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WORK AT PAWS


At Paws With A Cause, each employee plays a role in helping a person with a disability enhance their independence and quality of life through a partnership with an Assistance Dog.

We’re looking for team players who are passionate about our mission and values. PAWS is a nonprofit, equal opportunity employer that strives to create a work-life balance for employees. Employees have the opportunity to work in an environment with Assistance Dogs for a unique work experience.

Because we value the strength diversity brings to the workplace, PAWS is committed to the recruitment, retention and development of a workforce that reflects the diverse society in which we live.

If you are interested in applying for an available position, please complete the online application and upload a PDF of your cover letter and resume with the application.

 

Paws with a Cause

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    DOG TRAINER


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    Dog Trainer apprenticeship
     

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    Answers to our

    common questions
     

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AVAILABLE CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

 

STAFF ASSISTANCE DOG TRAINER

CLIENT RELATIONS MANAGER

DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

BUILDING AND GROUNDS MAINTENANCE

INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITY - DEVELOPMENT


Because we value the strength diversity brings to the workplace, PAWS is committed to the recruitment, retention and development of a workforce that reflects the diverse society in which we live.

Every person employed at PAWS is employed at will. This means you have the right to leave PAWS for any or no reason, with or without advance notice. Likewise, PAWS has the same right to terminate your employment, with or without cause or notice. No PAWS Board Member, manager or employee has the authority to make a commitment of guaranteed or continued employment to you, and no PAWS publication should be understood to make any such commitment.

PAWS’ goal is to have a safe environment for our employees and contract laborers. In order to ensure that, PAWS conducts a criminal history background check for all prospective PAWS’ employees and contract laborers. We retain the right to determine whether or not to engage a prospective employee or contract laborer who has a criminal history. When making a decision whether or not to hire a prospective employee or contract laborer with a criminal history, PAWS will consider:

  • The nature and gravity of the offense or conduct
  • The time that has passed since the offense/conduct and/or the sentence
  • The nature of the employment and/or contract labor position sought

Background checks may take up to two weeks to complete.


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Paws with a Cause
 

 

PAWS APPRENTICESHIP

 

SUMMARY

PLEASE CHECK OUR CAREER OPPORTUNITIES TO SEE IF WE ARE CURRENTLY ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR APPRENTICE POSITIONS.
The PAWS Apprenticeship Program offers a comprehensive overview of various training methods through classroom study, observation and application of hands-on experience. Scientific principles supporting canine behavior and training are learned and applied, including reinforcement and correction and the importance of both to training Assistance Dogs. In addition, researching and understanding the disabilities PAWS serves will be part of individual and group discussions and presentations. Hands-on experience throughout each operational department of PAWS will be provided, including Breeding, Foster Puppy, Client Services, Veterinary and Fund Development. The ultimate goal of the Apprentice will be to successfully graduate and receive a Department of Labor approved Journey Person Certificate in the occupation of Animal Trainer-Assistance Dogs. To accomplish this goal, the Apprentice must successfully complete over 25 written and practical tests on classroom materials, train specific skills with 90-120 dogs and track hours spent on each of the skills required and experience gained with other departments. This is currently a three year program; however, it may last until all are requirements are completed. Graduation from the PAWS Apprenticeship Program qualifies the individual to apply for a PAWS Staff Trainer position when available.


QUALIFICATIONS

Upon hire, apprentice applicant must:
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Possess or obtain a valid driver’s license, with Moving Violation Points not to exceed PAWS insurance carrier’s requirements
  • Be able to work in an environment with animal hair and/or dander
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED equivalent, with Associates degree or higher preferred and/or equivalent training and experience
  • Be skilled in general word processing software Word, Excel, Powerpoint and email communication such as gmail
  • Have tolerance for noise level in a kennel environment with appropriate ear protection
  • Be open to learning and working in front of peers, mentors, and supervisors
  • Have mental flexibility and be able to function while in a potentially stressful environment
  • Have professional written and verbal communication skills
  • Be a cooperative team player
  • Be able to function independently and accomplish work with little supervision
  • Interact professionally with co-workers and the general public
  • Be physically fit and have stamina to handle 80 pound canines for 8 hours per day
  • Possess critical thinking skills and be able to make quick decisions in emergency situations

