City of Fort Wayne

Animal Care Specialist

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Triage incoming animals into the shelter paying special attention to medical and behavioral issues. Assess and treat various medical conditions and provide necessary vaccinations. Alert supervisors immediately if an animal is displaying signs...
Job Code: 2022085
Posted On: Friday, 14th January 2022
Category: Regular Full Time
Department: Animal Care and Control
Shift: 7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. or 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. depending on shift, includes weekends
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
200 E. Berry Street
Pay Rate: $20.5263 per hour

Job Description:


Triage incoming animals into the shelter paying special attention to medical and behavioral issues. Assess and treat various medical conditions and provide necessary vaccinations.   Alert supervisors immediately if an animal is displaying signs of advanced animal cruelty so that appropriate investigations can occur. Handle various types and breeds of animals with varying degrees of socialization. Evaluate and interpret animal signals and behaviors to ensure safety of animals, employees, and the public. Ensure humane animal handling with daily interactions, medical procedures and euthanasia. Evaluate animals for adoptions, rescue, or foster according to National Standards to ensure safe placement of animals into the community.   Investigate and determine the animals that will be euthanized and administer the appropriate dosage for the animal’s weight and condition. Perform accurate and thorough data entry of the animals’ intake, medical treatment, and behavior. Adhere to stringent daily cleaning to reduce the transmission of diseases throughout the shelter. Inventory all approved medications. Report to the Animal Care Supervisor.  The incumbent is expected to exercise good judgment, independence, initiative, and professional expertise in conducting day-to-day operations. All work duties and activities must be performed in accordance with the City safety rules and operating regulations, policies and procedures as well as federal, state, and local regulations. 

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the ability to interact with the public, City incumbents, and outside agencies with patience, tact, respect, and professionalism and the following. Other duties may be assigned.


  • Triages all incoming animals to determine appropriate placement in the shelter, medical needs and behavior of animal to ensure safe staff interactions and overall mental wellbeing of the animal;
  • Performs required training and certification on euthanasia in order to properly determine which animals are to be selected for euthanasia; Ensures all required euthanasia safety measures have been adhered to before administering euthanasia solution; Calculates the dosage and determine the appropriate route of euthanasia solution for each individual animal; Administers euthanasia solution in an accurate and humane manner in accordance with National Shelter Standards of Euthanasia; Assist supervisor and other technicians in the humane restraint and care of animals when not administering euthanasia;
  • Selects and determines animals that are eligible for temperament assessments for adoptions, rescue and transfers; Conducts nationally recognized behavior assessments to ensure safe behavioral and medical placements of animals into adoptions, rescue, and transfers; Determines which animals are not safe placements into the community and need to be euthanized;


  • Notifies supervisors of animals whose medical condition is severe enough that it is showing numerous signs that the animal might be a victim of animal abuse, cruelty, or neglect;
  • Educates the public about general animal care and training, reclaiming lost animals, resources to help find lost animals, departmental policies and animal control ordinances;
  • Performs duties as an adoption counselor, taking applications, answering questions from the public and making assessments in applicant’s qualifications for adoption;
  • Maintains professional demeanor and appearance at all times; Communicates effectively both orally and in writing.



  • Processes animals into the shelter which includes but is not limited to: documenting the animals breed, age, sex, color, etc. along with the contact information for the owner / finder in a confidential agency database; photographs of all incoming animals; ensures that the unique shelter identification follows the animal and is placed on their kennel; locates and traces microchips and any other form of ID on the animal; attempts to contact owner to reunite the animal with its owner; ensures all animals have the proper food, water, bedding, and toys appropriate for the breed, weight and special conditions of each individual animal;
  • Implants microchips in each animal upon redemption and for other animals as requested by the public; Implants microchips for all biting animals or animals covered under specialized permits as required by City Ordinance; Assists with the microchip of adoption, rescue, and transfer animals, as needed and requested;
  • Provides daily behavioral enrichment for all animals in an effort to maintain or improve overall animal health of animals;
  • Logs and inventories all medications handled in the shelter; Maintains the standards required by the federal government when handling controlled substances;
  • Administers subcutaneous vaccines upon intake to animals being assessed for rescue, transfer or adoptions; Documents all medications and vaccines in the shelter database, outlining dosage, frequency and timing;
  • Uses confidential agency database efficiently to enter and redeem animals, administer medications / vaccines / treatment; process animals as needed for health, adoption, and euthanasia; enters and reads memos to determine legal holding periods and information; Provides backup to office staff during heavy times of admission and redemption as directed when work load allows; Maintains confidentiality of information acquired from databases along with sensitive information on current animal cases;
  • Performs duties of Maintenance, Animal Control Officer and/or Clerk Dispatcher as needed or required;
  • Prepares rabies suspect specimens for shipment to the Board of Health and under strict time constraint;
  • Maintains supplies used by the shelter, unloads and loads supplies as necessary;


