Behavior Program Coordinator
Job Details
Bellevue - Bellevue, WA
Full Time
Nonprofit - Social Services


The Behavior Program Coordinator is responsible for coordinating all internal animal training, behavior, and enrichment programs designed to improve the quality of shelter animal care and to build successful lifelong relationships between people and pets. The Behavior Program Coordinator provides leadership and supports the mission, goals and philosophy of Seattle Humane.


  • Works with the Behavior Program Manager (BPM) and operations management team to develop and oversee shelter animal behavior and supplemental enrichment programs to decrease stress during kenneling, improve animals’ well-being and increase successful adoptions.
  • Works with the BPM to develop and implement programs designed to increase the number of successful adoptions, including recruiting and training volunteers into specialized positions.
  • Coordinates the Behavior Modification program
    • Schedules and assists in training staff and volunteers (Behavior Program Assistants and special volunteer teams)
    • Supports and augments behavior modification team during staff shortages.
      • Implement behavior plans
      • Provide support to staff, volunteers, and foster parents
      • Serves as a resource to adopters with dog behavior questions and of special needs dogs before and after adoption.
      • May assist during major transfer events, as needed
  • Makes recommendations for special-needs behavior dogs
    • Performs secondary assessments
    • Works with the BPM to create behavior modification plans.
  • Supports the Behavior Program Manager and Volunteer Coordinators/Leads in scheduling and administrating the Dog Behavior and Socialization (DBS), Run-Dog-Run (RDR), Behavior Program Assistant (BPA, Playgroups, and other special project volunteer programs.
    • Works closely with volunteers working in the Behavior Program and related programs.  Provides support and training as needed.
    • Maintains a high level of communication with volunteer services and program volunteer coordinators.
    • Leads playgroups and trains, supports, and mentors Dog Playgroup volunteers.
    • Oversees and develops other special project programs and volunteers as requested by the BPM
  • Communicates with dog program, vet services, and adoption regarding behavior/special needs/handling of specific dogs.
  • Answers incoming calls and responds to voicemail and email messages from adopters, program volunteers, and coworkers promptly and professionally. 
  • Organizes paperwork, supplies, and equipment for behavior program and keeps all behavior rooms stocked with necessary supplies.
  • Monitors and tracks data for various program functions as requested by BPM.
  • Prepares monthly reports and/or other data as requested by the BPM or Chief Behavior Officer.
  • Maintains appropriate files and records. Adheres to the files and records retention policy and procedures.
  • Assists BPM as necessary in training staff, working with vet students, and other special projects.
  • Recommends program changes to his/her Manager for approval; provides assistance with creating procedures and protocols to support approved changes, overseeing implementation, and monitoring impact as directed
  • Monitors compliance with animal handling, safety, and other policies and procedures. Takes immediate action to address any safety or security concern or noncompliance of safety rules that could put an employee, volunteer, customer, animal or the organization at risk.


  • Assists with and/or instructs with classes and training as needed. Attends meetings with and between departments as necessary and attends other meetings as requested.
  • Assures a clean, orderly, and positive working environment.
  • Provides ideas and suggestions designed to improve operational programs and working conditions.
  • Serves as a resource to adopters of special-needs animals.
  • Other duties as assigned.



Guides, trains, and schedules various program volunteers.


  • Daily communication (verbal and written) with Operations staff by direct contact, written procedures, memos, emails, charts, and signs.
  • Daily verbal or written communication with program volunteers through direct contact, telephone, and email.  Weekly to biweekly communication with administrative staff through meetings, written memos, emails, or the telephone.
  • Written communication with other animal welfare agencies as needed.

A high degree of independent judgment is required.  Diverse duties on a weekly basis as routine varies day to day.  Must be able to coordinate several tasks within a day and handle frequent interruptions.  High degree of formal policy and procedure to guide work. Flexibility and attention to detail in all areas of this position are extremely important. Must be able to respond to unexpected questions, comments, or requests from volunteers and other staff.  Must be able to work well without direct supervision.






