Veterinary Assistant / Veterinary Technician
PAWS is looking for a motivated and caring individual to join our medical team! We are Philadelphia’s largest animal rescue partner and have a large and diverse caseload of in-house, foster, and client-owned animals that need a dedicated, compassionate, and versatile person to care for their daily needs. Our veterinary assistants are the backbone of our in-house operations and participate in virtually all aspects of daily animal care. The ideal candidate has a focus on animal welfare, is outgoing, patient, and flexible, and is able to get along well with a variety of people and animals. Experience in a shelter environment and a basic understanding of veterinary diseases, treatment, and disease transmission preferred.
General Position Summary:
Veterinary assistants at PAWS are integral members of the PAWS medical team. They are responsible for ensuring that animals in the shelter are healthy, properly fed and cared for, and receiving the medical care prescribed to them by veterinary staff. Veterinary assistants function within PAWS medical and operational protocols to perform a variety of assigned daily tasks, including but not limited to daily animal care and medication, receiving new animals into the shelter, assisting veterinarians in wellness appointments and surgery, and supporting other departments in handling medical cases.
Veterinary assistants interact regularly with the public and owned animals, as well as foster parents and shelter animals, and must strive to provide excellent customer service and positive experiences for these individuals at all times. Veterinary assistants must be able to treat people and animals with respect, be an effective member of the PAWS team and foster a spirit of teamwork, and perform duties in a manner that promotes the achievement of PAWS’ goals and encourages community support of its work.
– Care for and handle animals in a safe, effective and humane manner, especially larger and possibly untrained or feral animals.
– Assist veterinarians and collaborate with other veterinary technicians to perform daily medical tasks.
– Perform and accurately record examinations, vaccinations, and medical treatments for publicly owned and shelter animals under the direction of veterinarians using PAWS’ record keeping systems.
– Administer first aid treatments and medications to sick and injured animals, provide water and proper diet for all animals, and ensure sanitary conditions for all animals in PAWS’ care.
– Prepare owned and rescue animals for high-volume sterilization and other surgeries, including:
– Organize pre- and post- surgical paperwork.
– Aseptically prepare instruments and patients for procedures.
– Maintain drug logs and a surgical log.
– Administration of anesthesia.
– Monitoring animals during recovery.
– Perform or prepare laboratory tests and diagnostics including fungal cultures, fecal flotations, cytologies, blood smears, and digital radiographs.
– Euthanize animals as needed and appropriate under the supervision and direction of a veterinarian or the director of operations.
– Monitor animals’ conditions, rapidly identify and address any medical or behavioral conditions which might warrant veterinary attention, and work in cooperation with staff to attend to any immediate needs.
– Admit and release animals in a responsive, courteous, and tactful manner, and communicate with volunteers, staff, and the public regarding any pertinent medical information.
– Assist in maintaining healthy, safe, sanitary, pleasant and clean facilities for animals under the care of PAWS.
– Participate in job related trainings and professional development activities.
– Follow procedures governing safe work practices including, but not limited to, wearing protective clothing and safely operating medical equipment when necessary.
– Treat people and animals with respect and compassion.
– Promote a humane and caring attitude toward all animals and treat all animals compassionately and respectfully at all times, including sick, injured, feral or aggressive animals.
– Work courteously and cooperatively with staff and volunteers to ensure that all procedures and policies are followed.
– Other duties as assigned.
Required Skills and Qualities:
– Minimum of one year of experience working in a shelter, animal hospital, and/or private veterinary practice.
– Ability to read, write and understand English.
– Computer proficient in Microsoft office and Google/G-Suite products, and proficiency or comfort with becoming proficient in all internet-based clinic management systems utilized by PAWS (ShelterLuv, Clinic HQ).
– Strong interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills.
– Strong sense of initiative and ability to problem-solve, identifying tasks that need to be accomplished and prioritizing appropriately, working independently with minimal supervision and direction.
– Flexibility, maturity, and ability to manage multiple tasks and accommodate varied work assignments and schedules.
– Ability to communicate effectively with a culturally diverse staff, volunteers and community in a professional, pleasant, respectful, courteous and tactful manner at all times.
– The ability to remain pleasant and calm even in stressful situations, and to turn people down, firmly when necessary, without becoming aggressive or unpleasant.
– Ability to work with and around animals including diseased, injured and/or vicious animals.
– Ability to walk and/or stand on your feet throughout a normal workday and tolerate loud noises.
– Allergic conditions, which would be aggravated when handling or working with animals, may be a disqualification.
– Ability to lift and move objects and animals weighing up to 50 pounds for short distances and to humanely restrain an animal when necessary.
– High school diploma or equivalent is required.
– Post-secondary education in the veterinary sciences field is preferred but not required.
This position is based primarily at the PAWS Low-Cost Spay/Neuter and Wellness Clinic at 2900 Grays Ferry Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19146. Shifts at PAWS’ Northeast location (1810 Grant Avenue) may be requested, but not required.
PAWS is open seven days a week. A minimum of 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week, is required, with at least one weekend day worked. Daily schedule may vary according to the needs of the organization and may include weekend, night, and holiday work.
There is no minimum period of employment guaranteed or implied by acceptance of an employment offer. It is the policy of PAWS that exempt positions are at-will, which means that employment is for no specified term and the employee or PAWS may terminate that employment at any time without cause.
Please send us your resume and cover letter via this form.
About PAWS Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society:
PAWS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to saving Philadelphia’s homeless, abandoned, and unwanted animals. PAWS is Philadelphia’s largest rescue organization and only no-kill shelter, and is working to make Philadelphia a city in which every healthy and treatable pet is guaranteed a home. Through its adoption locations, special events, and foster care network, PAWS finds loving homes for thousands of animals each year. PAWS operates two low-cost, high-volume spay/neuter and wellness clinics serving pet owners and rescues in an effort to keep pets healthy and reduce the homeless pet population. The two clinics serve approximately 37,000 pets each year. The clinics serves pet owners who have difficulty affording or do not have access to basic veterinary care (sterilization, vaccinations, treatments for upper respiratory infections/parasites/fleas, etc.) and rescue organizations that need affordable spay/neuter surgery and basic veterinary care to carry out their lifesaving work.