Shelter Services Supervisor - Adoption
Humane Society of Durham Region
Whitby, ON

Primary Job Purpose and Essential Duties

The Shelter Services Supervisor - Adoption is an integral member of the Humane Society of Durham Region (HSDR) team committed to achieving the shelters’ organizational mission. Dedicated to the humane treatment of animals, this individual places animal welfare first and foremost during the adoption process and in their other daily responsibilities. They are an active and engaged member of the HSDR team; demonstrating a positive attitude and work ethic.

Under the direction of the Manager, Shelter Operations, the Shelter Services Supervisor - Adoptions will oversee a team of Shelter Service Agents (SSA) providing direct supervision and coaching to SSA staff and ensuring all duties are completed in accordance with HSDR policies and procedures. In addition, the Shelter Services Supervisor - Adoption will act as a leader for the shelter providing guidance and support when needed to foster an enjoyable and productive work environment.

Representative Tasks and Major Responsibilities

The Shelter Services Supervisor - Adoption is responsible for the day to day operations governing adoption and placement of animals and other front office duties and responsibilities.

Customer Service and Adoptions

The Shelter Services Supervisor - Adoption will:

  • Provide outstanding customer service, greeting all individuals and visitors to the shelter and providing information and assistance as required and responding to phone and e-mail inquiries in a professional and timely manner;
  • Perform all duties and responsibilities of a “Shelter Service Agent” (SSA) as required by the HSDR for daily operation;
  • Hold weekly adoption rounds with Senior Animal Care Workers to obtain medical and behaviour information about the animals and ensure the information is communicated appropriately to SSAs and potential adopters to facilitate the best adoption matches;
  • Liaise with other departments as needed for all adoption-related issues;
  • Handle client concerns elevated from SSAs related to adoption and address post adoption and/or return adoption issues. Elevate issues to the Manager, Shelter Operations when necessary;
  • Train and develop new employees and volunteers in the adoption process and policies, as well as in all other SSA duties as required.

Shelter Operations and Administration

The Shelter Services Supervisor - Adoption will:

  • Ensure all animals in the shelter have an appropriate HSDR adoption kennel card to provide appropriate identification of the animal and ensure information is accurately captured and documented in the database;
  • Ensure internet websites appropriately reflect availability and information, including a photo, of the animals;
  • Be available when needed for issues or problems related to SSA job duties and responsibilities, including on call hours if and when needed;
  • Deal with clients, concerns or issues in need of elevation to a supervisor level;
  • In conjunction with the Manager, Shelter Operations, assist in the development and maintenance of alternative rehoming policies and programs for HSDR, including but not limited to Adoption, Barn Programs, Transfer Programs and Adopt from Foster Programs;
  • Ensure that any facility related issues are reported to the Manager, Shelter Operations;
  • Be aware of and work within the regulations of all HSDR policies and protocols;
  • Work in compliance with the provisions of the OHSA and its regulations including understanding and adhering to the requirements of the Health and Safety Manual and any other rules and regulations established by the HSDR;
  • Ensure all supervised employees are performing their duties as assigned in accordance with the various policies and protocols of the Humane Society of Durham Region;
  • Other Duties as required in the day-to-day operation of the Shelter.

Work Authority / Contacts

Assist the Manager, Shelter Operations with job performance evaluation of HSDR SSA employees and, in conjunction with the Manager, Shelter Operations, administer disciplinary action of supervised employees when required;

This position interacts and collaborates with all levels of the organization, including entry level staff members, peers in other departments, executive team members, representatives from external agencies, the general public and volunteers. Contact and communication is carried out through face to face, telephone and electronic interactions. Communication must be positive, professional and respectful in all circumstances.

Working Conditions

Work is performed in an office/shelter environment and will include exposure to various outdoor conditions during the adoption process. Attendance at offsite venues may be required from time to time. Ability to stay standing or active during an entire shift may be required. Work performed sometimes requires physical strength and agility to lift heavy animals, equipment and supplies. Exposure to computer video terminal and keyboard is required daily. May be exposed to potentially aggressive, unruly, sick, diseased and/or parasite infected animals and infectious fluids and materials as well as exposure to chemical cleaners. Environment can be noisy, odourous, and stressful both physically and emotionally. This position requires a flexible schedule. Employees may be required to work weekend and holiday shifts, must be willing to work a flexible schedule. Some travel may be occasionally required. A valid Driver’s license is required.

Education, Training and Competencies

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty and task satisfactorily. Candidates with animal behaviour and handling knowledge, customer service skills, strong computer skills and overall knowledge of shelter operations and goals will be preferred.

The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required:

  • Must be comfortable working with many breeds of dogs and cats and small mammals and willing to acquire animal behaviour and handling knowledge and experience;
  • Strong leadership skills to keep staff motivated, resolve conflicts and make difficult decisions;
  • Strong interpersonal skills. The ideal candidate will be personable, professional, and able to get along with a variety of people;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
  • Strong organizational and administrative skills and a demonstrated ability to prioritize, multi task and meet deadlines;
  • Computer and internet savvy. Proficient in the use of Microsoft Office tools;
  • The ability to remain pleasant and calm even in stressful situations;
  • The ability to turn down potential adopters firmly when necessary without becoming aggressive or unpleasant.

Job Types: Full-time, Permanent


  • Animal behaviour and handling: 5 years (Required)
  • Supervisor: 1 year (Required)
  • Microsoft Office tools: 1 year (Required)
  • Customer Service: 2 years (Required)
  • Animal Care: 5 years (Required)
  • shelter operations: 2 years (Preferred)
  • Computer and internet: 2 years (Required)


  • AEC / DEP or Skilled Trade Certificate (Preferred)