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Job Alert: Director of Shelter Operations, Humane Society Ventura County 

11-19-2022 12:36 PM

Director of Shelter Operations

Job Description


This position is a unique opportunity to help lead a high-impact animal welfare organization in Ventura County in the expansion of our lifesaving vision for the animals. 

If you have a passion for saving lives and a track record of successful leadership, we invite you to apply for the role of Director of Shelter Operations (DSO) of the Humane Society of Ventura County (HSVC).


Position Description

The DSO provides the leadership, management, and vision necessary to ensure that the organization has the proper operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures, and people systems in place to effectively operate and grow. This person will also ensure financial strength and operating efficiency. The ideal candidate will accomplish this through a respectful, constructive, and energetic leadership and will be guided by the lifesaving mission and vision of HSVC.

The DSO is responsible for the day-to-day operations and decisions in all areas of shelter operations, including but not limited to shelter, clinic and field services operations, programs and services, animal care, customer service, safety, upkeep of facilities, and staff management.

This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without noticeand completing other duties as assigned is required.

The DSO is a crucial member of the leadership team at HSVC and reports to the Executive Director. 


Essential Job Functions

General Management:

  • Operations: Oversee the daily operations, programs, and services at HSVC. 
  • Culture: Cultivate a culture of excellence, efficiency, and effectiveness across the organization while creating and maintaining high standards of customer service. 
  • Record keeping: Ensure that appropriate records are accurately created, maintained, and reported during the daily operations of the shelter and clinic. 
  • Plans and goals: Assist the Executive Director with planning and budgeting. Analyze data and adjust processes and programs to achieve organizational goals. 
  • Implementation: Ensure that all established procedures and policies of the organization are appropriate, in keeping with current best practices, and reliably implemented.
  • Assess and adjust: Periodically review and assess policies, processes, and programs working within the organization to make changes required to meet the needs of the animals, staff, and community.
  • Walk-throughs: Perform daily walk-throughs of the shelter to guarantee proper sanitation, care, feeding, and disposition of the animals. This is to ensure that animals are moving through the system efficiently and are made available for adoption in a timely manner.
  • Legal compliance: Follow all local, state, and federal laws regarding to animal housing, care, admission, disposition, and employee work-related matters. Ensure compliance with HSVC contractual agreements.


Animal Care:

  • Animal care and flow: Evaluate, develop, implement, manage, and monitor animal care and flow processes at the shelter and clinic including, but not limited to, admissions, animal handling, sanitation, feeding, health care, adoptions, transfers, foster care, and euthanasia.
  • Standards of care: Ensure high standards of care for the animals under the care of HSVC’s shelter and clinic, including both physical and mental well-being.
  • Humane treatment: Promote a caring attitude toward all animals and treat animals humanely and with compassion at all times, regardless of circumstances including those who are sick, injured, feral, or aggressive.

Customer Service:

  • High-quality service: Cultivate staff performance and model outstanding customer service including efficient, courteous interactions with members of the public. 
  • Courtesy: Treat staff, volunteers, supporters, officials, and the public with dignity, respect, and courtesy. Foster a spirit of teamwork and perform duties in a manner that encourages community support and assists HSVC in achieving its goals.


  • Management: Schedule, assign, supervise, and provide clear expectations for managers and employees including performance management and review.
  • Training: Ensure ongoing training, guidance, and development of the management team and provide training for front-line staff, ensuring that all required training is current.
  • Safety: Work with HR to ensure that appropriate safety programs and training are in place to comply with appropriate safety standards including OSHA compliance.
  • Hiring: Interview, select, hire, train, and terminate management staff and other employees consistent with the organization’s mission, contracts, and California law. 

Community Engagement:

  • Engagement: Work with the Executive Director to cultivate and encourage community engagement efforts including working with volunteers, rescue groups, other shelters, government agencies, private businesses, grant funding entities, other nonprofits, and the veterinary community.
  • Promotion: Collaborate with the Executive Director and marketing team to ensure effective promotion for adoptions, spay/neuter, events as well as for individual animals and needed equipment/supplies. 
  • Participate in HSVC events as needed or required.


  • Safe facility: Maintain healthy, safe, sanitary, and pleasant facilities for the animals, the public, and the staff.
  • Preventive maintenance: Develop and implement a preventative maintenance program to ensure timely repair and/or replacement of shelter and clinic equipment.
  • Supplies and equipment: Create processes to ensure an appropriate inventory of supplies and pet food to ensure that staff members have adequate supplies and equipment to do their jobs.


