Companion Animal Biology and Humane Education

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Animal Behavior Enrichment Coordinator

o   Brief Description:  An enrichment coordinator may work at a zoo or in an animal shelter setting.  These individuals provide forms of mental enrichment for the animals in their care.  They do this by evaluating the animals’ needs and coming up with creative ways to keep the animals mentally stimulated.

o   Approximate Annual Salary:  Salary will vary, depending on education and experience level along with the location and size of the zoo or shelter you are applying to.  Some jobs have been shown to range from $30,000 -50,000 per year.  This may also change as more shelters and zoos realize the importance of behavioral enrichment for their animals.

o   Education Requirements:  A Bachelor’s degree in a related field is preferred for these positions.  When looking at jobs working with shelter animals, experience in dog training and experience working a shelter environment are necessary. 

o   Course Suggestions:  ANSC 307 (Companion Animal Management), 407 (Animal Shelter Management), and any of the ANSC 499 Applied Animal Behavior seminar courses.  When working in a zoo, ANSC 406 (Zoo Animal Conservation Science) is a good choice.

o   Internship/Volunteer Opportunities: An internship with the Champaign County Humane Society as a behavior intern is a great experience to have.  Experience working with dog trainers, or at a zoo in environmental enrichment are also opportunities one should seek when looking into this career.  Below is an example of a zoo behavior management internship.  You can find more like this online as well.

§  http://www.mnzoo.com/global/intern_behaviorMgmt.asp

o   Additional Resources:

§  http://www.aspcapro.org/enrichment-for-shelter-dogs.php

§  http://www.aspcapro.org/enrichment-for-shelter-cats.php

§  http://www.aza.org/enrichment/