At completion of Program, Apprentice graduate should have:

  • Working knowledge of basic health care, grooming, and husbandry for canines
  • Working knowledge of training techniques, theories, and behavior modification tools and the ability to apply them appropriately and effectively in a production training facility
  • Produced quality Assistance Dogs to meet the needs of a person with one or multiple disabilities
  • Skills in reading canine communication and reacting appropriately
  • Comprehension of canine temperament, behavior issues, problem solving, selecting canine career paths, and matching client/canine teams
  • Flexibility in choosing training techniques and tailoring training plans for each canine based on age, sex, temperament, breed, size, career, etc.
  • Working knowledge of equipment available to facilitate tasks between clients and canines
  • Ability to mentor and/or teach other Apprentice Trainers, Staff Trainers, Clients, or Volunteers
  • Ability to give presentations about Assistance Dogs, PAWS, training, or disabilities to individuals or groups
  • Knowledge and understanding of various types of disabilities
  • Worked with and effectively trained a client to use an Assistance Dog custom trained for their needs
  • Understanding of the needs of people with disabilities and how to effectively communicate with them
  • Ability to address real or perceived problems a client may encounter with their Assistance Dog
  • Operated various vehicles and wheelchair lift equipment
  • Understanding of the legal access rights for Assistance Dog Teams in public and Trainers in public
  • Knowledge and have applied Assistance Dogs International standards and ethics for program, trainers, dogs, and clients


FAQs

1. What can I do to help prepare me to be an Assistance Dog trainer?

This field works best with hands-on learning opportunities and experience. In order to learn about dogs, you need to be around dogs. Expose yourself to as many dogs as possible. The skill of reading dog body language is critical to being a good trainer. The more dogs you are around of various breed, sex, size, energy, early learning, and training, the more opportunities you have for being proficient at this skill. In order to gain the necessary experience, we suggest contacting a private dog trainer, Kennel Club or Obedience club to inquire about an apprentice position. Visit shelters, doggie daycares, attend a training class, work with a rescue group, etc. so that you can make as many observations as possible. While you are doing this, practice your observation skills. One of the most difficult things to teach someone are all the subtleties that happen within a training session. You need a great deal of experience with the large scale picture to notice all the nuances. We suggest attending every seminar and reading any book which relates to dogs and/or training. We recommend reading Brenda Aloff’s, “Canine Body Language: A Photographic Guide Interpreting the Native Language of the Domestic Dog” or Barbara Handelman’s “Canine Behavior: A Photo Illustrated Handbook” to get you started on things to observe. Please keep in mind there are many different beliefs and techniques within this field; however, a wide range of knowledge can only benefit a job candidate.

2. Is the apprenticeship a volunteer position?
Currently, this is a paid position. Although there is a strong learning component, apprentice trainers will be contributing to the placements of client and canine teams throughout their three years. It is an hourly position with benefits available. PLEASE LOOK AT THE CAREER OPPORTUNITIES TO SEE IF WE ARE CURRENTLY ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR APPRENTICE POSITIONS. IF IT IS NOT LISTED, THEN NO POSITIONS ARE AVAILABLE.

3. How much hands-on experience would I receive?
It is estimated that an Apprentice will train between 30-40 dogs per year. This makes the total dogs worked over three years between 90-120 dogs, plus all additional observation of dogs that fellow trainers in the facility work. In addition, each year Apprentices would observe at least one client/canine team placement (approximately 20-25 hours of instruction), and in the last year Apprentices complete one team placement under mentorship. Total hours of client/canine interaction is estimated at 80-100 hours of instruction.

4. How many people are accepted?
Historically, PAWS has accepted approximately seven people into the apprentice program in the last eight years. We are currently enhancing structure to allow for more to be accepted into the program on a regular basis. We have found success in accepting groups of three Apprentices into the program at a time, therefore, we are looking to continue to grow this program in that manner. PLEASE LOOK AT THE CAREER OPPORTUNITIES TO SEE IF WE ARE CURRENTLY ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR APPRENTICE POSITIONS. IF IT IS NOT LISTED, THEN NO POSITIONS ARE AVAILABLE.

