Purpose: The Animal Caretaker role supports a Zone Lead (or may be a Zone Lead) by providing all aspects of daily care and husbandry as scheduled to ensure health, happiness and safety. Responsibilities include performing routine husbandry and environmental maintenance inside habitats; feeding prescribed diets; performing assigned and approved animal enrichment activities and trainings; daily animal observation to report any abnormalities; and respond to emergency situations. Will also participate in habitat construction or repairs.
• Clearly understand and follow all TWS safety protocols and procedures - always
• Secure buildings, grounds and enclosures to ensure safety of all residents and people.
• Provide all aspects of daily care for the animals in assigned areas meeting and exceeding TWS standards
• Clean and maintain habitats, buildings and lockouts consistent with TWS standards
• Know animal species, names, history, health concerns, likes and dislikes, etc.
• Observe animals for any signs of illness, lethargy, injury, or dietary problems. Document and report any problems using existing “Observations” database
• Pro-actively observe and document subtle issues such as not shifting, not using the indoors, change in behavior, that may contribute to a large problem and report to Zone Lead and Operations Director.
• Each, and every day, problem solve and make recommendations to better their lives and customize care or our residents (shoveling paths, giving geriatric straw.)
• Ensure animals receive medications and prescribed treatments
• Inspect animal areas for security and safety of animals, staff and the public and work with facilities to repair
• Perform routine inspection and maintenance of buildings, enclosures, grounds, and equipment and report and structural or mechanical problems.
• Communicate pertinent information to team members, superiors and Executive Director
• Ensure seamless animal care and husbandry during shift changes
• Assist with supervision and training of other Caretakers, interns, and Volunteers in a positive manner
• Assist with introductions and movements as approved by the Executive Director
• Assist with sedation and transfer animals to hospital on vet days as approved by the Clinic Coordinator or Executive Director
• Lead in zones when scheduled and as assigned by zone lead, when they are off
• Maintain daily observations, daily animal care log, and other records as needed in the assigned area
• Actively participate in the animal training (operant conditioning) and enrichment programs to benefit the animals
• Perform basic restraint, crating/uncrating and transport of animals as required
• Participate in the animal escape and recovery plan, following TWS emergency procedures and protocols
• Must be available to work overnight shift 1-2 nights per week
• Must be willing and able to work a rotating schedule with flexible hours including overnights, evenings, weekends, holidays and emergencies.
• Proactively ensuring all USDA and GFAS guidelines and requirements are not only continually met, but clearly surpassed.
• Ability to assist in habitat construction projects and create/provide enrichment as needed and under the direction of the Zone Lead or Animal Care Manager.
• Identify, perform or assist minor repairs to fencing, habitats and animal buildings.
• Work with facilities to coordinate repair of major damage or routine maintenance work.
• Must be able to climb ladders/stairs, lift crates/animals and/or equipment weighing 70lbs
• Operate mowers, handle fire hose for cleaning, operate weed eaters, chain saws and loaded wheelbarrows.
• Operate UTV’s, tractors, pickup truck, and other equipment.
• Must be agile and flexible to maneuver in and around animals within enclosures and holding areas.
• Supervise, engage and/or monitor the public, donors, Board Members, and volunteers in a positive manner ensuring the safety of all individuals on property and animals.
• Participate in special events, marketing, and other promotional activities as assigned. In Sandstone and on-line.
• Must have previous animal experience (sanctuary, rehabilitation, domestic animal shelters, other internships.)
• Degrees in the fields of zoology, biology, animal psychology, veterinary sciences or other animal-related will be considered but not required.
• Ability to make a commitment to the animals by focusing on individualized care and continually going above and beyond when it comes to medical care, diet, habitats, enrichment, etc.
• General knowledge of Zoonotic Disease and Sanctuary SOP’s
• Trained in chemical immobilization and firearms within 6 months of start date.
• Ability to work in extreme weather conditions from 100-degree days to freezing temperatures.
• Must have tetanus vaccine.
• Ability to work safely, recognize safety hazards, and apply proper safety precautions
• Adhere to Sanctuary policies, procedures, and protocols.
• Foster an open and inclusive work environment by modeling TWS behaviors and values, consistent with the vision, mission and strategic anchors of the organization.
• Professional respect, empathy and kindness toward coworkers, managers, and subordinates, as well as donors and volunteers.
• Friendly and outgoing personality with a willingness to guide, teach and learn from others, including interns and volunteers.
• Understanding that this is a non-traditional, full-time position requiring a flexible, non-traditional schedule and commitment.
• Ability and desire to work in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment and embrace flexibility.
• Must be able to handle the physical and emotional aspect of work in a sanctuary and have high level of resiliency.
• Critical thinker who can offer recommendations and creative solutions.
• Willingness to do what is needed in the moment to benefit the animals and organization. (Regardless if this falls under job description)
• Must be results-oriented, self-reflective and take responsibility for actions.
• Attention to detail as it pertains to animal wellness and safety. Always going above and beyond for the animals.
• Possession of a valid driver license. Reliable transportation to our rural location in all four seasons is required.
• Willingness to accommodate TWS dogs and domestic cats in the work place.