Shelter Medicine Practitioner

    • Job Tracking ID: 512912-642783
    • Job Location: San Francisco, CA
    • Job Level: Mid Career (2+ years)
    • Level of Education: 2 year degree
    • Job Type: Full-Time/Regular
    • Date Updated: August 20, 2018
    • Years of Experience: Up to 2 Years
    • Starting Date: ASAP
    • Campus Location: Mission
    • Status: Regular Full-Time
    • Department: Header: Shelter Medicine
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The shelter medicine practitioner (SMP) is the caregiver for the animals living under the auspices of the SF SPCA.  The SMP works with veterinarians, intake specialists, animal care associates, volunteer coordinators, veterinary assistants/technicians, behavior specialists, adoption counselors and volunteers to ensure that each animal is healthy and ready to succeed in its forever home.


Essential Duties and Functions:


  • Partner with veterinarians to provide preventative medicine
  • Partner with veterinarians to treat illness and behavior problems
  • Partner with veterinarians to manage infectious diseases
  • Partner with veterinarians to administer emergency care

Rescue and Adoption

  • Work with intake specialists and adoption counsellors to maintain adoption driven capacity
  • Strive to minimize length of stay
  • Contribute to defining and implementing cross-departmental capacity for care

Welfare and Advocacy

  • Share expertise in shelter medicine for the benefit of animals, staff and volunteers in municipal shelters and rescue groups
  • Share expertise in shelter medicine for the benefit of animals and guardians in the community
  • Understand and exemplify the philosophies of the SF SPCA
  • Promote donation and giving opportunities


  • Work effectively with a team of colleagues of diverse professional, cultural and community backgrounds
  • Embrace and exemplify the Shelter Medicine department values of resiliency, appreciation, growth and integrity (RAGE) as well as the organization values
  • Collaborate with Volunteer Services Coordinators
  • Develop and practice project management and leadership skills
  • Support the veterinary assistant apprenticeship program by helping apprentices learn technical skills
  • Practice and encourage direct constructive communication that meets the BLISS standards
  • Practice customer service that meets the HEART standards


Other Duties and Functions:


  • Promote the integration of volunteers into the organization; provide support and recognition of volunteers
  • Work cooperatively with all volunteers and recognize the talent and commitment they bring to the SF SPCA

Customer Service

  • Provides quality customer service to clients, volunteers, and staff while actively promoting our mission, services, programs and events
  • Promotes donation and giving opportunities as appropriate


  • Ensures a safe work environment; follows all safety guidelines and modeling safe work practices
  • Takes immediate action to address any safety concerns that could put a staff member, volunteer, client, animal, or the organization at risk
  • Maintains a clean, healthy, and sanitary work area; follow all pest and rodent control protocols
  • Participates in keeping the SF SPCA campus clean and well maintained

Diversity and Inclusiveness

  • Works effectively with individuals from diverse communities and cultures
  • Successfully works with a team of colleagues who represent a diversity of work and conflict resolution styles

Physical Requirements and Work Environment:

  • Regular standing, bending, stooping and crouching while seeing patients
  • Regular sitting at computer stations and operation of electronic equipment 
  • Frequent lifting, carrying animals weighing up to 50 pounds
  • Exposure to disinfectant solutions when in kennel area 
  • Subject to animal bites and scratches while handling animals
  • Consistent exposure to animals in the workplace and animal allergens under conditions with limited alternatives available

Reporting Relationships:

  • Reports to the Shelter Medicine Manager

Employee Qualifications:

Education and Experience (required):

  • AA, AS or two years of post secondary education required.  Work experience will be considered as equivalent to education on a case by case basis.
  • BA, BS or graduate level education preferred
  • RVT or VTS preferred
  • Two years of experience working in veterinary medicine, animal science, agriculture, public health, laboratory animal research or similar field preferred


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Must have strong critical thinking and problem solving skills, particularly as related to nursing
  • Able to make decisions and explain rationale behind actions taken
  • Able to work in a changing environment; able to see value in experimentation
  • Able to communicate effectively verbally and in writing
  • Able to perform research and analysis, then present the results
  • Able to acquire knowledge and learn new skills; committed to life long learning
  • Self-motivated, able to initiate and complete tasks alone or as part of a team
  • Comfortable with calculations that involve arithmetic, algebra and percentages
  • Computer literate, comfortable working in a paperless environment, able to learn to use new software in a short period of time
  • Experience handling dogs, cats and small mammals in a medical, zoological, agricultural or research setting strongly preferred
  • Knowledge of normal cat and dog behavior strongly preferred
  • Knowledge of low stress handling and restraint techniques preferred


Salary and Benefits:

The starting salary for this position depends on the length and breadth of experience. Eligible for full benefits package including: paid time off, medical, dental & vision insurance, life insurance, long-term disability, tax-deferred retirement plan, pre-tax commute expense deductions, pet bereavement leave, discounted veterinary care, employee discount on retail, pet supplies, dog training classes, and humane education.