Established: 07/94
Revised: 05/11; 08/15
FLSA: Non-Exempt
EEO: 8



Under general supervision, to provide humane and routine care and control of dogs impounded in the Clackamas County Animal Shelter; to perform behavioral observations and assessments of dogs, recordkeeping, community outreach, customer service and counseling duties related to dog adoptions; to perform general maintenance and cleaning of the shelter and the surrounding grounds; and to do other work as required.


The Dog Services Division administers the County’s dog control program to enforce State and County laws and regulations governing the care, control, impounding, protection, licensing and disposal of animals. The Division also operates and maintains the County’s animal shelter which houses stray and abandoned dogs.

The Animal Care Specialist performs general maintenance and cleaning activities at the animal shelter. Incumbents also assist in the care and feeding of dogs and cats in the shelter.

The Animal Care Specialist differs from the Animal Health Technician-CVT which provides paraprofessional veterinary care and euthanasia of dogs and requires possession of Certified Veterinary Technician certification.


Duties may include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Assists with the maintenance and cleaning of shelter facilities, grounds and building; cleans and disinfects all runs and animal holding facilities and materials; maintains and cleans outdoor facilities and grounds; performs basic building maintenance; maintains storerooms, monitors inventory; stocks orders and donated supplies.
  2. Receives and impounds stray dogs and, on occasion, cats for placement in shelter; completes impound records; conducts initial health exam and administers intake vaccinations; assigns animals to appropriate run.
  3. Assists public in finding lost pets or retrieving and reclaiming impounded animals; ensures information for animal is placed on Shelter website and available for public viewing; assists public with information and access to web site.
  4. Assists in the assessment of animal behavior and readiness for adoption through observation; handles incoming found and/or surrendered animals and maintain animal records.
  5. Assists public in selection of animals for potential adoption; processes and conducts adoptions; provides information on general pet care.
  6. Provides daily enrichment activities for all animals in custody, including walking dogs, teaching basic obedience, conducting play activities, maintaining and/or developing animals’ social behavior through petting, confidence development, and other activities appropriate to the animal.
  7. Administers routine vaccinations, medications and implants mire-chips as directed; bathes, grooms and maintains physical condition of dogs as appropriate to the animal.
  8. Transports sick or seriously injured dogs to the veterinarian; assists in euthanizing, medicating or vaccinating of animals by holding and prepping the animal while the Animal Health Technician or visiting veterinarian performs the procedure; transports euthanized animals, washes trucks and cars used to transport animals.
  9. Assists Animal Control Officers as necessary, including loading and unloading animals from vehicles; lifts, carries and/or controls animals for unloading or transport; from vehicle to shelter facility.


Working knowledge of: Animal behavior and basic animal health; safe and efficient animal handling techniques; State and County laws, rules, regulations, policies and procedures governing the control, impoundment, retention and release of dogs and cats; basic record keeping techniques; public service techniques.

Skill to: Safely and effectively handle and care for vicious, stray or diseased animals; handle and control animals while cleaning cages, pens and runs; explain proper care of animals to the public and adoptive owners; take appropriate safety precautions when handling diseased and injured animals; operate grounds maintenance equipment, including power lawn mower, weed-eater, shovel and hoe; operate building maintenance equipment, including power drill, power saw, hammer, screw driver and wrench; operate light vehicles to transport animals and supplies; establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with the public and County employees; prepare and maintain accurate records.


Duties require walking, stepping, bending, twisting, squatting, reaching overhead, and the ability to lift and carry up to 50 pounds having awkward size and shape, carry up to 20 pounds while climbing stairs, push 50 pounds, and pull 75 pounds. Duties also involve frequent exposure to loud noises, wet and slippery surfaces, and sick, injured, agitated, frightened or aggressive animals.


Employment may be contingent upon passing a post-offer physical assessment. Accommodation requests will be reviewed on an individual basis in compliance with State and Federal legislation.

Driving is required for County business on a regular basis or to accomplish work. Incumbents must possess a valid driver's license, and possess and maintain an acceptable driving record throughout the course of employment.


Any satisfactory combination of experience and training that demonstrates possession of the required knowledge and skills.

Edited: 07/16