o Brief Description: The disaster response specialist coordinates with shelters and pet owners in communities to prepare for and respond to disasters that may occur. These positions are mainly available within the national animal welfare organizations notably the HSUS, the ASPCA, and American Humane Association.
o Approximate Annual Salary: There is not much data to determine the average salary range for this position, but it is estimated to be around $40,000 per year. Those who head disaster operations for large humane societies or the national animal welfare groups can expect to make more than this amount.
o Education Requirements: A college degree in a related field is highly recommended. There are also additional skills and information that one should seek out when applying for these positions. These can be found in the link under “Additional Resources.” FEMA courses, which can be completed online, are also useful to take when considering this career choice.
o Course Suggestions: ANSC 250 (Companion Animals in Society), ANSC 307 (Companion Animal Management), ANSC 305 (Human-Animal Interactions), ANSC 407 (Animal Shelter Management)
o Internship/Volunteer Opportunities: Find volunteer and internship opportunities that allow you to gain experience handling animals. These can be found at vet clinics or in animal shelters. You could also consider volunteering with one of the national animal welfare groups on their disaster response teams.
o Additional Resources: