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Director, Sanctuary Animal Care Operations - Kanab, Utah

Best Friends Animal Society
Kanab, UT
  • Posted: over a month ago
  • $90,000 to $110,000 Yearly
  • Full-Time
Job Description
Best Friends recently received a 2022 Top Workplaces USA award from Energage. Visit the Best Friends Animal Society page on the Energage Top Workplaces award winners’ site here to learn more. Not only do we take pride in cultivating a welcoming and supportive community and culture for our employees, but we also offer competitive benefits that make it easy to see why we were granted such an awesome award! Take a look for yourself! We offer competitive pay, medical, dental, vision, basic and supplemental life insurance, short and long-term disability, dependent care reimbursement, pet sitting reimbursement when traveling for work, flexible spending account, health savings account, generous paid time off, paid holidays, auto insurance discount, and legal and identity theft coverage.  For added well-being support, we offer Pawternity Leave for employees to have time to care for their personal pets, mental health support, and an employee assistance program. We also offer a generous 401k savings plan. Do you want to love where you work? Look no further and apply online today!

Location: Kanab, Utah (relocation assistance is available)

Hiring Range: This position is anticipated to pay between $90,000 to $110,000 annually, depending on experience.

Take your skills in lifesaving operations to the next level when you join the Best Friends team working from the heart of our organization, the largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals in the country! Come live among the beautiful red rock canyons and put your experience to work for up to 1,600 dogs, cats, bunnies, birds, horses, and other barnyard animals and the lifesaving work we do with our partners throughout the region and the nation. At Best Friends you'll be part of a professional team performing lifesaving work, providing animals with top-of-the-line medical care and leading the teams providing cross-departmental activities including veterinary services, animal transport, and foster care.

In this role you’ll oversee our Veterinary Services team including a 13,000-square-foot clinic facility with dedicated surgery and dental suites, state-of-the-art laboratory, x-ray suite, ultrasound room, and many more features to provide animals with all they need. And you’ll lead satellite clinics located within each sanctuary department caring for thousands of animals who pass through the Sanctuary on their way to a loving adopted home.

In addition, Kanab is in beautiful southern Utah – an outdoor enthusiast's paradise. We are surrounded by world-renowned parks and nature sites such as the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell, Horseshoe Bend, Coral Pink Sand Dunes, and many more. If you are looking for a spectacular work-life balance and want to live in the outdoor playground of southern Utah, contact us today!

You can check out the sanctuary in this short video, or better yet, visit us and see for yourself!

Summary: The Director of Sanctuary Animal Care Operations leads the teams responsible for operational support of the animal care departments at Best Friends’ Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. The director leads efficient cross-department operational units, with a primary focus on the provision of veterinary services to the animals in Best Friends’ care, priority clients, and in service of no-kill objectives throughout the region.

Culture Statement and Responsibility: We value attitude over aptitude, and we treat Kindness as a discipline because it is paramount in our culture along with our other Guiding Principles. Culture is how we talk to and treat ourselves and one another, it’s how we generate and respond to change, it’s how we plan and make decisions, it’s how we do what we do.

Essential Duties/ Responsibilities:

  • Treat people around you as our most valuable resource by leading with compassion and kindness in all your actions, build trust by demonstrating authenticity and following through on your commitments, encourage self-care and work-life balance through your own example, and work to build strong relationships with your team by creating communication loops to share and receive honest feedback. You are responsible and accountable for the culture of your team.
  • Partner with animal care leadership in developing the most efficient means of providing a mix of department support, including both shelter medicine, long-term patient care and general operational assistance, for the animals in the Sanctuary’s care with a focus on lifesaving objectives necessary to achieve no-kill 2025.
  • Define lifesaving operational objectives as it relates to veterinary medicine in the context of no-kill 2025 goal, as well as any other quantitative and qualitative measures of success; lead the execution of strategies and programs to achieve those objectives, including complete program redesign when necessary to fulfill objectives; represent the vision as well as the strategies to achieve that vision to stakeholders.
  • Purposefully and thoughtfully create an environment where Best Friends is the best place to work for a career in animal welfare, providing opportunities for growth, and for maximizing individuals’ lifesaving impact; lead human resource matters in conjunction with the Human Resources team regarding staff selection, management, development, and retention; oversee headcount controls and position creation or realignment; build individual capabilities and capacity through performance measurement, goal setting, coaching and mentorship.
  • Oversee the veterinary services budget including managing expenses, revenues, and reporting on result; oversee the physical facilities and equipment procurement and management including supplies, inventory, building upkeep; participate in capital improvement project planning.
  • Lead the maintenance of a safe workplace. Value and model safe work practices, adhering to organizational safety practices and rules, and addressing or communicating to leadership about unsafe practices and conditions.

Skills and Experience:

  • Solid leadership and management experience preferably in animal operations with a lifesaving focus; 5+ years of proven successful leadership experience, including overseeing animal sheltering or veterinary medicine operations. 5+ years of experience working for or with a humane organization preferred but not required; experience with or confidence in understanding and managing budgets.
  • Strengths and experience in utilizing statistical information to inform, develop and implement division and department level strategic plans, including change management strategies and program direction; proven attention to detail with advanced organizational and time management skills.
  • Customer-centric, non-judgmental approach to engaging with adopters, partners, visitors, volunteers, and colleagues; familiarity and comfort with nonjudgmental philosophies.
  • Strong leadership skills with the ability to act decisively with a get-it-done attitude in difficult and fast-paced situations; strong interpersonal skills, a team player, upbeat, energetic, tactful, and diplomatic, able to get along with people from different backgrounds, as well as the ability to handle sensitive and confidential situations.
  • Excellent communication skills, public speaking, and presentation experience with the ability to professionally advocate Best Friends’ position on issues; experience in supporting, engaging with, and developing relationships with volunteers and donors.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office products; familiarity with shelter software/animal management software, or desire to learn, comfort learning new systems, including online information systems.

Physical Requirements

  • Must be able to:
    1. Routinely lift 40 pounds and perform daily strenuous activity including, but not limited to lifting, carrying, reaching, stooping, squatting, cleaning, and bending.
    2. Work at a computer or driving a car for extended periods of time with repetitive typing, sitting, arm, and hand motion.
    3. Work indoors and outdoors in a variety of weather conditions including extreme heat and cold.
  • Daily exposure to dogs, cats and other animals of all sizes, temperaments, and medical status.
  • Valid driver’s license with ability to travel, including overnight stays, when needed.
  • Daily hours and days of the week may vary according to the needs of the department schedule; position includes weekends, nights, and holiday work.

After applicants accept an offer of employment in writing, they will be asked to provide Covid-19 vaccination status information pursuant to any applicable policies in place at the time of hiring.

Thank you for your interest in pursuing a career at Best Friends Animal Society. Best Friends Animal Society is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to their race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status, or domestic partner status.

Applicants for employment in the US must have valid work authorization that does not now and/or will not in the future require sponsorship of a visa for employment authorization in the US by Best Friends Animal Society.

Best Friends Animal Society


Kanab, UT
84741 USA



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