  • Assesses animal behavior to ensure appropriate and safe handling during daily interactions with animals; Documents behavior and/or specific handling procedures on the kennel card to ensure the safety of the animal and employee throughout the animals stay at the shelter;
  • Handles dangerous and aggressive animals in a humane manner in accordance with National Standards and agency best practices;
  • Escorts all animals dropped off by the public through the lobby or through the depository and must possess the ability to recognize animal body language and react accordingly to ensure employee, animal and visitor safety;
  • Monitors and assesses the behavioral and medical health of all animals on a daily basis; Begins treatment for medical conditions within their scope of training and authority; Informs the supervisor of changes in behavior or medical condition outside the scope of authority; Reads and interprets various animal samples;
  • Performs required and strict disinfecting protocols shelter-wide on a daily basis to reduce spread of zoonotic and contagious diseases. Performs extensive disinfecting upon the threat or confirmation of a disease causing shelter wide outbreak being brought into the shelter;


  • Assists other shelter staff in giving tours of the shelter;
  • Performs various duties related to the disposal of carcasses;
  • Assists other divisions as needed;
  • Contacts supervisor as questions on procedures arise;
  • Reads and follows instructions, and performs simple math as necessary for inventory control;
  • Performs any and all other duties as assigned/required.


The incumbent is responsible to manage their performance in accordance with this job description and the performance expectations provided to them by management. If at any time the incumbent is unsure of their role or specific responsibilities, it is the incumbent’s responsibility to refer to their job description and ask for clarification from their supervisor. Management will work with the incumbent, as needed, to ensure performance expectations are clearly communicated and performance goals are achieved.



This position has no supervisory responsibilities.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


  • Associate's degree (A. A.) or equivalent from two-year college or technical school; or one year related full time employment experience and/or training in animal handling such as veterinarian assistant, veterinarian technician, kennel staff, or animal groomer.
  • Attend and certified as a Euthanasia Technician within one year of employment.
  • Certified as a temperament evaluator.
  • Obtain and maintain current tetanus vaccinations within 1 year of employment.
  • Obtain and maintain current rabies vaccinations within 1 year of employment.



  • Knowledge of calculating drug dosage and administering medications and vaccinations.
  • Knowledge of domestic animal behavior.
  • Knowledge of animal care such as feeding, cleaning, disinfecting.
  • Ability to pass post-offer screening for this position.
  • Ability to attend, complete, and pass all sections of the required on-site New Employee Staff Wide Training Program.
  • Ability to attend, complete and pass all required training.


Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals. Ability to write routine reports and correspondence. Ability to speak effectively before groups of customers or employees of organization. Ability to write reports and correspondence. Incumbent has frequent contact with staff members and the public. These contacts involve handling questions and complaints requiring tact and judgment to provide service and carry out policy.


Ability to add, subtracts, multiply, and divides in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals. Ability to compute rate, ratio, and percent and to draw and interpret bar graphs.


Ability to apply common sense understanding to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral, or diagram form. Ability to deal with problems involving several concrete variables in standardized situations. The individual follows standard procedures and regulations when performing the duties of the position. Incumbent has the opportunity to make choices when carrying out routine assignments and some analysis and judgment is required when assisting the public.   Work may be reviewed for quality and completeness at critical phases and upon completion.


Valid Indiana Driver's License if City vehicle is used.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand; walk; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee frequently is required to climb or balance and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to sit. The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job employee is regularly exposed to poor working conditions with frequent exposure to animal related hazards including bites and scratches and is required to lift and carry heavy animals and feed bags which may cause prolonged strain. High stress may occur due to attachments made in caring for shelter animals with the knowledge of the possible euthanasia of these animals in accordance with departmental policies. Other stress may include counseling bereaved pet owners and dealing with emotionally charged situations with the public. The duties of the position involve frequent bending, lifting and other activities requiring physical strength and stamina. Works under adverse conditions including extremes of temperature, humidity, precipitation and fumes. The noise level in the work environment is usually loud.

Apply Online

All applications for currently posted positions will be submitted on line at Applicants must be 18 years of age or older. Reasonable accommodations for persons with a known disabling condition will be considered in accordance with State and Federal Law.

(Those individuals who accept employment with the City and live outside one of the six contiguous Indiana counties that border Allen County (DeKalb, Whitley, Noble, Huntington, Wells, and Adams) will have six (6) months from their start date to become residents of either Allen County or one of the six counties listed above. Policy and Procedure Number 204 Page: 1 of 1).

Equal Opportunity Employer

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regards to age, race, color, religion, sex, disability, veteran's status, national origin, or sexual orientation. Reasonable accommodations for persons with a known disabling condition will be considered in accordance with State and Federal Law.

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