City of Fort Wayne

Animal Care Specialist

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Job Code: 2024160
Posted On: Tuesday, 26th March 2024
Category: Regular Full Time
Department: Animal Care and Control
Shift: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., 6:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
200 E. Berry Street
Pay Rate: $20.2545 - $26.3310 per hour

Job Description:


Working under the direction of the Operations Manager incumbent handle various types and breeds of animals with varying degrees of socialization including aggressive and dangerous 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 City and department 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.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ability to restrain and handle a variety of species of animals with current standard of humane handling techniques including aggressive and dangerous animals.
  • 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.
  • 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 and standards have been met before administering euthanasia solution; in accordance with National Shelter Standards of Euthanasia; Assist supervisors and other technicians in the humane restraint and care of animals when not administering euthanasia;
  • 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.
  • Administers species specific vaccines and medications with the ability to comprehend dosages, calculations, and routes of medications.
  • 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 microchipping of adoption, rescue, and transfer animals, as needed and requested;
  • Becomes Fear Free certified, passes 70% or higher within 30 days of employment.
  • Maintains supplies used by the shelter, unloads and loads supplies as necessary.
  • Prepares rabies suspect specimens for shipment to the Board of Health and under strict time constraint
  • Performs various duties related to the disposal of animal carcasses;

Communication & Information

  • Ability to accurately describe and document animal body language based on species.
  • Notifies supervisors of animals whose medical condition is severe enough that it is showing numerous signs the animal might be a victim of animal abuse, cruelty, or neglect.
  • Maintains confidentiality of information acquired from databases along with sensitive information on current animal cases.
  • Uses confidential agency database to document medications / vaccines / treatment and processes animals as needed for different pathways and outcomes in shelter database.
  • Educates the public about general animal care and training, reclaiming lost animals, resources to help find lost animals, departmental policies and animal control ordinances;
  • Contacts supervisor as questions on procedures arise
  • Assists other divisions as needed;

Processing & Analysis

  • 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;
  • 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 and in shelter software to ensure the safety of the animal and employee throughout the animals stay at the shelter;
  • Reads and follows instructions, and performs simple math as necessary for inventory control;



  • Performs any and all other duties as required.


     Animal Care Specialist I – Possess a strong operation knowledge of the Animal Care Division operations and is proficient in completing tasks and duties related to the division when the shelter is at 70% capacity.   Ability to prioritize tasks and duties related to the daily needs of the shelter.   Ability to assist in restraint with aggressive, fearful, and dangerous animals for a variety of procedures including medical exams, euthanasia, or movement of animal in the shelter.   Ability to pass any specified shelter training or behavior training at 70%.

     Animal Care Specialist II—Possesses all the qualifications of the Animal Care Specialist I position and advanced knowledge of the animal care operations.   Completed and passed national humane euthanasia course including in house euthanasia training at 90% pass rate.   Ability to be a primary restraint person and handler for fearful, aggressive, and dangerous animals. Ability to understanding body language of the animal and ability to change restraint approach and technique based on safety.  

   Animal Care Specialist III – Possession all the qualifications of Animal Care Specialist II and is able and proficient in assisting the Lead Animal Care Specialist with training new staff in shelter operations.   Ability to medically assess animals who require medical intervention or qualify for the category of death by city ordinance.


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.
  • 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 required training.
  • Ability to attend, complete, and pass all sections of the required on-site New Employee Staff Wide Training Program.


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. The incumbent must be courteous, attentive and precise when answering the telephone, dispatching information to citizens, businesses, or City personnel.


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 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 is regularly required to stand; walk; climb or balance; and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. 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.