Veterinary Assistant

    • Job Tracking ID: 512912-621921
    • Job Location: San Francisco, CA
    • Job Level: Entry Level (less than 2 years)
    • Job Type: Full-Time/Regular
    • Date Updated: May 22, 2018
    • Years of Experience: Less Than 1 Year
    • Starting Date: ASAP
    • Campus Location: Mission
    • Status: Regular Full-Time
    • Department: Header: Mission Hospital
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Veterinary Assistants support the provision of medical care to patients treated at the Mission Campus of the San Francisco SPCA. The Veterinary Assistant position provides thorough and compassionate nursing care while performing medical treatments, handling, and assisting with procedures as directed by staff veterinarians.

Essential Duties and Functions:

Veterinary Medical Care

  • Function as a Doctor Assistant, Sterile Resources Technician, Treatment Technician or Procedure Technician depending on Veterinary Assistant level
  • Veterinary Assistants provide patient care by performing treatments as directed by veterinarian, monitor patients, and assist in procedures
  • Provide thorough, detailed and compassionate patient care while providing excellent client services for the patient’s caretaker
  • Knowledge of safe and gentle patient handling, physiology, medical math, medical terminology, administering injections, performing phlebotomy, disease processes
  • Perform in house lab tests and process samples for out labs
  • Understanding of physiologic normals and abnormals
  • Follow veterinary care protocols for animals in the SF SPCA Animal Hospital - including medical, behavior and general care protocols for the health and well-being of the animals; individually and as a herd
  • Comply with all laws pertaining to controlled substances
  • Understand standard veterinary terminology, procedures and animal health issues
  • Facilitate good working relationships through teamwork and collaboration in order to provide the best patient care

Administrative Duties

  • Maintain and create patient records by accurately recording treatments, examinations, and test results on computerized patient charts and other medical records
  • Participate in regular staff meetings

Client and Community Service

  • Admit and release animals from the Hospital in a responsive, courteous, and tactful manner to both internal and external clients
  • Inform clients of any pertinent medical information regarding animal care - communicate release instructions
  • Practice and encourage the humane treatment of animals
  • Provide quality customer service to clients, volunteers, and staff while actively promoting our mission, services, programs and events
  • Promote donation and giving opportunities as appropriate


  • Ensure a safe work environment by following all safety guidelines and modeling safe work practices
  • Follow established safety procedures governing safe work environment including wearing protective clothing or equipment when necessary
  • Take immediate action to address any safety concerns that could put a staff member, volunteer, customer, animal, or the organization at risk
  • Maintain a clean, healthy, and sanitary work area; follow al pest and rodent control protocols. Participate in keeping the SF SPCA campus clean and well maintained.


  • Work cooperatively with all volunteers and regonize the talent and commitment they bring to the Society

Diversity and Inclusiveness

  • Work effectively with individuals and colleagues from diverse communities and cultures

Open Communication

  • Facilitate open, direct communication throughout the Society.
  • Embrace and promote the Society’s BLISS direct communication program.

Reporting Relationships and Contacts:

Reports to the Director of Nursing Care

Physical Requirements and Work Environment:

  • Work is performed in a shelter/animal hospital setting
  • Frequent bending, reaching, kneeling, and climbing stairs while seeing patients
  • Regular sitting at a computer workstation 4-6 hrs per day to input patient data
  • Regularly moves about the campus to coordinate work
  • Exposure to disinfectant solutions when in kennel & treatment areas
  • Subject to animal bites and scratches while handling animals
  • Repeated lifting and carrying of animals weighing up to 50 pounds
  • Consistent exposure to animals and animal allergens under conditions with limited alternatives available 
  • Available to work at least one weekend day per week

Education and Experience:

  • Two years of college coursework with an emphasis on animal-related science or completion of a veterinary technician training program. Qualifying work experience will be considered as an alternative
  • Experience working as a veterinary assistant or equivalent preferred

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Commitment to the mission, values, goals, and success of the San Francisco SPCA
  • Experience with humane animal handling and restraint techniques of healthy, ill, and feral animals
  • Experience in caring for and handling animals in a safe, effective and humane manner, especially larger and possibly untrained pets
  • Comfortable working in the shelter environment and willing to accommodate animals in the work place
  • Computer literate and able to master veterinary software as applicable to clinic operations
  • Knowledge of basic dog and cat physiology, anatomy, and behavior as it relates to understanding the general health of animals.
  • Ability to understand and communicate pertinent medical information with colleagues and clients
  • Self-motivated and able to initiate and complete tasks


Salary and Benefits:

The starting salary for this position depends on the depth and breadth of experience. Regular, full-time posistions are eligible for benefits package including: PTO and holiday pay, medical, dental & vision insurance, life insurance, long-term disability, tax-deferred retirement plan, pre-tax commute expense deductions, discounted veterinary care, employee discount on retail, pet supplies, and dog training classes. 

The SF SPCA requires pre-employment drug testing and background check. This job description reflects the assignment of essential functions, it does not prescribe or restrict the tasks that may be assigned. The SF SPCA is an at-will employer.