Shelter Manager

Job Title: Shelter Manager

Department: Shelter

Classification: Full-time, exempt

Job Relationship: Reports to Senior Director of Operations. Supervises Assistant Shelter Manager and Facility Coordinator. Works closely with Head of Veterinary Services, Volunteer Manager, and Chief Humane Officer.  Serves as shelter liaison for Development Department.

Position Summary: Manages animal care, behavior, flow, and client service programs (Admissions and Adoptions) to ensure that our quality of care, service and performance meet the needs of our animals, clients, and organization.  Oversees facility and grounds maintenance.  Supervises, trains, coaches, and develops staff and volunteers to meet departmental goals.  Provides high quality animal care and excellent people care in accordance with APL mission, goals, and management philosophy.  Monitors shelter statistical data and completes reports. Effectively manages resources for the maximum benefit to the department and the APL.

Essential Job Functions:

Oversees management of all aspects of shelter animal and client care to ensure high quality care is provided to all shelter animals and clients.

  • Ensures employees are providing an optimal standard of care (i.e., food, water, enrichment, sanitation, infectious disease control, and safety) to all animals sheltered at the APL.
  • Ensures quality services and experiences are provided to shelter clients, visitors, staff, and volunteers.
  • Ensures all animal, APL shelter, and state protocols, policies and procedures are being followed.
  • Communicates with all departments regarding animal care and welfare issues. Alerts Senior Director of Operations to potential population crises, disease epidemics, or other factors that may compromise the APL’s goal of continually increasing our live release rate.
  • Assists staff in situations requiring immediate problem solving. Handles escalated client situations.  Keeps supervisor informed of situations that could be damaging to the professional image of the APL.
  • Regularly evaluates and improves animal care and flow processes.
  • Monitors animal population status, flow, and inventory. Ensures team is communicating with other departments (Clinic, Humane Investigations) to troubleshoot and optimize animal progress through shelter.
  • Oversees implementation of client care, animal handling, sanitation, and disease control protocols.
  • Makes decisions about final disposition of the animals: adoption, foster care, medical care, transfer, and euthanasia.
  • Performs euthanasia and trains staff for euthanasia certification.
  • Under the supervision of Senior Director of Operations, designs and implements client care programs and services in line with strategic plan.
  • Serves as department liaison for development staff.  Actively participates in relationship building and program/event marketing in cooperation with the Development Department.
  • Works with communications specialist on promotions, featured animals, and other social media posts.
  • Models “Compassion” core value behavior: Treats animals & people with respect, empathy, and kindness. Listens and responds to the needs of people who surrender animals to us, use our programs and services, support us, work, and volunteer for us, and to other animal welfare organizations that turn to us for help.

 Manages, trains, and builds an effective team

  • Provides direct supervision to the assistant shelter manager and facility coordinator. Assesses, respects, and addresses staff and facility needs immediately.
  • Serves as department liaison for volunteer staff; works with supervisors to identify volunteer needs; ensures volunteers are being utilized effectively.
  • Works with volunteer manager to fill volunteer needs and identify new volunteer needs; recruits and integrates volunteers and takes an active role in their training, scheduling, performance, and job satisfaction.
  • Ensures compliance with APL animal care, safety, and personnel practices and procedures.
  • Performs supervisory duties, including reviewing work performance, motivating subordinates to work effectively, identifying problems with performance and solutions to those problems, determining training needs to improve performance, initiating measures to correct misconduct per APL policy. Carries out approved disciplinary actions.
  • Develops annual goals for department staff that includes timelines, procedures, and accountabilities.
  • Provides orientation, training, coaching and supervision to shelter employees and volunteers.
  • Prepares and presents necessary evaluations and performance appraisals.
  • Provides guidance and support to staff in meeting goals and works with Assistant Shelter Manager and/or Senior Director of Operations to resolve staff personnel issues.
  • Develops training and orientation materials and implements training for staff and volunteers; oversees continuing education for shelter staff.
  • In conjunction with human resources, interviews and hires new staff members.
  • Performs the duties of subordinate employees as needed.