  • Minimum of two years’ work experience in caring for and handling animals in a safe, effective, and humane manner, especially larger and untrained pets.
  • Skilled in animal handling techniques.
  • Understanding of positive reinforcement-based training techniques and well versed in learning theory, body language, and behavior modification.
  • Commitment to the use of non-aversive methods and equipment.
  • Commitment to continuing education in animal behavior and other subjects related to the position.
  • Experience performing dog behavior assessments preferred.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.            
  • Organizational and planning skills to determine work priorities, schedules, and time.
  • Able to work independently and as a team.
  • Knowledge of contemporary shelter maintenance techniques and accepted sanitary practices.
  • Minimum of one year of experience working with community groups, volunteers and other nonprofit programs and organizations. 
  • Affection for animals, concern for their welfare and a willingness to accommodate animals in the workplace.
  • Ability to communicate with the public, volunteers and co-workers in a pleasant, courteous, and tactful manner at all times.
  • Able to use good judgment and maintain professional personal appearance.
  • Comfortable and skilled in working with a culturally diverse staff, volunteers and community.
  • Must be able to read and write effectively.
  • Excellent verbal and telephone skills. Public speaking skills preferred.
  • Must be proficient in Word, Excel, email, and internet use.
  • Experience working with volunteers.



  1. At least a high school graduate or GED.
  2. Certification from animal behavior organization and/or Certificate of completion from animal behavior course or school preferred.



Must be able to speak clearly, hear well, and write legibly; to see clearly with at least one eye; and to distinguish between various odors by sense of smell.  Must have good dexterity and sense of touch with both hands; to stand or sit for four to six hours at a time. Must possess good hand-eye coordination, agility, and stamina.   Must be able to crouch, bend from the waist, kneel, and move quickly.  Must be able to lift to 50 pounds without assistance, over 50 pounds with assistance (from floor to table and vice-versa, and/or carry for six to 10 feet, if not more).  Must be able to concentrate and produce accurate work despite interruptions.  Must have good at­tention to detail, reasoning and problem-solving abilities, to perform mathematical calculations with or without a calculator. Must be able to solve problems and communicate clearly and concisely both orally and in writing.  Requires the ability to make decisions under time constraints with (sometimes) limited information. Needs to be sensitive to other opinions, perspectives, or cultures.  Must feel comfortable in dealing with angry, confused, and/or emotional people. Must exhibit initiative and motivation in performing all duties.


  • Working conditions in an office/clinic setting, in kennels, and outdoors. 
  • Fast-paced and changing workload.
  • Constant noise and interruptions, back strain. 
  • May be exposed to hostile or abusive members of the public.
  • Frequent exposure to emotion-charged situations, including discussions regarding euthanasia.
  • Exposures to potential hazards include cleaning chemicals and disinfectants, needles, animal bites and scratches, zoonotic diseases (diseases that can be transmitted from vertebrate animals to people), animal hair, dander and wastes, pharmaceutical and biological agents, wet floors, potential electrical hazards. 
  • By nature of the industry, there may be occasional exposure to dead, injured, sick, unruly, vicious, and/or dangerous animals in addition to exposure to parasites and infectious diseases.
  • Must be available and willing to work weekends, holidays, overtime, and attend mandatory training and meetings as the employer determines are necessary or desirable to meet its business needs.

Equipment Used:  Personal computer and printer, multi-lined phone, pager, specimen collection equipment, microchip scanner, leashes, collars, harnesses, head-halters, muzzles, animal handling gloves, office supplies, fax machine, copier and calculator.         


Chemical Interaction: A wide variety of cleaners, disinfectants, detergents and medical products are used on a daily basis.  Each position at the SH will likely encounter these chemicals during the routine performance of their duties.  Specific instructions will be provided by a SH staff member for the safe and proper use of these chemicals.  If there are any questions regarding this information, copies of our chemical MSDS sheets are available for review.  If asked to use a product that is unfamiliar, contact your supervisor for proper instructions.

Work Hours:  40 hours per week scheduled, to be determined by BPM.  Schedule may vary depending on coverage, but will include at least one weekend day.