5. What happens when the Apprenticeship ends?
PAWS has gone through an extensive process to have their Apprenticeship Program meet the standards and regulations of the Federal Department of Labor. This means that the material covered meets their quality standards. It will require documentation on the part of the Apprentice to prove that they have met all assigned work. Once all requirements of learning hours, testing, and on-the-job learning are met, the Apprentice will be qualified for the Journey Person’s Certificate in the occupation of Animal Trainer-Assistance Dogs. Graduated Apprentices are qualified to apply for PAWS Staff Trainer positions.

Paws with a Cause

 

 

EMPLOYMENT FAQ

What is the hiring process?
What does “open until filled” mean?
Does PAWS accept paper applications?
Can I apply for more than one job?
Can I attach my resume, cover letter and supporting documentation to my application?
Do I have to fill out all portions of the application if I attach my resume?
Will you consider my application for other openings at PAWS?
Can I change or revise information on an application I already submitted?
How do I know PAWS received my application?
How long after I apply might I be called for an interview?
How do I check on the status of a position?
Can I apply 24/7?
What is PAWS' benefit package?
Who can I contact for questions not answered here?

 

What is the hiring process?


Step 1: All of our available opportunities are posted on our website under Career Openings.

Step 2: Complete and submit your application.

Step 3: We will review your application and if we find you to be a qualified candidate, a PAWS representative will contact you to schedule an interview. The most qualified applicants will be sent to the department manager for further consideration. A complete background check will be performed on the final candidates only.

Step 4: If the interview results in an employment offer, we will present the details of the offer.

Due to the volume of applications we receive, we are unable to personally contact every applicant. If you are not selected for an interview, you are welcome to reapply for future positions.

What does “open until filled” mean?

If the deadline for a career posting reads “open until filled”, it means applications are being accepted until the position is filled and the posting may close without notice. If you are interested in the position, we recommend applying as soon as possible. If you apply after the initial posted date and the position is not yet filled, there is no guarantee that your application will be reviewed.

Does PAWS accept paper applications?

In an effort to streamline our applicant tracking process for efficiency, we require all applications and relevant attachments to be submitted online. If you do not have computer access or if you need assistance completing an application, you can visit your local library or PAWS National Headquarters where we would be happy to assist you in completing your application online.

Can I apply for more than one job?


Yes, but you must submit a separate application for each position you are interested in.

Can I attach my resume, cover letter and supporting documentation to my application?

Yes, you can upload these documents as PDF's.

Do I have to fill out all portions of the application if I attach my resume? 


Yes, you need to complete the entire application for full consideration, even if you attach your resume.

Will you consider my application for other openings at PAWS?


No, you will only be considered for the position(s) for which you submit an application(s). To be considered for additional openings, you need to submit a separate application for each position.

Can I change or revise information on an application I already submitted?

Unfortunately, once the application has been submitted, it has already been sent through the appropriate channels. Please take extra time to review your information to assure accuracy before submitting.

How do I know PAWS received my application?


Once you submit your application, you will receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive this email within a few hours, check your spam or junk folder since some email accounts filter generated emails out of your inbox.

How long after I apply might I be called for an interview?


The time varies from 3-6 weeks. PAWS will contact you directly if you are selected for an interview.

How do I check on the status of a position?


If a job is no longer listed, we have filled the position; however, we invite you to check back for future openings.

Can I apply 24/7?


PAWS’ application system is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Scheduled downtimes for maintenance will be posted online.

What is PAWS' benefit package?


At PAWS, we work hard to offer employees competitive pay and comprehensive health benefits for you and your family. Our benefit options include:

  • Comprehensive medical, dental, vision and prescription insurance
  • Vacation, personal/sick time
  • Company-sponsored life insurance
  • Supplemental life insurance
  • Company-sponsored short-term disability
  • Supplemental long-term disability
  • Supplemental insurance through Aflac
  • 403(b) retirement plan

Who can I contact for questions not answered here?


Please call PAWS Human Resources at 616-877-7297.


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