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Director of Animal Welfare

Posted: 02/11/2024

As Kansas City’s largest and most comprehensive no kill pet adoption campus, Wayside Waifs prepares pets and people for the bond of their lives. More than 25,000 pets and people are served annually through pet adoptions, youth education, canine training programs, community outreach, pet memorial services, and more. Wayside is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity with local, regional, and national programming. We are supported by private donations and grants. To see all of the animals available for adoptions, to donate, or to learn more about how you can get involved, visit

Director of Animal Welfare
Salary range $65,000- $70,000 annually
Position Summary:
The Director of Animal Welfare is a newly established role at Wayside Waifs. This role is responsible for maintaining and building upon existing animal operations programming and for providing leadership to Wayside’s animal welfare departments with a primary focus on our Animal Care, Admissions & Pet Retention, and Adoptions & Guest Services teams. The position reports to the Vice President of Animal Welfare and serves as a member of the organization’s leadership team. The Director of Animal Welfare will lead a dynamic team of more than 35 people.    
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Maintain a consistent flow throughout the shelter regarding animal movement and population management utilizing Wayside’s Capacity for Care model.
  • Monitor the animal population and ensure animals are moving efficiently (pathway planning), and humanely through the shelter system.
  • Ensure all aspects of an excellent client experience, including fostering an inclusive environment, and continually improve teamwork among staff members and volunteers.
  • Establish and maintain strong relationships with municipal stakeholders and partner organizations, and serve as the primary contact for our Animal Control Partners.
  • Ensure all cleaning protocols are followed and in line with Wayside Waifs’ and Department of Agriculture standards.
  • In partnership with veterinary, foster and behavior managers, develop, refine, and ensure that the care and placement of animals reflects and aligns with organizational, community, and industry expectations.
  • Support the administrative functions of the animal welfare teams including budget preparation and adherence to policies and procedures, and regulatory and contract compliance.
  • Research and oversee the implementation of pet retention/diversion programs in Admissions.
  • Develop, refine and implement methods for collecting and sharing information about intakes, outcomes, the owner surrender process, and the animal care process.
  • Track data and compile statistical reports, monitor trends, and provide insights for leadership to use to support and shape operational actions and decisions.
  • Manage, coach, and develop the Animal Care Manager, Admissions & Pet Retention Manager and the Adoptions Manager (direct reports), in addition to providing management support for the Foster Manager, Canine Behavior Center Manager, and Behavior Evaluation Manager. Provide effective communication, leadership, guidance, and resources to ensure the team can be successful and meet individual and departmental goals. Recruit, hire, mentor, and evaluate department staff.
  • Stay informed and up-to-date with industry trends in animal sheltering and animal welfare to keep Wayside at the leading edge of innovation. Share knowledge internally and externally as appropriate.
  • Model and champion Wayside’s people-centered philosophy in which we partner with people to fulfill our mission using a welcoming, supportive, and non-judgmental approach.
  • Deescalate and educate community members and patrons when issues are not resolved at the departmental level.
  • Foster a culture of inclusion by seeking input and perspective from others, providing perspective and feedback that widens the lens of the conversation, and serving as a collaborative connector within the organization. 
  • Endorse and support the use of volunteers in all avenues of work being performed.
  • Create, collaborate on, and participate in work that meet’s Wayside’s strategic goals.
  • Promote Wayside’s mission, goals, and objectives.
  • Other duties as assigned.
Required Experience and Skills
  • At least 5 years of experience, preferably in the non-profit environment, with increasing management duties and experience. Knowledge/understanding and experience with animal sheltering practices, strongly preferred.
  • Experience developing and leading successful implementation of sound, mission-based strategies and delivering results.
  • Able to set priorities, take initiative, manage multiple projects, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment. 
  • Experience growing and managing programs and people.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication, interpersonal, coaching, time management and organizational skills.
  • Demonstrated experience collaborating with stakeholders and partner organizations.
  • Demonstrated ability to work successfully with guests, staff, and volunteers from diverse backgrounds.
  • Ability to proactively problem solve and find creative solutions.
  • Strategic thinker.
  • Excellent customer service skills, with high levels of compassion and empathy.
  • Bilingual in Spanish and English preferred.
Required Education
Bachelor’s Degree (equivalent experience will be considered).

Just as Wayside Waifs has committed to providing compassionate care for the thousands of homeless animals who enter our shelter each year, we are equally committed to providing a healthy and humane working environment for our employees. Wayside Waifs is an EOE and is looking for diversity in candidates for employment. If you are interested in this position and would like to learn more about Wayside Waifs, please visit our website at Along with your application, please submit your resume, letter of interest, and three professional references. 

Wayside Waifs offers the following benefits:

- Medical, Dental, Life, Vision and Long Term Disability
- 401(k)
- PTO (Vacation and Sick Time)
- Six and a half paid Holidays
-Three Floating Flex Days

To apply for this position, please visit our website at 



Job Type: Full Time

Salary Range: $50,000 - 74,999