Shelter Veterinarian

Job Title: Shelter Veterinarian

Department:  Shelter – APL Clinic, Community & AWC

Classification: Full time, Non-exempt

Job Relationship: Reports to Medical Director.  Provides clinical supervision of Veterinary Technicians, Assistants, and students.

Position Summary: Provides spay, neuter, and other surgeries for animals in the APL Clinic, Community Clinic and AWC. Provides daily clinical supervision of veterinary technicians, students, and assistants before, after, and during surgery.  Stays up to date, and makes recommendations, on current best surgical practices (including HQHV). Provides medical care, recommendations and treatment of shelter animals.  Educates clients, volunteers, students and staff on proper animal care and surgery follow-up.

Essential Job Functions:

Provides surgical services and daily care to animals at the Cleveland Animal Protective League

  • Examines (non-feral) animals pre-op to determine their ability to withstand surgery.
  • Performs surgical sterilization (able to perform an average of 35 surgeries a day).
  • Performs other surgical procedures as needed.
  • Provides other clinical care to animals as needed, including inoculations
  • Alerts supervisor to animals in need of further diagnostics and provides recommendations for follow up care.
  • Provides daily clinical supervision of veterinary technicians, students, and assistants before, during, and after surgery.
  • Alerts Medical Director to any performance concerns.
  • Supervises daily cleaning and animal handling for adherence to protocol in the clinic for prevention of infectious /zoonotic disease.
  • Supervises daily handling and recording of controlled substances by veterinary technicians. Audits drug log for usage and accuracy.
  • Continues research and maintenance of safe and efficacious medical protocol regarding anesthesia and surgery.
  • Completes post-op recheck exams and orders medical treatments as necessary to ensure complete surgical recovery.

Provides medical services to animals at the Cleveland Animal Protective League

  • Responsible for medical examinations, care, monitoring, and health of domestic animals in the care of the Cleveland APL, including foster animals. Provides input on wildlife/exotic cases, if necessary.
  • Provides input on preventative medicine protocols
  • Participates in the monitoring, evaluation, and establishment of shelter protocols for infectious disease control, prophylactic care, treatable illnesses/injuries, and vaccinations
  • Participates in updating training, diagnostic and treatment protocols pertaining to animal health
  • Maintains medical records (paper and electronic) for shelter animals
  • Offers guidance to animal evaluation, foster, and adoption programs. Makes recommendations about final disposition of the animals: adoption, foster care, medical care, transfer and euthanasia
  • Provides emergency care to animals at the Cleveland APL.
  • Provides on-call services for shelter animal emergencies when needed
  • Works closely with Animal Care and Adoptions to monitor the shelter population and animal flow. Works with Medical Director on potential population crises, disease epidemics, or other factors that may compromise the APL’s goal of continually increasing our live release rate
  • Communicates with other departments (Animal Care, Humane Investigations) to troubleshoot and optimize animals’ progress through shelter
  • Attends shelter rounds as needed.
  • Performs euthanasia as needed.

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.
  • Actively supports associate staff and volunteers, and promotes the development of skills related to the advancement of our goals and mission.
  • Communicates with clients about medical complications and recommendations; available for follow-up care as needed.
  • Participates on committees and special projects as assigned. This may include, but is not limited to such projects as training of other veterinarians on high volume spay/neuter techniques, and examining animals for cruelty investigations and representing the APL in court.
  • Actively promotes the APL programs and events to clients and volunteers.
  • Promotes communication and cooperation between APL departments.
  • Committed to supporting and advancing the APL’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

Maintains licensure and follows safety guidelines

  • Helps oversee OSHA compliance in relation to the clinic. Promotes and follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe work environment.  Takes immediate action to address any safety concern or noncompliance with OSHA rules that could put an employee, volunteer, client, animal, and/or the organization at risk.
  • Secures DEA license for clinic if necessary.
  • Maintains a current Ohio veterinary license in good standing.
  • Completes required continuing education courses
  • Adheres to state regulations and organizational protocol regarding animal care, treatment, advocacy and the mission of the APL.
  • Committee to supporting and advancing the APL’s Free Free animal care initiatives.

Performs other duties as assigned including but not limited to:

  • Informs supervisor of special needs cases for potential public relations or direct mail pieces.
  • Performs other duties and special projects as assigned for efficient functioning of the clinic
  • Flexible with scheduling and available as needed when away from the facility for operational needs


  • Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from an accredited college or university
  • Must maintain an Ohio Veterinary License (DVM) in good standing
  • Fear Free Certified or must become certified within six months of hire
  • Able to perform 35 sterilization surgeries per 6-hour shift
  • Able to perform soft tissue and dental procedures
  • Ability to perform orthopedic surgeries strongly preferred
  • Excellent communication skills

Knowledge and Skills:

  • Experience in the field of veterinary medicine and knowledge of disease recognition in a shelter setting required
  • High volume spay/neuter experience and knowledge of shelter medicine and epidemiology desirable
  • Knowledge of feral cat issues helpful
  • Effective decision making and diagnostic skills and interest in pursuing treatment options with limited funding Demonstrated effective decision making and diagnostic skills based on recent performance references
  • Strong interest in pursuing treatment options with limited funding
  • Able to work well under pressure and handle multiple tasks at one time
  • Outstanding customer service, oral and written communication skills
  • Committed to the mission, vision and values of the Cleveland Animal Protective League

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