Job Specifications


Class Code:




Date Originated:


Date Revised:

  5/08, 6/13



Under supervision of the Animal Services Coordinator or Supervising Animal Services Shelter Manager, feeds, exercises, grooms, and cares for animals at the animal shelter; is responsible for all the necessary work in the maintenance and upkeep of the animal shelter buildings, equipment and grounds; assists office and field staff by retrieving animals from vehicles, the public and other staff; assists in assessing animals for adoptability; assists with adoptions and reclaiming impounded animals to the public; directs the services of trustees or volunteers; assists in the treatment of injured or sick animals; administers medications, immunizations and vaccinations as directed; assists in performing euthanasia of unwanted or unadoptable animals as required, after obtaining euthanasia certification; performs other tasks as required.


This is an entry-level classification in the care of animals at the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter, and is responsible for the full range of animal care duties. It is distinguished from the Animal Health Technician in that it is much less involved in the more complex aspects of medical care and treatment of shelter animals (such as assisting the veterinarian with surgery, overseeing daily medications dispensing and conducting behavioral assessments). This position may assist with assessment of animals for adoptability, but is not responsible for final decisions about whether an animal should be classified for euthanasia or for developing protocols for health care programs within the shelter facility. This class is further distinguished from the Animal Health Technician in that once euthanasia certification is completed, the latter is fully responsible for euthanizing animals, while the former is responsible for assisting to euthanize animals.


Prepares food and feeds dogs, cats, fowl and other animals impounded at the shelter; observes animals to detect indications of illness or disease; exercises, provides basic training and grooms animals; cleans, disinfects, and maintains kennels; sweeps and mops floors; empties waste baskets; washes windows; sweeps sidewalks and maintains grounds around the facilities; receives animals from Animal Control Officers and members of the public; separates for observation animals showing signs of injury or disease; inputs animal related data into a computer; supervises volunteers, work release or others engaged in animal care or maintenance activities; locates impounded animals for owners; assists Animal Health Technicians in the treatment of injured or sick animals, or assist in performing euthanasia of unclaimed animals as directed; measures, administers and records use of drugs used in treatment of sick or injured animals; administers medications and vaccinations as directed; keeps supervisor informed of supplies and inventory; transports animals, supplies and equipment as directed; handles animal carcasses; directs and supervises work-release inmates in proper kennel and cage cleaning methods, and grounds maintenance; assists in opening and closing the Authority’s shelter; maintains accurate records of animals and work performed; may assist veterinarian in performing medical tasks; may inject microchips into animals. On an occasional basis, may be assigned Animal Services Assistant duties.



Some Knowledge of:

  • The feeding and general care of domestic animals; habits and characteristics of domestic animals;
  • Industrial cleaning methods, procedures, materials and equipment common to an animal shelter;
  • Customer service relations; safe working practices; and a desire to work with animals.


Ability to:

  • Learn state laws and local ordinances related to the care, impounding, and disposal of animals;
  • Handle animals in a humane manner; care for, feed, and exercise animals according to shelter protocols;
  • Learn to vaccinate animals;
  • Move heavy, immobilized or resistant animals;
  • Transport animals, supplies or equipment;
  • Maintain inventories of shelter supplies;
  • Input animal related data into a computer;
  • Learn how to collect and record fees;
  • Operate a personal computer for entering animal related data;
  • Learn how to assist with assessing animals for adoptability;
  • Understand and follow oral and written instructions;
  • Establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with co-workers;
  • Communicate effectively with animal control, and other animal services staff, other agencies, and the public, at times under stressful conditions;
  • Learn how to recognize symptoms of animal-related diseases, in order to separate for observation animals showing any signs of rabies or other animal related diseases;
  • Keep kennels and cages clean of animal waste using prescribed materials; handle animal carcasses.

Education and Experience: Any combination of education and work experience that would provide an opportunity to acquire the knowledge and abilities listed is qualifying, unless otherwise specified. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:

Six months of volunteer or paid experience in the care and feeding of domestic animals and the equivalent of a high school diploma, satisfactory completion of GED, or successful completion of JTPA, CareerWorks, or other related job training or apprentice program.

Special Requirements, Conditions:

Training: Incumbent must attend and pass the Euthanasia by Injection certification course prior to the completion of the probationary period for this class.

License: Incumbent must possess and maintain a valid California Class C Driver License.

Hours: Availability to work a flexible schedule including weekends and/or holidays, and rotational stand-by duty as required.

Lifting: Incumbent must be able to lift, push/pull or carry up to 50 lbs unassisted.

Special Working Conditions:
Exposure to animals who may be hostile or dangerous, and exposure to animal feces and urine. Incumbents will be encouraged to undergo a pre-rabies vaccination.

Bargaining Unit: 41
Workers Comp Code:1073
EEOC Code: 08
Occ Unit: 91