Behavior & Enrichment Assistant


Job Title: Behavior & Enrichment Assistant

Department: Shelter

Classification:   Full-time, hourly, non-exempt

Job Relationship: Reports to Behavior and Enrichment Specialist.  Works closely with the Volunteer Manager.  Supports volunteers for various roles in the AnimalWellness and Flow Departments.

Position Summary: Ensures Dog Play Groups and individual dog and cat enrichmentis being performed daily and coordinates necessary support staff. Serves as theprimary contact, trainer, and supervisor for Volunteers. 

Essential Job Functions:

Ensures appropriate handling and daily assessment of all animals sheltered at the APL

  • Ensure Dog Play Groups as scheduled by Supervisor are being performed daily and all necessary support staff is available for assistance.  Required safety equipment and supplies are inventoried and ordered to ensure the safety of all animal and human participants. 
  • Help maintain signage and documentation (on kennels, around the building and within electronic records) for the entire canine population.
  • Maintain check-point system to assess behavioral well-being of the canine population, and actionable plans to address length of stay.
  • Maintain kennel environment by relocating dogs when behaviorally advantageous, designating daily kennel enrichment and providing for necessary kennel communication to guide staff and volunteers in ideal care for each dog.
  • Provide adoption counseling to potential adopters for dogs specified as needing special adoption recommendations and/or support.
  • Conduct dog-dog interactions with potential adopters, when requested.
  • Ensure canine enrichment areas (Play Yards) are properly cleaned and maintained.
  • Support organization in the development and implementation of any new protocols or programs designed to enhance the quality of life for the entire animal population.
  • Serves as the primary contact for the dog, cat and small mammal enrichment.
  • Works with Supervisor to ensure all animals housed at the APL receive daily enrichment, targeted toward each animal’s individual needs.
  • Helps Supervisor coordinate Animal Care Associates to ensure daily enrichment is given and successful.
  • Assists with training staff in the areas safe animal handling and assessment, disease control, and the daily provision of care and enrichment; provides guidance to ACAs to ensure animal handling, assessment, and disease control policies and protocols are being followed
  • Assists with transport, intake, and evaluation of dogs received from other agencies
  • Assist with animal assessments, including SAFER
  • Perform routine animal medical care including vaccinations, worming, flea treatments, and blood tests

Provides professional volunteer supervision and care

  • Serve as the secondary contact for the dog, cat and small mammal enrichment volunteers; communicates any updates and/or changes to volunteers via email, voicemail, and communication stations.
  • Assist Supervisor by providing feedback and addressing concerns with volunteer support.
  • Oversee animal based group volunteer programs and community service.
  • Represent the APL in a professional and courteous manner at all times. Provides quality service to customers, volunteers, and staff recognizing their individual contributions to the success of our organization.
  • Follow all safety guidelines to ensure a safe work environment for staff and living environment for animals. Takes immediate action to address any safety concern or noncompliance of safety rules that could put an employee, volunteer, client, animal, or the organization at risk.

Performs other duties as assigned including but not limited to:

  • Informs supervisor of special needs cases for potential public relations or direct mail pieces
  • Promotes communication and cooperation between APL departments.
  • Performs other duties and special projects as assigned
  • Euthanasia certified; performs euthanasia as assigned
  • Maintains cleaning equipment, tools and appliances
  • Opens and closes the building as assigned


  • High school diploma or equivalent preferred
  • Prior demonstrable experience in dog behavior, health, handling, and care
  • Supervisory/leadership experience in a professional or volunteer setting
  • Must be available to work days that Behavior Specialist is not working. (Currently Sunday and Monday.)

Knowledge and Skills

  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment with a variety of people
  • Knowledge of all volunteer positions
  • Knowledge of animal breeds, behavior, and handling
  • Knowledge of animal health, able to identify illness preferred
  • Ability to safely handle animals, including those with health and behavioral challenges
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to follow instructions
  • Excellent interpersonal communication, public speaking and customer service skills.
  • Ability to use a PC and widely used software packages, e.g., spreadsheets (Excel), word processing (MS Word), Pet Point shelter software; ability to learn new software as necessary.
  • Ability to meet deadlines; ability to set and accomplish work in order of priority; professionally maintain composure and effectiveness under pressure and changing conditions.
  • Able to work a flexible schedule with regular weekend and evening activities.
  • Detail oriented and able to prioritize and perform duties efficiently and effectively
  • Committed to maintaining the Cleveland Animal Protective League’s high standard of animal care and mission to foster compassion and end animal suffering.

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