Companion Animal Biology and Humane Education


Shelter Manager

o   Brief Description: The shelter manager is in charge of hiring and training employees, developing and overseeing protocols for animal care, and making final decisions regarding the final disposition of shelter animals (adoption or euthanasia).  The shelter manager is heavily involved in day-to-day activities of the shelter including intake, routine care, medical care, and adoptions to name a few.  In smaller shelters, the shelter manager may also take on the financial and administrative roles of the executive director as well.

o   Approximate Annual Salary: Salary will depend on location (higher pay on the east and west coasts) and the size of the organization.  Salaries can thus range from $30,000 - $60,000).  Salary is also dependent on education and experience.

o   Education Requirements:  Some shelters may only require a high school diploma, but more structured, larger animal shelters will require at least a Bachelor’s degree in a related field.  Individuals seeking this career should also have relevant experiences in animal sheltering.

o   Course Suggestions: ANSC 307 (Companion Animal Management), ANSC 250 (Companion Animals in Society), ANSC 305 (Human-Animal Interactions), ANSC 407 (Animal Shelter Management), and any behavior ANSC 499 seminars if possible.

o   Internship/Volunteer Opportunities: Take as many internships or volunteer opportunities working in different shelters.  Shelters operate in many different ways so multiple experiences will make you more knowledgeable in the area.  Consider taking one or more internships at the Champaign County Humane Society.

o   Additional Resources:

§  Executive Leadership Certificate:

§  Humane Leadership programs: