Animal Care Associate I


­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Job Title: Animal Care Associate I

Department: Shelter

Classification: Full or Part time, hourly, non-exempt

Job Relationship: Reports to Animal Care Supervisor.  Works closely with animal care lead and volunteers.

Position Summary: Responsible for daily cleaning and sanitation of shelter facility, including animal enclosures and public areas, and feeding, care, focused enrichment, behavior assessment, vaccination, and transport of shelter animals.

Essential Job Functions:

Provides optimal standard of care to all animals sheltered at the APL

  • Performs daily cleaning and sanitizing of kennels, cages, and public areas; follows cleaning and disease control protocols to ensure a safe, healthy environment
  • Feeds and provides daily enrichment to shelter animals
  • Does animal laundry and dishes throughout the day
  • Follows 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
  • Stocks areas and spot-cleans kennels and public areas throughout the day
  • Promptly moves animals (adoption, isolation, quarantine, etc.) as instructed
  • Accurately updates animal records, including stage and location, in PetPoint
  • Keeps supervisor informed of animal behavior, health, or other concerns
  • Maintains cleaning equipment, tools and appliances
  • Conducts kennel inventory and ensures accuracy of animal locations
  • Informs supervisor of special needs cases for potential public relations or direct mail pieces
  • Completes revaccinations (FVRCP, DA2PP, Bordetella, etc.) of animals in a timely manner
  • Assists animal wellness and flow team with socialization and implementation of individual training plans for dogs, including overseeing and assisting with dog playgroups
  • Assists in transport of animals
  • Assists Behavior team with animal evaluations
  • Opens and closes the building as assigned
  • Performs other duties and special projects as assigned
  • Ensures animals are treated with a Fear Free approach in the shelter, at offsite events, and as they transition into their new homes
  • Keeps up to date on organizational communications by either attending All Staff Meetings or reading the News Hound.

 Provides professional client, staff, and volunteer care   

  • Represents 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
  • Promotes integration and utilization of volunteers
  • Actively promotes the APL programs and events to clients and volunteers
  • Refers clients to appropriate staff for service
  • Assists with accepting in-kind donations
  • Promotes communication and cooperation between APL departments.


  • High school diploma or equivalent preferred
  • Able to read and understand instructions
  • Able to work with animals, disinfectants, and cleaning supplies
  • Able to perform physical work: scrubbing, mopping, bending, lifting, walking and standing for up to 10 hours a day, lifting up to 50 pounds with assistance
  • Must possess a valid Ohio Driver’s License and insurable driving record.

Knowledge and Skills

  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment with a variety of people
  • Ability to work with a computer using Windows software
  • Knowledge of animal breeds, behavior, and handling
  • Knowledge of animal health, ability to identify illness preferred
  • Ability to safely handle animals, including those with health and behavioral challenges
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to follow instructions
  • 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.
  • 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.

EEOC: The Cleveland APL is an equal opportunity employer and is looking for diversity in qualified candidates for employment.