City of Fort Wayne

Adoption Assistant

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Job Code: 2024143
Posted On: Tuesday, 27th February 2024
Category: Regular Part Time
Department: Animal Care and Control
Shift: 28 hours/week, variable
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
200 E. Berry Street
Pay Rate: $18.4130 per hour

Job Description:


Working under the direction of the Animal Care/Adoption Supervisor, incumbent performs routine manual tasks that are essential to maintain the standards and functioning of the Adoption Center. Incumbent also handles various types and breeds of animals with varying degrees of socialization including aggressive and fearful animals while performing tasks related to the care, cleaning, and feeding of the animals.  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.                                                                                                                                         Operations          

  • Performs required and strict disinfecting protocols 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.
  • Ensures all animals have the proper food, water, bedding, and toys appropriate for the breed, weight and special conditions of each individual animal and provides enrichment daily for the animals.
  • Monitor and assess the behavioral and medical health of all animals daily. Begin treatment for medical conditions within their scope of training and authority. Inform the supervisor of changes in behavior or medical condition outside the scope of authority
  • Ability to restrain and handle a variety of species of animals with current standard of humane handling techniques.
  • Ability to Assess animal behavior to ensure appropriate and safe handling during daily interactions with animals. Document data on behavior and/or specific handling procedures to ensure the safety of the animal and employee throughout the animals stay at the shelter.
  • Use confidential agency database efficiently to process animals for adoption; outcome animals, create receipts and process payment methods. Process the adoption contracts, create receipt and handle payment methods.
  • Reviews potential adopter’s animal history, background, and living situation to determine eligibility to adopt. Deny adopters with history of violent offenses or history of animal cruelty.
  • Maintains supplies used by adoption center, loads and unloads supplies as necessary
  • Becomes Fear Free certified, passes 70% or higher within 30 days of employment
  • Assists other divisions as needed;

Communication & Information

  • Ability to learn and understand general aspects of animal behavior in order to properly evaluate animals in the adoption program
  • Notifies supervisors of animals whose behavior stability is declining and requires intervention.
  • Performs duties as an adoption counselor to interpret and understand the desires and limitations of the adopters, taking into account many variables including but not limited to the home environment, adopter expectations, and previous animal experience.
  • Counsels adopters on behavioral and medical needs of adoption animals. Explaining basic animal behavior theories in training and management.
  • Educates adopters on behavioral resources, husbandry and trouble shoots basic behavior problems.
  • Maintains professional demeanor and appearance at all times. Communicates effectively both orally and in writing. Provides excellent customer service to all customers while maintaining integrity and accuracy of the adoption process. Navigate difficult conversations while advocating for the animals.
  • Maintain confidentiality of information acquired from databases along with sensitive information on current animal and customers.
  • Use confidential agency database efficiently to process animals for adoption; outcome animals, create receipts and process payment methods.
  • Answers phones calls and voicemails, returning calls within a timely manner.
  • Supports and performs adoption volunteer positions when volunteers are not present.
  • Contacts supervisor as questions on procedures arise.


  • Performs any and all other duties as required.


Adoption Assistant I

  • Ability to prioritize and complete tasks and duties related to the daily needs of the adoption center and shelter;
  • Ability to assist in restraint or movement of animals throughout in the shelter;
  • Educate the public about general animal care, basic behavior, and training methods;
  • Provide basic behavioral support for transitioning animals into the home.

Adoption Assistant II

Possesses all qualifications of Adoption Assistant I and advanced knowledge of Adoption Center operations and is proficient in:

  • Navigate conflict with customers while problem solving for the best possible solution;
  • Ability to be a handle and restrain fearful animals;
  • Perform behavior evaluation for all eligible dogs. Conduct nationally recognized behavior assessments to ensure safe behavioral and medical placements of animals into adoptions, rescue, and transfers. Maintains all records;
  • Facilitates dog play group by making appropriate matches based on dog playstyles. Evaluate dogs tolerance levels with other dogs. Effectively separate dogs when in conflicts arise using tools and trained methods;
  • Interact adoption dogs with owned dogs to assess compatibility for adoption;
  • Handles fearful/aroused/aggressive animals in a humane manner in accordance with National Standards and agency best practices;
  • Ability to pass required behavior training at 70% or higher.


Adoption Assistant III

  • Possesses all qualifications of Adoption Assistant II and advanced knowledge of Adoption Center operations and is proficient in;
  • Facilitating the flow of the adoption department and requests assistance from others when needed to ensure customers are helped in a timely manner when adoption center is at 70% capacity or higher;
  • Assists with the training of other staff and volunteers in the Adoption Department;
  • Is required to maintain the full business functioning of the adoption office in the absence of the adoption supervisor;
  • Gather information and accurately provide guidance for basic training challenges (potty training, acclimation period etc) in the home;
  • Follow up with difficult to place adopted animals at regular intervals, collect and maintain data in shelter database;
  • Discuss and disclose previous animal bites in detail to adopters. Discussing details at length.


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.


  • High school diploma or general education degree (GED);
  • Obtain and maintain current tetanus vaccinations within 1 year of employment.
  • One-year experience in an animal shelter (preferred) or an animal related profession;



  • Knowledge of domestic animal behavior including general breed specific behavior.
  • Knowledge of common medications and vaccinations
  • 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 required training.
  • Ability to attend, complete, and pass all sections of required training either performed on or off-site.
  • Ability to read and follow instructions, perform basic computer tasks, and perform simple math;
  • Ability to maintain a high standard of customer service and apply skills of conflict resolution when necessary;
  • Ability to maintain a good public image and assist the public with inquiries, counseling and making decisions as necessary regarding placement of animals in homes.


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. The incumbent must be courteous, attentive and precise when answering the telephone, dispatching information to citizens, businesses, or City personnel. These contacts involve handling questions and complaints requiring tact and judgment to provide service and carry out policy.


  • Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals.


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 Driver's License if a 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 talk and hear. The employee frequently is required to stand; sit; and use hands to finger, handle, or feel. The employee is frequently required to walk; reach with hands and arms; stoop, kneel, crouch, twist, bend, climb, or crawl; and taste or smell. The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, color 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 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.