Shelter Medicine Practitioner

    • Job Tracking ID: 512912-704056
    • Job Location: San Francisco, CA
    • Job Level: Mid Career (2+ years)
    • Level of Education: 2 year degree
    • Job Type: Full-Time/Regular
    • Date Updated: September 20, 2019
    • 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) provides excellent medical care to thousands of companion animals that enter the SF SPCA shelter and/or are served by the SF SPCA shelter medicine department each year. The SMP works with shelter medicine veterinarians and other departments to ensure that each animal is as healthy as possible and ready to succeed in its forever home.

Essential Duties and Functions:

Quality Nursing Care

  • Provide high quality veterinary medical care, including preventive care, diagnostic testing, routine treatment and emergency care to shelter animals on both an individual and population basis
  • In collaboration with SM Director, SM veterinarians, and other SM staff, participate in/contribute to the monitoring and protection of the on-going health of the shelter population
  • Adhere to best practices; follow all SF SPCA standard operating procedures and protocols
  • Comply with all state and federal laws regarding the practice of veterinary medicine, controlled substances, and animal welfare
  • Humanely handle and care for animals, adhering to the 5 Freedoms
  • Accurately record all treatments, examinations, test results, procedures etc. on computerized patient charts and other medical records
  • Contribute to /participate in ongoing assessment and improvement of nursing care systems, processes, and documentation

Teamwork, Collaboration, and Communication

  • Collaborate with the shelter medicine volunteer manager, coordinators and associates, and provide technical guidance for the volunteer program
  • Work cooperatively with volunteers; provide guidance, support and recognition to volunteers in the shelter medicine department and other departments.
  • Coordinate with intake specialists, animal care associates, volunteer coordinators, veterinarians, other veterinary assistants/technicians, behavior specialists, adoption counselors and volunteers to ensure that capacity for care is not exceeded and length of stay (LOS) is minimized.
  • Work with intake specialists and adoptions flow team to maintain appropriate adoption driven capacity
  • Share knowledge in shelter medicine with SF SPCA staff and volunteers and with those at other shelters and rescues
  • Embrace and exemplify SF SPCA organizational values
  • Develop and practice project management and leadership skills
  • Develop and practice direct constructive communication that meets the BLISS standards


  • Contribute to development, maintenance, and implementation of standard operating procedures and protocols
  • Collect and analyze departmental data as appropriate.
  • Participate in maintenance and care of department supplies and equipment, and help ensure that facility needs including cleaning are performed regularly

Other Duties and Functions:

Customer Service

  • Provide quality customer service to clients, volunteers, and staff while actively promoting our mission, services, programs and events
  • Develop and practice customer service skills that meet the It Takes HEART standards
  • Promote donation and giving opportunities as appropriate


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

Diversity and Inclusiveness

  • Successfully work with a team of colleagues who represent a diversity of work and conflict resolution styles
  • Work effectively with a team of colleagues of diverse professional, cultural and community backgrounds

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
  • Potentially 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 Supervisor(s)

Education and Experience (Required):

  • RVT strongly preferred
  • A minimum of 2 years experience working in animal shelters. Other experience working in veterinary medicine, animal science, agriculture, public health, laboratory animal research or similar field will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • AA, AS or two years of post-secondary education preferred.
  • Experience in high volume spay/neuter clinic a plus

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Commitment to the mission, values, goals, and success of the SF SPCA
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Strong planning, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, particularly as related to nursing
  • Able to make decisions and explain rationale behind actions taken
  • Able to embrace and foster change; able to see value in experimentation
  • Able to communicate effectively verbally and in writing
  • Able to collect and analyze data and present 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 proficiency, including shelter and practice management software applications and Microsoft Office; comfortable working in a paperless environment
  • Knowledge of normal cat and dog behavior
  • Knowledge of low stress handling and restraint techniques


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, and employee discount on retail, and pet supplies.

The SF SPCA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes applications from individuals who contribute to our diversity. We are an at-will employer and conduct pre-employment background checks and drug screening.This job description reflects the assignment of essential functions; it does not prescribe or restrict the tasks that may be assigned.