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Animal Behavior Society
Animal Behavior Society

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Senior Director, Behavior Rehabilitation
Jobs & Postdocs
Posted Jan 17


The Senior Director, Behavior Rehabilitation plays a critical role at the ASPCA’s Behavioral Rehabilitation Center (BRC) in Weaverville, NC, a one-of-a-kind facility dedicated to the study and rehabilitation of dogs who are unadoptable because of behavior problems. Ultimately, the BRC focuses on two main goals: (1) the study and rehabilitation of dogs who suffer from behavior problems that compromise their quality of life and prevent adoption, and (2) elevating shelter animal behavior programs across the country through sharing emerging best practices.


The Senior Director of Behavior Rehabilitation will oversee the BRC’s direct, on-site work with behaviorally compromised animals. This person will manage two direct reports and lead a team of ten animal behavior experts. Areas of focus will include the creation and use of behavior modification protocols to increase adoptability and improve quality of life, enrichment strategies to reduce stress and progress tracking procedures. The Senior Director of Behavior Rehabilitation will work closely with other BRC Senior Directors to provide consistent, supportive leadership for the BRC team. This position reports to the Vice President of the BRC.


The BRC is part of the ASPCA’s Rehabilitation Services group, which also includes the Cruelty Recovery Center (CRC) in Columbus, OH, and the Recovery and Rehabilitation Center (R&R) in Pawling, NY. All three facilities provide opportunities for animals to heal after rescue. Protocols and procedures used by Rehabilitation Services teams promote constant collaboration across all areas of expertise to achieve the best, most balanced support for animals. As they engage in hands-on care, teams prioritize the elevation of our work through ongoing learning. BRC, CRC and R&R staff play an integral role in advancing the animal welfare field through research, developing effective, efficient interventions and establishing new best practices, which the ASPCA shares through the Learning Lab - also part of the Rehabilitation Services group---on ASPCA Pro, and at professional conferences.



Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to the following:


Behavior Rehabilitation and Assessment (50%)

  • Ensure that the Behavior Rehabilitation Team remains objective and consistent when assessing behavior and implementing standardized protocols
  • Conduct treatment sessions for case evaluation and troubleshooting purposes; provide hands-on coaching for Managers and Specialists
  • Create agendas and lead treatment troubleshooting meetings with Managers and/or Specialists; make final decisions about changes to specific animals’ treatment plans and, when necessary, the modification of treatment protocols
  • Participate in behavior evaluations to provide handling and assessment coaching, ensure ongoing consistency and monitor cases
  • Oversee progress tracking procedures; monitor treatment and evaluation data collection procedures on an ongoing basis; work closely with the Director of Anti-Cruelty Behavior Research on BRC and other projects as needed
  • Review the progress of all cases on a weekly basis at minimum, aiming to ensure a smooth flow of animals through the program, maintain a high level of success and continually assess quality of life
  • Meet with the Outcome Decisions Panel each week to determine best outcomes for dogs, bringing collected observations/input from the Behavior Rehabilitation Team
  • Create Outcome Decisions Panel agendas and update the behavioral status of all dogs each week; with other BRC Leads, notify the team of status changes
  • Review behavior information submitted by organizations with program candidates; accept/deny candidates and communicate decisions to the Senior Director of Operations and submitting organizations; update screening tools and documentation as needed
  • Oversee the production of behavior-related transfer paperwork for program graduates (adoption profiles, behavior evaluation reports, adopter guides and info, etc.) and provide to Senior Director of Operations
  • Oversee the collection and organization of treatment and evaluation video and photo assets
  • Work closely with Senior Director, Operations to provide education and coaching for Care and Enrichment Technicians, volunteers and fosters
  • Oversee the creation, implementation and modification of any new treatment plans designed to resolve behavior problems other than fear (e.g., high arousal, aggression toward other dogs)
  • Work closely with the Behavioral Sciences Team (BST) to assist with the Mini Rehabilitation Center by supporting educational opportunities for staff and Behavior Leads


Learning Lab Program (25%)

  • Provide input and assistance during the development of new modules for the Learning Lab program, working closely with the VP, BRC, and Senior Director of the Learning Lab 
  • Play an integral role in the development and implementation of modules for the Learning Lab Core and Specialist Retreats
  • Travel to new potential Learning Lab facilities for site visits and work closely with the Learning Lab division to assist with continual education for partner shelters
  • Ensure that the Behavior Rehabilitation Division serves as a “gold standard” model for Learning Lab partners, other visiting organizations and our own internal ASPCA teams


Staff Management and Development (15%)

  • Supervise and provide expert guidance for two Behavior Rehabilitation Managers and the ten Behavior Rehabilitation Specialists they lead
  • Conduct regular one-on-one meetings with direct reports.
  • Consistently utilize ASPCA developmental tools and conduct yearly reviews of direct reports to measure progress
  • Support the hiring process as needed, including partnering with the People Team and involving all key stakeholders in hiring processes
  • Work with the Senior Director of Operations and the Senior Director of Veterinary Services to ensure clear, transparent communication among all BRC teams, balanced, holistic care for dogs in our care and effective, efficient coordination of BRC operations
  • Work with the VP, BRC, the Senior Director of Operations and the Senior Director of Veterinary Services to cultivate and continually foster a healthy team culture, where mutual respect and a collaborative spirit are strongly emphasized


Other Responsibilities (10%)

  • Serve as handler for extremely fearful and/or aggressive dogs as needed
  • Deploy with the National Field Response (NFR) team and schedule Rehab Division members to deploy regularly in order to assist with removal, handling, behavior evaluations and Behavior Lead duties
  • Work closely with other Rehabilitation Services and ASPCA behavior teams on new projects and on maintaining alignment among internal behavior experts
  • Teach classes, speak at professional and academic conferences and give media interviews as needed


Exemplifies the ASPCA’s Core Values:

  • Has Commitment and dedication to improving the lives of animals
  • Demonstrates Ownership and feels responsible for outcomes
  • Believes in Team– that we are stronger together
  • Seeks to Elevate others and reimagine what is possible
  • Focuses on Impact, specifically making change for animals


Work Experience:

  • Minimum of 10 years’ experience working as a professional animal behavior expert, handling and evaluating animals with behavior problems
  • Minimum of 5 years’ professional experience working in animal shelters
  • Minimum 2 years’ management experience required
  • Experience working with dogs with behavior problems related to severe undersocialization, extreme fear, aggression and extreme arousal (problems that require extensive behavior modification and “difficult to handle” animals that require the use of skillful handling techniques)
  • Experience working with other species, especially cats, strongly preferred
  • Thorough companion animal behavior and animal welfare knowledge
  • Experience participating in formal research projects (study design, data collection, data analysis and/or writing up findings) preferred



Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, potentially stressful environment; must be flexible and easily accept frequent changes to plans/protocols, Consistently maintains a positive attitude; treats both animals and people with respect, Excellent communication skills (spoken, telephone and written), Exceptional animal training and behavior modification abilities, Fluent in Internet usage and research, Fluent in the use of MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Good organizational skills, Good team player; a “people person” who enjoys collaboration, Highly effective managerial and teaching skills, Meticulous data collection and reporting skills, Superior problem-solving abilities; likes to troubleshoot and find solutions when facing challenges, The ability to work closely with behaviorally compromised animals and feel comfortable working in an environment where euthanasia is performed on a regular basis, The willingness and ability to travel occasionally to provide behavior-related support for the Field Investigations and Response Team (frequency has not been determined, but periodic deployments are required)




English (Required)


Education and Work Experience:

Bachelors (Required), Masters

How To Apply

For complete information and to apply, please visit:

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability or protected veteran status.