Animal Care Technician

The Animal Care Technician plays an essential role within the Animal Welfare League of Arlington and works one-on-one with animals. The Animal Care Technician performs routine animal care, facility cleaning, customer service, updating and maintaining animal records, administering injections/medications, sterilizing equipment and performing euthanasia when necessary. This position is based in Arlington, Virginia.

Reporting Relationships

This position reports to the Manager of Animal Care and works directly within the Animal Care Team, which consists of 8-11 additional Animal Care Technicians. The Animal Care Technician will also work closely with all AWLA staff members, volunteers and the general public on a regular basis.


• Provide appropriate quantity and quality of food and water to shelter animals daily; provide overall animal care including bathing and basic grooming
• Monitor animals and immediately report eating habits, health, behavior, or temperament issues to behavior staff and/or manager and director as appropriate
• Participate in stress and disease reduction efforts through purposeful and compassionate handling and placement of animals in shelter environment
• Give physical exams to incoming animals: check ears, check for fleas and ticks, and administer medications as necessary
• Work with area veterinarians to discuss animal health and treatments; medicate animals as recommended by veterinarian.
• Administer first aid to any injured animal as appropriate
• Update and maintain accurate animal records in the shelter computer database
• Perform euthanasia as necessary and dispose of remains

• Follow established disease control protocols to clean, disinfect, and maintain shelter kennels, cages, and all animal and general areas as assigned and instructed
• Operate laundry, cleaning, dishwashing and other equipment
• Restock cleaning, feeding and other supply areas as needed and inform appropriate team leaders when reordering is necessary
• Maintain equipment in good working condition and report need for repair or replacement of equipment to manager or director as appropriate
• Assist in cleaning and maintenance of the entire facility and grounds, including but not limited to picking up and removing trash, mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, pulling weeds, moping floors, cleaning kitchens and other common areas

• Cultivate positive customer relations through professional, courteous, and educational interactions while actively promoting our mission, services, programs, and events
• Provide prompt, courteous and excellent customer service to all internal and external customers at all times, including but not limited to adopters, staff, volunteers, board members, city and county officials, animal control officers, veterinarians, representatives of rescue organizations, people looking for lost pets or relinquishing owned pets, and the general public
• Assist customers with the pet adoption process by facilitating customer/animal interactions to ensure a safe and pleasant experience, accurately answering questions, and providing guidance
• Practice and encourage the humane treatment of animals
• Work cooperatively with all volunteers, recognizing the talent and commitment they bring to the organization
• Work collaboratively within the Animal Care Team
• Support the AWLA Compassionate Culture guidelines at all times
• Demonstrate knowledge of and adherence to AWLA policies and procedures
• Ensure a safe work environment, follow safety guidelines, and model safe work practices
• Take immediate action to address any safety concerns that could put a staff member, volunteer, customer, shelter animal or the organization at risk
• Practice and encourage the humane treatment of animals
• Follow direction of managers, directors and CEO
• Perform other duties as assigned

Required Qualifications

• General knowledge of animal behavior and care
• High School Diploma
• Ability and skill to successfully work with various types of animals in a safe, responsible manner
• Commitment to positive reinforcement handling and training methods
• Ability to set priorities, develop routines and manage large workloads
• Readiness to assume multiple duties and tasks
• Ability to work independently as well as with others in a wide variety of circumstances and with a diverse group of individuals
• Ability to maintain calm and composed in stressful ,sensitive or emergency situations
• Excellent customer service, listening, and decision making skills
• Strong communications skills and an ability to communicate in a polite and professional manner
• Availability to work weekends, evenings, holidays and overtime if needed
• Ability to learn to use and enter information into the shelter computer database

Desired Qualifications (helpful but not required)

• Experience in the fields of animal care or animal welfare
• Experience with “hands on” nonprofits
• Experience working with PetPoint
Personal Characteristics
• Commitment to the mission and vision of the Animal Welfare League of Arlington
• Energetic, hard-working, and a team player
• Ability to work in a fast paced, ever evolving atmosphere
• Discretion with confidential and sensitive information

Travel Requirements


Typical Physical & Mental Demands

Requires frequent bending, reaching, stooping, kneeling, walking/standing, eye-hand coordination and manual dexterity sufficient to operate a keyboard, telephone, photocopier, calculator and other equipment or machinery. Will have exposure to injured and deceased animals, disinfectant solutions, and various weather conditions. May assist in animal restraint and deal with distressed animals, and could be subject to bites and scratches. May be required to lift heavy items or animals and be physically active. Requires normal range of hearing and eyesight to communicate with the public, volunteers, staff, and animals. Also requires flexibility and adaptability to work with frequent interruptions.
Must be comfortable around dogs, cats, and small companion animals.
Will be required to receive rabies prophylaxis vaccine, hepatitis-B, and tetanus vaccinations.
Must have the ability to pass and become certified to perform euthanasia according to Virginia law.


Full Time
The full time role is a nonexempt, 40 hour per week position with medical, vacation, paid holidays and sick time. Salary is within the SAWA median range for this position.
Part Time
The part-time role is a nonexempt, 20 hour per week position working Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday 7:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. as well as some holidays. Opportunities to work additional days may be offered after the introductory period to cover for staff out on vacation. This position accrues vacation and sick time on a prorated basis and comes with the ability to purchase medical and dental benefits at 50% of the individual premium after a 180 day waiting period. Salary is within the SAWA median range for this position.

To Apply

Please submit the following application materials to Claudia West at with Animal Care Technician in the subject line:
• A cover letter describing your interest in the position and relevant experience/qualifications
• Resume including references
• Must indicate interest in either full time position or part time position
• Please include salary history for the past three roles
Animal Welfare League of Arlington is an Equal Opportunity Employer, with a commitment to diversity in the workplace.
Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Position will remain posted until filled. No phone inquiries, please.