Richmond Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
  • Richmond, VA, USA
  • 15-16
  • Hourly
  • Full Time or Part Time

Full-time: Tuesday-Saturday schedule, 40 hrs/week, $16/hr.
Part-time: 24 hrs/week, $15/hr.
Reports to the Manager of Behavior and Training

The Richmond SPCA is one of our region's most beloved non-profit organizations. As a national no-kill leader in animal welfare, the Richmond SPCA is building a more compassionate community through the delivery of crucial programs of pet adoption, retention, training, advocacy, humane education, and more. Annually, we rescue, rehabilitate and adopt out nearly 4,000 homeless animals while also providing our community with vital safety net programs designed to keep pets in loving homes and out of shelters.

The Behavior and Training Associate assists the Richmond SPCA's Behavior and Training department with training and management protocols, and the behavioral rehabilitation and modification of shelter dogs. This individual will be committed to practicing reward-based training techniques in support of the Richmond SPCA's training philosophies. This individual will consistently support and promote the mission, needs and goals of the organization while inspiring staff to do the same.


  • Provide reward-based training to the dogs in our care with a significant focus on dogs in need of behavior modification
  • Help create and implement training and management protocols in collaboration with the shelter Behavior and Training team
  • Evaluate dogs placed on a behavior hold, prepare written observations and provide recommendations to management
  • Conduct one-on-one training sessions with dogs in our care
  • Write thorough behavior and training notes for potential adopters
  • Assist the Adoptions department by providing behavior management instructions to staff, showing dogs to potential adopters, and providing post adoption support
  • Assist the Animal Care department by providing behavior management instructions to staff, posting appropriate kennel signage, and providing support with dogs with challenging behaviors
  • Assist the Internal Veterinary Services department with the handling of challenging dogs for examinations and medical treatment as needed
  • Feed, medicate and walk trainer-only dogs
  • Assist all other colleagues and employees in the organization as needed
  • Communicate with and update essential management to the behavioral status and instructions for dogs in a timely manner
  • Work with and provide guidance to our awesome volunteers, including Green Team and Running Buddy members, and respond to their questions in a professional manner
  • Create and conduct seminars and workshops on canine behavior and behavior modification for staff and volunteers
  • Orchestrate playgroups in conjunction with shelter trainers and Canine Enrichment Specialist
  • Assist with managing and maintaining the inventory of training treats used by staff and volunteers
  • Communicate in a timely and professional manner
  • Attend and participate in all required trainings and meetings
  • Keep updated on current behavior management and training protocols, following positive reinforcement techniques, through webinars and seminars
  • Other job-related duties as assigned


  • Able to react to change productively, quickly and professionally
  • Daytime availability, some evenings may be needed on occasion
  • Have reliable transportation including during inclement weather
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Successful completion of a criminal background screening
  • Strong commitment to no-kill principles (including spay/neuter and pet adoption) and to reward-based, positive reinforcement training methods


  • 6+ months of hands-on experience training dogs with behavior challenges
  • Professional Dog Training certification preferred
  • A thorough understanding of positive reinforcement principles and understanding of canine behavior and body language
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Professional communication skills and comfort speaking with staff and members of the public from varying backgrounds and differing communication styles
  • Ability to multi-task, take and follow directions, adapt to and accommodate changing demands
  • Adept and creative problem solver
  • Strong computer skills (Word, Excel, MS Outlook)
  • Ability to learn new software quickly and effectively
  • Ability to maintain existing organizational systems
  • Punctual and reliable
  • Strong work ethic
  • Resourceful, positive, get-it-done attitude
  • Team-oriented mindset
  • Good time management and prioritization skills
  • Able to work independently with little supervision at times
  • Works well under pressure and meets deadlines
  • High degree of emotional intelligence


  • Able to work around animals (including those who are sick or injured or who have behavior challenges), loud noises, animal waste, and various chemicals
  • Able to bend and use your arms in a repetitive manner
  • Able to routinely lift up to 50 lbs
  • Able to walk large dogs safely
  • Able to lift large dogs safely
  • Able to move around the building and outdoors
  • Able to safely interact with dogs with behavior challenges


  • Rapid pace with exposure to potential hazards including animal waste and disinfectants
  • Potential for animal bites and scratches and diseases that are zoonotic (can be transmitted from animals to people)
  • All employees are eligible to become clients of the low-cost, full-service Susan M. Markel Veterinary Hospital of the Richmond SPCA and have access to an Employee Assistance Program and 401(k) retirement plan.
  • Full-time employees are eligible for insurance benefits, including medical, dental, and vision, life insurance, short-term disability, and paid time off.

Individuals interested in applying for the position should submit a completed resume with their application. Selection for this position will be contingent on the successful completion of a background check. If you are selected for an interview, you will be contacted. No phone calls or walk-ins, please.

Richmond Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
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