 Oversees operational and administrative support functions

  • Manages PetPoint database to include report generation and analysis.
  • Works with Communications Specialist to ensure APL website reflects current shelter information. Provides updated information to Communications Specialist in a timely manner.
  • Compiles and monitors department statistics using Petpoint, other computer programs and/or manual methods and provides them to the Senior Director of Operation in a timely manner.
  • Maintains necessary records and generates accurate monthly and yearly statistical reports.
  • Monitors and adheres to the annual department budgets and promotes cost savings within the department.
  • Consults with Senior Director of Operations on any purchases of equipment, supplies and materials for department that are outside the scope of normal operations.
  • Oversees all aspects of facility, equipment, and grounds maintenance; oversees shelter vehicle care and maintenance.
  • Ensures interior and exterior of the shelter facility is clean, uncluttered, and well maintained at all times.

Provides effective operational and administrative leadership, engagement, and oversight

  • Actively promotes the APL’s mission, services, programs, and events. Informs clients and constituents of donation opportunities and cultivates relationships with current and potential donors.
  • Always represents the APL in a professional and courteous manner.
  • Supports management and discusses differences privately.
  • Communicates with the Senior Director of Operations about significant developments within the department.
  • Attends necessary meetings.
  • Is visible to staff, communicates with directors on significant developments within the department
  • Communicates pertinent information to staff, managers, directors, and CEO.
  • Communicates, identifies challenges, and problem solves with other managers.
  • Develops and follows timelines for annual plans and projects.
  • Ensures that policies and procedures are being followed.
  • Provides quality service to clients, volunteers, and staff recognizing their contribution to the APL’s success.
  • Creates, promotes, and follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe work environment. Takes immediate action to address any safety concern or noncompliance with OSHA safety rules that could put an employee, volunteer, client, animal, and organization at risk.
  • Promotes a safe, inclusive, equitable work environment.
  • Promotes communication and cooperation between APL departments and integration and utilization of volunteers.
  • Actively monitors safety compliance of staff and takes immediate action to correct hazards.
  • Refers board or media inquiries to CEO.
  • Ability to handle confidential information and use discretion.
  • Is flexible with scheduling.
  • Fear Free Certified or must become certified within six months of hire
  • Supports the APL’s desire to celebrate a diverse and inclusive culture that fuels the compassion that connects us to one another.

This position description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by the employee occupying this position.  Employees will be required to follow any other job-related duties required by their supervisor.

This document does not create an employment contract implied or otherwise, other than an “at-will” relationship.


  • Associates degree preferred.
  • Minimum of two years demonstrated management experience and proven success in developing and managing operations, programs, services, customer service, and supervising personnel preferably in animal welfare or animal services.
  • Certified euthanasia technician (or completes certification within 6 months of hire).
  • Must possess a valid Ohio Driver’s License and insurable driving record.

Knowledge and Skills

  • Knowledge of effective management techniques and ability to utilize them to promote full performance and high morale.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment with a variety of people.
  • Considerable interpersonal skills including the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships and to effectively handle and diffuse high-stress and emotionally charged situations.
  • Ability to identify and understand problems and determine appropriate measures to solve them.
  • Efficient Microsoft Office user able to maintain and use a variety of records to prepare statistical and other reports.
  • Experience in animal behavior, health, handling, & care in a shelter environment strongly preferred.
  • Excellent communication and leadership skills. Ability to express ideas clearly, both orally and in writing.  Exercises good judgment when dealing with the public, staff, and volunteers.
  • Detail oriented. Able to prioritize and perform duties efficiently and effectively with appropriate independence.
  • Committed to maintaining the integrity of the APL’s client service programs, high standard of animal care, and promoting our mission to foster compassion and end animal suffering.
  • Ability to perform and train staff in euthanasia.