Companion Animal Biology and Humane Education

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Executive Director

o   Brief Description: The executive director of an animal shelter, humane society, or animal control facility is responsible for overseeing and organizing all operations of the organization.  The executive director follows the policies and procedures set forth by the governing body of the organization (i.e. Board of Directors).  Executive directors develop and maintain budgets, policies, strategies, and procedures within the organization to ensure the best quality of care is given to the animals and that the organization operates in a financially responsible manner.  The executive director should be up to date on local and state laws, and is the main source of communication between the shelter and the general public. 

o   Approximate Salary Range: Variable based on the size of the operation, along with factors such as location, and experience/education of the individual.  May be compensated between $50-100,000 in annual salary.

o   Education Requirements: Individuals interested in this field should have at least a Bachelor’s degree which can be in a variety of different fields.  Knowledge of animal care, communication, public relations, and business/finances are helpful. 

o   Course Suggestions: ANSC 407 (Animal Shelter Management), ANSC 370 (Companion Animal Policy), along with other courses in business (ACE or from the business college), communication (Agriculture Communication or otherwise), and leadership.   Consider the leadership minor offered through the College of ACES.  Courses that focus on non-profit organizations are most helpful when looking at business courses.

o   Internships/Volunteer Opportunities: Spend as much time volunteering and/or interning at as many different shelters as possible.  Visiting shelters is crucial important as different shelters operate in different ways.  Completing one or more Champaign County Humane Society internship is ideal, or one of the other animal sheltering internships available. 

o   Additional Resources and Graduate Programs:

§  http://humanesocietyuniversity.org/careers/about/jobs/exec_director.aspx

§  http://www.madonna.edu/academics/academic-programs/mhus

§  http://www.humanesocietyuniversity.org/academics/cas/humaneleadership/

§  http://www.animalsheltering.org/jobs/

§  http://www.sawanetwork.org/jobbank.cfm

§  Executive Leadership Certificate: http://humanesocietyuniversity.org/academics/sce/certificates/edlic.aspx