The Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA (AAWL & SPCA) – the largest and oldest no-kill shelter in  Arizona – is seeking a Behavior Assistant who have a passion for animal welfare and want to directly impact AAWL’s life saving mission. This position involves assessing all canine intakes and hands-on implementation of AAWL’s positive reinforcement based behavior and training programs and includes working with all types of dogs. 

The Behavior Assistant serves as AAWL’s representative to our shelter partners, volunteers, and training clients. For that reason we are seeking individuals who can communicate and work compassionately with diverse groups, including people handling challenging and traumatic situations involving their pets. The ideal applicant must maintain a calm, compassionate demeanor and be able to make split second decisions in the best interest of the staff, volunteers, and animals at the shelter.

Behavior Assistants work a varied schedule each week, and some days may start as early as 5:30am or may end as late as 7pm depending on need. 

Behavior Assistants report to the Behavior Manager.  AAWL has both full- and part-time positions available. Part-time position ranges from 20 – 25 hours/week, while the full-time position is 30+ hours/week.  Hours range from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Weekends are required. 


  • Perform behavior evaluations on all dogs entering the shelter and accurately document the assessment using Petpoint software; 
  • Assisting and leading canine playgroup sessions with volunteers;
  • Implement and develop behavior training plans for a wide variety of dogs using positive reinforcement and LIMA methods to improve adoptability;
  • Develop and implement enrichment schedules and routines;
  • Communicate and provide advice to members of the public through the Behavior Helpline following AAWL policies and protocols;
  • Assist as needed with the intake team or with the transportation of dogs with behavior needs to/from shelter partners; and 
  • Teach volunteer and public classes on topics of training and AAWL policies while maintaining strict safety standards for both humans and animals.


  • Animal training experience other than your own animals is preferred, but not required;  
  • Clean driving record and over the age of 21; 
  • Must be able to lift and carry 50lbs and perform duties that require lifting, bending, kneeling, and stooping throughout a shift;
  • Must be able to work with and handle all breeds of dog in a safe and calm manner;
  • Must be able to read and write English;
  • Basic computer knowledge, including Microsoft Office, Excel and basic data entry skills; 
  • Ability to adapt to change and accept new duties within a fast-growing organization; and 
  • Ability to work with diverse individuals within the organization and broader community.


Requires periodic sitting at a computer station with prolonged standing and walking. Use of personal computer, phone and general office equipment. Must be comfortable handling dogs and cats daily on a continuous basis. Will be exposed to disinfectant solutions and subject to bites and scratches while handling animals of questionable temperament. Requires normal range of hearing and eyesight to communicate with animals, the public, volunteers, and staff. Also requires flexibility to readily adapt to a fast-paced changing environment and the ability to work weekends and holidays.

To Apply for This Position

Please submit a resume and cover letter to In your subject line, please reference “Behavior Assistant” in your email. No phone calls or walk-ins, please.

Employment Details

AAWL offers compensation that is commensurate with experience and competitive with animal welfare salaries. This position begins at $15.24/hr to start depending on experience. Part-time, non-exempt positions accrue paid sick time and twelve paid holidays. Full-time, non-exempt positions include employer-paid medical insurance, paid vacation/sick time off, and twelve paid holidays.