Animal Programs Director
Job Details
ARF - Walnut Creek, CA
Full Time
Job Details

Position Summary:

Develop, advance, and implement animal welfare programs and services. Provide leadership for the intake, animal care, adoption, foster and dog training staff to ensure these programs and services support ARF’s mission and measurable goals for rescue, animal healthcare, and customer service. Focus management tactics and staff development toward meeting or exceeding objectives, ensuring humane treatment of all animals, and staying within the budget. These areas contribute directly to ARF’s mission of people rescuing animals and are a large part of ARF’s public relations and reputation in the local community. 

Principal Duties:

  • A proactive people leader adept at coaching for success, providing vision, direction, problem solving and oversight to all aspects and functions.
  • Lead the animal care team to assure good quality of care and cleanliness for shelter guests while keeping animals mentally and physically healthy.
  • Lead the adoption team to maximize the number of adopted animals, with careful attention to matching appropriate animals to adopters’ lifestyles, providing education on animal guardianship, and maintaining quality customer service.
  • Lead the intake & behavior team to maximize the intake of animals from source shelters with careful regard to animals’ adoptability, current resident population, and adopter demographics. Balance the numbers of animals with our ability to provide good quality of care, while keeping animals mentally and physically healthy. Assures quality evaluation of shelter guests.
  • Assures ARF provides a variety of training classes, quality instructors, and a schedule of classes to ensure profitability and satisfied clients.
  • Collaborates and implements animal marketing and other campaigns to advance adoptions.
  • Assist with problem-solving for all areas of responsibility. Provide vision and strong management skills to oversee all aspects and functions. Maximizes the use of all resources to assure efficient and effective service delivery.
  • Prepares monitors and assures adherence to departmental budget by tracking expenses and revenue to fiscal budget and reporting metrics to illustrate effectiveness and changes of programs and services.
  • Establishes and achieves departmental goals in alignment with strategic plan.
  • Assures appropriate departmental staffing by hiring, training, retaining, monitoring, evaluation and recognition of direct and indirect reports and volunteers.
  • Document and update internal and external policies and work processes for animal care department.
  • Participates in deployment and strategic planning process.
  • Serves as a member of the senior leadership and executive team.
  • Fulfills commitments to corporate and individual sponsors, as needed, in a manner that will encourage renewal of those sponsorships. Support events, fundraising, television requests, and other media spots as needed. Provide shelter tours for guests.
  • Support volunteers in animal care by making recommendations and creating enhancements and solutions to cat and dog socializer programs and attending volunteer forums to help educate and resolve problems.
  • Maintain and report statistics, data and outcomes information consistent with strategic plan.
  • Develop and implement new or expanded programs in alignment with strategic priorities.
  • Prepare and deliver reports and interface with Board of Directors as needed.
  • Collaborate with other ARF departments and participate in organization-wide efforts. (i.e. Pet Disaster Planning)
  • Responsible for complying with all Federal, State and local safety regulations and laws, as well as ARF policies, procedures and guidelines.
  • Participates in development of ARF’s safety protocols regarding Animal Programs. Attends all designated safety training and follows established procedures governing workplace safety. Ensures that department staff and volunteers are trained on proper safety protocols and procedures and are alerted to hazards or potential hazards in the workplace.
  • Performs duties in a manner which encourages attainment of goals, contributions and business for Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation and its programs.
  • Treats people and animals with respect; contributes to effective teamwork; promotes intra - and inter-departmental cooperation; and fosters public relations beneficial to ARF.
  • Performs other work as assigned.

Physical/Environmental Requirements:

  • Work environment includes constant exposure to animals and animal allergens.
  • Lift and move objects and animals weighing up to 50 pounds for short distances and to humanely restrain animals when necessary.
  • Push/pull moderately heavy objects up to 25 pounds. Walk dogs weighing up to 150 pounds in a variety of weather conditions.
  • Bend, stoop, squat, reach above and below shoulder level, grasp and turn objects, stand, and/or walk frequently and repetitively throughout each shift.
  • Assess medical and behavior changes in animals both visually and audibly.
  • Sit through lengthy meetings.
  • Repetitively use hands to type on a computer keyboard and use a computer mouse for long and short periods of time.
  • Drive an automobile.

Educational Requirements:

  • Four-year college degree required with a preferred emphasis in business, communications, public relations or a related field. (Qualifying work experience will be considered as an alternative; on the basis that one-year of experience may be substituted for one year of education.) 

Experience, Abilities and Qualities Required:

  • Experience supervising personnel assigned to delivering services related to the care and handling of dogs and cats.
  • Knowledge of animal care needs including health and behavior in a shelter environment.
  • Affection for animals, concern for their welfare and a willingness to accommodate animals in the work place.
  • Proven organizational and planning skills with a demonstrated ability to lead and manage. Be viewed as a motivator and leader. Experience in molding and developing staff into a cohesive team while holding individuals and work units accountable for their results.
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills.
  • Have a goals and objectives orientation, and ability to achieve the same.
  • Ability and initiative to work with minimal supervision and direction.
  • Ability to organize, meet deadlines, delegate tasks, to supervise and evaluate work force.
  • A self-starter, facilitator, organizer and innovator.
  • Ability to communicate skillfully and effectively with a culturally diverse staff, volunteers and community in a professional, pleasant, respectful, courteous and tactful manner at all times.
  • Maturity, good judgment, and professional manner and personal appearance.
  • Good analytical skills and ability to identify and access division issues/opportunities. Enjoys problem solving within existing resources; does not rely on additional dollars to resolve problems.


Exempt position requires a minimum of 40 hours per week. Daily reporting hours and days of the week may vary according to the needs of the Division. Weekend and evening work may be required. 

ARF is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to the diversity of its staff and strongly encourages all qualified candidates to apply.

Bring your expertise and love for animals to ARF! ARF is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to the diversity of its staff and strongly encourages all qualified candidates to apply.