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Canine Behavior Program Manager

Posted by
Animal Care Centers of NYC | New York, NY

Animal Care Centers of NYC

Published 22 days ago


This Manager position oversees the full canine behavior and enrichment program across the Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) organization, as well as the Canine Behavior & Outreach Training program. This all has a goal of meeting the behavioral needs of the full canine population at ACC, facilitating adoption matches, and providing support for adopters, New Hope partners, and other pet owners within the community. Oversight of these departments requires a thorough knowledge and understanding of ACC, the workings of all departments, and the organization as a whole. This position focuses on providing support to the managers and supervisors running daily operations in the care centers, floating amongst three care centers and the administrative headquarters, representing the Behavior program at leadership meetings, and ensuring that all dogs are provided with the highest quality of care and best possible environment while in the care centers. This person must consistently demonstrate the highest degree of professionalism and be able to represent ACC effectively while maintaining confidentiality as required.

This position directly supervises four (4) staff members across multiple locations: two Behavior & Enrichment Supervisors and two Canine Behavior & Outreach Trainers. You are responsible for professional development for these four direct-reports as well as support for approximately 12 indirect-reports. You will be heavily involved in program development, administrative responsibilities, and department structure evaluation. You keep the Behavior and Animal Care programs united in vision, goals, and initiatives. You work to constantly upgrade the quality and integrity of behavior assessments, expand the types of enrichment provided, and develop a behavior modification program for shelter dogs. You also work with Care Center Managers and the Director of Animal Welfare to continue expanding and improving the Behavior program overall, as well as lend support to other departments (via guidance, training, monitoring, and reinforcing) in the pursuit of a Fear Free shelter environment.

Our ideal candidate has experience working in an animal shelter setting and a strong background in companion animal behavior. You must be comfortable handling shelter dogs and advising clients on dealing with problem behaviors. You are excited to take on the unique challenges and rewards of working with a large team of dedicated shelter staff and volunteers. You also enjoy sharing your skill and knowledge with others in order to improve quality of care in the shelter, decrease stress, and continually expand the scope of our programs. You are self-motivated and able to work independently. Overall, you are passionate about animal welfare and about the people who make quality care possible, and you are eager to be at the helm of a progressive and expansive program.


Supervision and staff management (40%)

  • Directly supervise staff. This includes, but is not limited to, setting their work schedule; providing training, resources and support; establishing goals and objectives; and providing frequent feedback regarding their work performance.
  • Develop and foster supportive working relationships amongst and between ACC staff of different departments, including resolution of conflict.
  • Provide professional development for staff.
  • Ensure a safe and supportive working environment.
  • Regular check-ins with direct reports in which they provide feedback on their own roles and their relationships with their direct-reports, and receive feedback on their development and progress within the department.
  • Regular check-ins with the Director of Animal Welfare to provide updates on the programs.
  • Set the standard for professionalism, attitude, punctuality, and responsiveness by modeling desired behavior.
  • Facilitate communication at all levels.
  • Support Behavior and Animal Care program leaders in the shelters.
  • Participate in staff hiring, evaluations, and disciplinary actions in cooperation with department supervisors.

Program development (40%)

  • Address programmatical challenges and areas in need of improvement.
  • Innovate new approaches to problem areas.
  • Monitor behavior determinations, practices, policies, and procedures to ensure gold-standard care and progressive approaches to welfare.
  • Provide and facilitate one-on-one, interdepartmental, internal, and external training's.
  • Keep up-to-date on scientific studies and industry reports.
  • Hold regular program meetings to ensure the strategic plan is being realized.
  • Implement and monitor Fear Free standards in the Care Centers.
  • Monitor behavior changes, add notes to Shelter Buddy records, and adjust overall behavior determinations as appropriate (or designate as needed).
  • Plan and oversee progress of the Canine Behavior & Outreach Training program.
  • Develop new protocols and procedures to further improve the enrichment program.

Administrative (20%)

  • Complete weekly time cards for direct-reports.
  • Approve time off and organize coverage.
  • Track and provide monthly metrics to measure the effect of each program.
  • Respond in a timely manner to emails and requests.
  • Create and approve orders.


Strong management experience. Ability to work flexible hours and days, including nights and weekends, as needed. Ability to interact with animals in a calm and non-threatening manner. Demonstrated leadership and team-building qualities. Excellent verbal and written communication skills, interpersonal and interview skills. Working knowledge of Excel, PowerPoint and Microsoft applications, plus ability to learn new computer programs. Ability to plan and operate within a budget. Must be able to lift and move up to 25 pounds. 

Education and Work Experience

Academic and practical knowledge in the area of animal behavior is required. At least five years’ experience working in animal welfare and at least two years of supervisory- and/or management-level responsibility; a degree in animal behavior is preferred, along with experience in behavior evaluations and in program development and/or project management.

Work Environment

This position will float amongst the three Care Centers and Headquarters, as needed. The ability to adapt to changes in the work environment is necessary, including to manage competing demands and handle frequent change, delays or unexpected events. While performing the duties of the job, the employee is frequently exposed to odors or airborne particles including animal fur and toxic chemicals. The noise level in the work environment may be very loud. Traveling between facilities is required. 

Report To: Director, Animal Welfare

Overtime: This position is exempt from overtime.


This Manager position oversees the full canine behavior and enrichment program across the Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) organization, as well as the Canine Behavior & Outreach Training program. This all has a goal of meeting…

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location
  • Full Time Schedule
  • Other Education Requirement
  • Managerial


New York, NY

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