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Management experience: Experience in a senior leadership or management position with transferable skills.
  • Sheltering experience: Experience in animal sheltering and familiarity with animal welfare issues is required. 
  • Sound judgment: Exhibits maturity, good judgment, and a professional personal appearance.
  • Staff management: Experience in hiring, developing, and managing staff. Successful track record of building and working as part of a team. 
  • Commitment to animal welfare: Affection for all animals, concern for their welfare and a willingness to accommodate animals in the workplace.
  • Strong interpersonal skills: Outgoing, personable, professional, and ability to communicate successfully and get along with a variety of people. Ability to remain pleasant and calm in high stress situations and ability to turn people down firmly, when necessary, without becoming aggressive or unpleasant.
  • Communication skills: Excellent written and oral communications skills.
  • Results-oriented: Able to set goals; plan and carry out projects. 
  • Decision-making: Strong decision-making and implementation skills.
  • Flexibility: Ability to manage multiple tasks and embrace change. 
  • Organization: Strong organizational skills. 
  • Technology-savvy: Comfortable and proficient with computer technology (proficiency with Windows, Word, and Excel), ease at working with databases, programming ability not required. Knowledge of Chameleon preferred.
  • Learning-agile: Willingness and ability to learn new things quickly. 
  • Solution-oriented: Strong problem-solving skills, ability to find unique solutions to generate success. 
  • Detail-oriented: High level of accuracy with data. Ability to follow through and meet deadlines.
  • Initiative: Self-directed, works well with minimal supervision and direction.


Minimum Qualifications

  • Education: College degree strongly preferred.
  • Location: Residence in or relocation to the Ventura County area.
  • Management experience: Minimum of 3 years of management experience, preferably with 20+ employees.
  • Sheltering experience: Minimum of 3 years of experience in animal sheltering and familiarity with animal welfare issues.
  • Animals: Ability to work with animals of unknown disposition, including those who may exhibit medical issues, aggressive tendencies, etc. 
  • Licenses: Valid CA Driver's license or the ability to obtain a driver’s license shortly after employment commences.


Physical Requirements

  • Physical ability to walk and/or stand on your feet throughout a normal workday.
  • Physical ability to engage in repetitive motions of legs, arms, and hands, to hear, and to see.
  • This position may require the ability to lift and move objects up to 50 pounds and the ability to bend or stand as necessary.
  • Those with allergies to animals that could be aggravated when handling or working around such animals may be disqualified.


Nature of Employment 

The Director of Shelter Operations role is an exempt position, which requires a minimum of 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week and may include weekend, night, and holiday work. The ability to be on call for emergencies on a 24-hour basis is important.

There is no minimum period of employment guaranteed or implied by acceptance of an employment offer. It is the policy of HSVC that all employment is at will. 



The annual starting salary range is $90,000 – $100,000 plus benefits. Starting salary is dependent upon experience. Health benefits and paid time off are provided. Relocation costs, if needed, are negotiable. 


How to Apply

Email a one-page cover letter and resume to the HSVC Search Committee c/o Diane Blankenburg of Humane Network at Acknowledgement will be emailed upon receipt of your cover letter and resume. Applications will be reviewed as they are received and the deadline for applying is January 15, 2023.


About HSVC 

HSVC is a 501(c)(3) animal welfare organization in Ventura County, serving the County and surrounding regions through animal sheltering, adoption, education, investigations of abuse and neglect, and 24/7 support during natural disasters. As a private nonprofit, the HSVC does not receive any funding from the government or any other national welfare organization. We rely entirely on the generosity of our community to continue providing our vital services. 

Founded in 1932, HSVC began as Ventura County Humane Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and Animals. It evolved over the years from an organization with no central location, to small satellite locations, to its current 4.4-acre location in Ojai, which our compassionate care shelter has called home since 1982.


About the Community

HSVC is located in scenic Ojai, CA surrounded by picturesque landscape and mountains. Our 4.4-acre property is located just past bustling downtown Ojai, a popular tourist destination featuring one-of-a-kind shops, restaurants, wineries, and breweries. With its vast hiking trails, local farmers’ markets, and boutique accommodations, Ojai has something for everyone. Known for its iconic “pink moment” of the mountains at sunset, the city boasts a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy including biking, golfing, horseback riding, and even camping at nearby Lake Casitas.

Ojai is known for its warm summer weather with temperatures averaging 79 degrees June through September. The city’s cool season is from November to mid-March, with an average temperature of 67 degrees.

Ojai is located just 15 miles north of the city of Ventura that is a real deal surf town with empty beaches that call to surfers, swimmers, kayakers, and beach-lovers who just want to relax.


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