We are currently searching for full-time animal caretakers at LCHS! If you've always wanted to work with and help animals, this may be the opportunity you're looking for!
Why Join the LCHS Team
Our animal caretakers are essential to our mission of keeping our kitties and pups happy and healthy during their time at LCHS. Much of the work is hands-on with the animals, and you can see them build their health and confidence while residing at the shelter or over their time in foster care. One of the happiest moments is when our animals find their forever homes. Seeing the happiness of the animal and their adoptive family is incredibly gratifying.
Working at an animal shelter provides excellent experience for anyone interested in becoming a veterinarian, working in a vet office, or considering another animal-related career. It is also great for anyone looking to gain customer service experience and works best in a collaborative, team-centered environment.
I decided to join LCHS as an employee after several years of volunteering at the organization and two wonderful adoption experiences. Because of my previous knowledge of the organizational culture and my long-term career goal of working with a nonprofit focused on animal rescue, I knew that it would be a perfect fit, and I always look forward to going to work in the morning. Everyone at LCHS is committed to working together as a team to help our animals, all while helping each other.
Audrey Salazar, who has been working with LCHS for over a year and is a secondary education major at Auburn University, shared her perspective as an LCHS employee. "I couldn't ask for anything better when it comes to working at LCHS," said Salazar. "You constantly get to grow and develop skills, all while surrounded by cute, furry friends!" Salazar has worked in every area of the shelter, including adoption counseling, which is her primary area of focus, intake/animal health, and in our large dog kennels.
Our managers and senior staff are incredibly knowledgeable about animals, the shelter setting, and everything related to running a public-facing nonprofit organization. They will give you everything you need to succeed in a role at LCHS. With over 3000 animals entering our facility each year, our staff helps animals with a wide range of temperaments, backgrounds, ages, and medical needs. Our success rate is such that Best Friends Animal Society considers Auburn and Opelika to be no-kill communities due to our live release rate of over 90%, a standard metric for measuring lifesaving success.
As with many smaller nonprofits, we can't offer the salary and benefits that a larger organization or for-profit business could provide. However, an advantage of this is that entry-level employees have unique opportunities to gain new skills and experiences that may not be possible in a larger organization or corporation.
Challenges of Working in Animal Sheltering
It's hard work to care for so many animals in one place, and it's emotional work since we all become attached to the kitties and pups we work with. There are many kennels to clean in each shelter area to ensure a safe, healthy living environment for our animals, and our kennel staff walks many dogs each day. All of this can make working in a shelter physically strenuous. A working interview is part of the application process to ensure that we provide an accurate job preview to applicants.
The emotional aspect is another challenge. We worry about animals when they face medical issues and cheer for them when they're adopted, and are sad when a new home doesn't work out. We work with animals who have neglected and those who have been stray for a while and are now afraid of humans.
However, the experience of seeing an animal that entered the shelter sick and distrustful of people, and then watching them become healthy and happy is priceless. Through patience, compassion, and TLC, we help such animals to become healthy. Seeing the joy experienced by such an animal and the happiness on their adopter's face is something that I wouldn't trade for anything. Salazar also mentioned that for her, the joy of helping animals and having such a supportive team more than makes up for the challenges of working in an animal shelter environment. "Although at times the shelter life is difficult, both physically and emotionally, it is also extremely rewarding. LCHS has become my second family, so even on the hard days, I'm surrounded by people who will support each other."
"Every employee truly puts their blood, sweat, and tears into these cats and dogs that always find a way into our hearts as they enter the shelter. We are all working towards the elimination of animal suffering and ultimately getting them into wonderful homes... If you think you're up for it, we'd love to have you join our team!"
To learn more about our job openings, including a complete job description, please visit https://www.leecountyhumane.org/job-opportunities. To apply for a position as a full-time animal caretaker at LCHS, please send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please don't call the shelter to ask about job openings, as we are experiencing a high volume of calls at this time.
As always, there are lots of ways to support LCHS. We're currently selling beautiful LCHS tank tops, in orange/blue and tie-die colors for $20, and adorable pet-themed face masks for $10. Please visit our website at leecountyhumane.org/shop to place your order. Next, call the shelter at 334-821-3222 to pay and finalize your order. We will be taking orders until September 9th!