Who’s Taking Care of the Pets?
Who’s Taking Care of the Pets?
A blog post about Great River Rescue Staff
by Brandon Mustful
Great River Rescue depends on volunteers to do its work, but it also depends on a very dedicated and hard-working staff. We generally have 8 – 10 employees who do everything from cleaning kennels, to processing adoptions, to maintaining shelter facilities and equipment. Sadly, I don’t have a single group photo of our staff, but you can see individual photos and short staff bios on our “Meet the Staff” page – Click Here
Currently, we have 9 staff members and 6 unique staff positions. Those positions include the executive director, kennel coordinator, desk worker, kennel attendant, maintenance worker, and Mod Squad coordinator. Below is a brief description of some of the responsibilities of staff members in those positions.
Executive Director: Provides overall leadership for the organization. Responsible for a variety of administrative, managerial, fundraising, outreach, financial, human resource, and volunteer management tasks. The executive director works closely with the board of directors to provide oversight and direction for the organization. The Executive Director might do any task from mowing the lawn and cleaning kennels, to writing grants and creating organizational procedures.
Kennel Coordinator: Manages the in-take, adoption, and foster of all shelter animals. The kennel coordinator monitors the health of all shelter animals and ensure proper care and quality conditions. The kennel coordinator manages the surrender wait list and coordinates with the local pounds on intake of their animals. The kennel coordinator has one of the biggest jobs at the shelter trying to manage the intake of new pets and the overall movement of pets in and out of the shelter.
Desk Worker: Provides quality customer service to all clients and prospective adopters of Great River Rescue. The desk worker is the first point of contact for the public providing information regarding adoption, lost and found pets, reports of abuse and neglect, and other shelter programs. The desk worker is also responsible for managing the paperwork and computer records regarding all shelter activities.
Kennel Attendant: Provides care for shelter animals. Kennel attendants maintain a clean and sanitary environment for shelter pets. They are also responsible for providing food and water for the pets, washing and folding laundry, sweeping and mopping other shelter areas, giving medications as prescribed, and assisting prospective adopters as needed. Kennel attendants care for between 10 and 40 shelter pets on a daily basis. It takes 4 to 5 hours on a daily basis to keep kennel areas clean and sanitary.
Maintenance Workers: Maintains adequate shelter facilities and equipment. The maintenance worker has a lot to do with only about 15 hours per week to do it. The maintenance worker keeps up with general maintenance schedules, repairs shelter equipment as needed, monitors heating and cooling systems, mows and trims the grounds, clears snow, and other tasks as assigned. The shelter maintenance worker is often asked to to do a lot with limited resources.
Mod Squad Coordinator: Responsible for overall oversight and management of the Mod Squad volunteer program. The Mod Squad coordinator recruits volunteers, keeps volunteers organized and motivated, and promotes the program in the community. The coordinator is only scheduled for 4 hours per week, but conducts many activities in those hours.
As you can see, shelter staff have a lot of responsibilities, and many other tasks that they carry out are not listed above. They do these tasks well, and for less pay than they deserve. Shelter staff often provide care and compassion for animals that have significant behavior and medical issues. They also help educate the public about our shelter’s role regarding companion animal welfare and provide direction regarding animal related issues. The staff at Great River Rescue do their jobs because they are committed to the pets and not for any personal gain. As an organization, we are working hard to provide proper pay and benefits for these employees, but we are still far behind from where we want to be. I greatly appreciate their contributions and I want the community to know about the work they are doing.
Thank you Tennielle, Connie, David, Jessica, Julian, Ethan, Gabrielle, and Tabetha for everything you do for the animals and this community. Thank you to all shelter staff who have worked for Great River Rescue and the Beltrami Humane Society in the past. We couldn’t be here today if not for you.
If you visit the shelter, please take a moment to thank a shelter staff person for their work.