning Lab partner organizations for evaluation/screening visits and to connect with leaders
Participate in retreats and other partner activities at the R&R Center and remotely; help facilitate modules and cultivate positive, ongoing relationships with external colleagues
Participate in post-retreat follow-up sessions for other organizations, offering guidance for external teams as they work toward established goals
Communicate partner feedback and insights about the Learning Lab experience to the Learning Lab team
Maintain strong connections between the R&R Center medical, behavior and operations branches and the Learning Lab as new collaborative teaching modules are developed based on best practices, innovative techniques and research at the R&R Center
Contribute a consultative voice to the development and implementation of new learning modules
Cross-Team Collaboration & Connections (15%)

Work with the VPs of the CRC and the BRC to maintain excellent communications, productive connections, and aligned goals/culture across all Rehabilitation Services teams
Develop strong, cooperative relationships with Shelter Medicine Services (SMS)and the Behavioral Sciences Team (BST), ensuring aligned systems and protocols across the organization as teams continually innovate and evolve
Work closely with the Animal Recovery Center and Canine Annex for Recovery & Enrichment (ARC/CARE), the Adoption Center, Centralized Placement (CP), and Community Engagement (CE) teams to ensure well-coordinated, efficient operations and high-quality integrative care for canine victims of neglect and abuse
Work closely with the BST, LAI, and Veterinary Forensics to ensure consistent protocols related to criminal case animals and smooth, clear communication among all teams
With the guidance of the VP, Rehabilitation Services and the VP of the BST, support and facilitate research on shelter animal behavior
Take on other duties and projects as assigned by the VP, Rehabilitation Services or the SVP of Policy, Response and Engagement
Exemplifies the ASPCA’s 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

Highly effective people- and team-management abilities; can artfully flex management style to best support diverse individuals
Exceptional leadership skills: demonstrates the ability to inspire a team as well as represent that team and the organization with confidence and professionalism when interacting with fellow leads and supervisors, Board members, donors and animal welfare colleagues
Excellent communication skills (spoken, telephone and written); able to interact skillfully with different personalities and groups; has a talent for honing team communication systems
Has a positive attitude and an uplifting effect on others
Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, changing, potentially stressful environment, working efficiently and calmly; can motivate a team to do the same
Must be flexible and easily adapt to frequent changes to plans/protocols
Always treats people and animals with care and respect; must be a compassionate animal advocate and have a genuine interest in leading and interacting with people
Embodies the “team player” spirit; demonstrated ability to build and maintain a united management team
Builds genuine, trusting relationships that enhance individual and team performance
Superior problem-solving abilities relishes a challenge and loves to troubleshoot to find solutions
Innovates; always seeks creative ways to advance work and improve protocols and processes
Skilled facilitator, with strong teaching skills
Strong organizational and info-tracking skills
Comprehensive understanding of shelter operations and the animal welfare field
The ability to work closely with behaviorally and medically compromised animals and feel comfortable working in an environment where humane euthanasia is performed on a regular basis
The willingness and ability to travel up to 10% of the time
Fluent in Internet usage and in the use of MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint

See above for qualifications details.


Education and Work Experience:

Animal welfare experience and knowledge about shelter operations best practices strongly preferred, At least 3 years’ experience managing a budget, BS or BA strongly preferred; HS diploma or GED required, CAWA designation preferred, Experience managing mangers and supporting indirect reports is strongly preferred, Fear Free Shelter certification is required within 60 days of hire, IS 700, 800 and ICS100 and 200 preferred, Knowledge of adult learning principles and teaching or group discussion facilitation experience is a plus, Minimum of 5 years’ experience managing a team and a multifaceted program required, Must have completed an agency-approved formal media training course within a year after hire, Project management skill and/or experience strongly preferred

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability or protected veteran status.

This is a full time job

Contact Information

Job Contact Details

Closing Date: Saturday, November 5, 2022

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