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Senior Director, Sanctuary Animal Care Operations

Posted January 25, 2023

Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile
Kanab, UT
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$120,000 to $140,000 annually, depending on experience.

About This Job

Summary: The Senior Director of Sanctuary Animal Care leads our critically important lifesaving work at the heart of the organization, Best Friends’ sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. This position is responsible for driving the Sanctuary Animal Care Division’s work in alignment with national no-kill objectives and serves as the sanctuary-based thought-leader for Best Friends’ national lifesaving and network programs. This senior director oversees animal care operations, comprised of six animal species areas and a full-service veterinary hospital and clinic, and provides strategic guidance and influence in efficient lifesaving strategies to achieve no-kill 2025. The senior director is the leader and a spokesperson for the Sanctuary’s unique role as mission ambassadors and an innovator for new, effective models of care, rehabilitation, and placement of medical and behavioral special needs animals.

Culture Statement and Responsibility: We value attitude over aptitude, and we treat Kindness as a discipline because it is paramount in our culture along with our other Guiding Principles. Culture is how we talk to and treat ourselves and one another, it’s how we generate and respond to change, it’s how we plan and make decisions, it’s how we do what we do.

Essential Duties/ Responsibilities:

  • Treat people around you as our most valuable resource by leading with compassion and kindness in all your actions, build trust by demonstrating authenticity and following through on your commitments, encourage self-care and work-life balance through your own example, and work to build strong relationships with your team by creating communication loops to share and receive honest feedback. You are responsible and accountable for the culture of your team.
  • Partner with the Chief Sanctuary Officer, collaborating with various internal departments, in achieving the promise of the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary brand for visitors, donors, and other supporters. Lead by example through direct and impactful personal and organizational contributions towards Best Friends’ no-kill 2025 goal; act with urgency and efficiency on behalf of animals still at risk of being killed in shelters across the region and the country; lead teams in their important role as ambassadors representing Best Friends’ history, mission, and no-kill goals.
  • Identify and elevate opportunities to innovate in meeting the lifesaving objectives and the unique care and rehabilitation work of our Animal Care.  Identify opportunities for the Sanctuary Animal Care leaders to represent that thought leadership at Best Friends National Conference and other settings that influence Animal Welfare and its supporters.
  • Define lifesaving operational objectives in the context of no-kill 2025 goal, as well as any other quantitative and qualitative measures of success; lead the execution of strategies and programs to achieve those objectives through general oversight of all animal care and outcome programs, including program redesign as necessary to fulfill objectives; represent the vision as well as the strategies to achieve that vision. Communicate the status of the execution of those strategies to staff, supporters, and stakeholders.
  • Purposefully and thoughtfully create an environment where Best Friends is the best place to work for a career in animal welfare, providing opportunities for growth, and for maximizing individuals’ lifesaving impact; lead human resource matters in conjunction with the Human Resources regarding staff selection, management, development, and retention; oversee headcount controls and position creation or realignment; build individual capabilities and capacity through performance measurement, goal setting, coaching and mentorship.
  • Support directors and managers in overseeing departmental budgets including managing expenses, revenues, and reporting on result; oversee the physical facilities and equipment procurement and management including supplies, inventory, building upkeep; participate in capital improvement project planning.
  • Lead the maintenance of a safe workplace. Value and model safe work practices, adhering to organizational safety practices and rules, and addressing or communicating to leadership about unsafe practices and conditions.

Skills and Experience:

  • Solid leadership and management experience preferably in animal operations with a lifesaving focus; 7+ years of proven successful leadership experience, including overseeing large-scale strategy, operations, budgeting (greater than $5M preferred) and staffing (greater than 100 persons preferred), preferably including oversight of multiple locations and/or facilities; 5+ years of experience working for or with a humane organization preferred but not required; experience with or confidence in understanding and managing budgets.
  • Strengths and experience in utilizing statistical information to inform, develop and implement division and department level strategic plans, including change management strategies and program direction; proven attention to detail with advanced organizational and time management skills. 
  • Customer-centric, non-judgmental approach to engaging with adopters, partners, visitors, volunteers, and colleagues; familiarity and comfort with nonjudgmental philosophies.
  • Strong leadership skills with the ability to act decisively with a get-it-done attitude in difficult and fast-paced situations; strong interpersonal skills, a team player, upbeat, energetic, tactful, and diplomatic, able to get along with people from different backgrounds, as well as the ability to handle sensitive and confidential situations. 
  • Excellent communication skills, public speaking, and presentation experience with the ability to professionally advocate Best Friends’ position on issues; experience in supporting, engaging with, and developing relationships with volunteers and donors. 
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office products; familiarity with shelter software/animal management software, or desire to learn, comfort learning new systems, including online information systems. 

Physical Requirements

  • Must be able to:
    1. Routinely lift 40 pounds and perform daily strenuous activity including, but not limited to lifting, carrying, reaching, stooping, squatting, cleaning, and bending.
    2. Work at a computer or driving a car for extended periods of time with repetitive typing, sitting, arm, and hand motion.
    3. Work indoors and outdoors in a variety of weather conditions including extreme heat and cold.
  • Daily exposure to dogs, cats and other animals of all sizes, temperaments, and medical status.
  • Valid driver’s license with ability to travel, including overnight stays, when needed.
  • Daily hours and days of the week may vary according to the needs of the department schedule; position includes weekends, nights, and holiday work.
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About this Employer

Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile

30 North 300 West
Kanab, UT 84741

Telephone (435) 644-2001
Reservations (435) 644-3400

40 Room Hotel

About Best Friends Animal Society

The Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile is an extension of the longstanding hospitality experienced at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Best Friends Animal Society is a leading national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters. In addition to running lifesaving programs in partnership with thousands of animal welfare groups across the country, Best Friends has operations in New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston, Salt Lake City and Northwest Arkansas and runs the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary.

Best Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to about 347,000. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs all across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of more than 3,300 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All®. 

While you are in Kanab, we welcome you to learn more about our lifesaving work, schedule a tour of the Sanctuary, and consider becoming a member of Best Friends Animal Society

Who We Are 

For over 30 years, Best Friends Animal Society has been running the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals and building effective programs that reduce the number of animals entering shelters.

The Best Friends Roadhouse Story

Your southern Utah vacation experience just got better: Welcome to the Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile, the latest (and greatest) lodging option among Kanab’s fast-growing hotel and motel offerings.

Located in the heart of Kanab, Utah, just five miles south of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the Best Friends Roadhouse & Mercantile welcomes pets and their people. For visitors to the Sanctuary and nearby national parks, it provides a pet-friendly place to stay.

The Roadhouse features 40 rooms as well as a variety of dog- and cat-friendly amenities and services, such as built-in cubbies for snuggling, dog washing stations, pet walking and a fenced dog park area with a splash zone. It’s an animal lover’s dream come true! We can’t wait to welcome you to the Roadhouse, where you can experience the warmth of Best Friends hospitality.

Just for Pets

At the Best Friends Roadhouse & Mercantile, pets are just as much guests as their people are. For their comfort and happiness, we are pleased to provide:

  • Personal pet welcome
  • Complimentary self-serve pet washing facilities
  • Complimentary cleaning products, located in the service building
  • Pet walking service provided in half-hour increments by Best Friends volunteers and staff (a fee applies)
  • Pet visits by our staff during the day (a fee applies)
  • Fenced pet-park area with splash water feature (for pets of lodging guests)
  • Pet treats, beds and retail items in the mercantile building
  • Built-in cubbies and snuggling areas in select guest rooms

Best Friends Animal Society is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to their race, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status, domestic partner status, or medical condition.