Thank you for your interest in working at PHS! 

The Portsmouth Humane Society (PHS) is a private, non-profit organization that is contracted by the City of Portsmouth to provide animal sheltering services. Annually, we intake around 2,000 animals, most of which are cats/kittens or dogs/puppies. Our mission is to provide shelter, care, and treatment to homeless animals in the City of Portsmouth through permanent adoptions, spay/neuter programs, and humane education. PHS daily operations are supported by a small staff of animal welfare professionals. Additionally, we rely on the support of our Board of Directors, volunteers, foster caregivers, sponsors, donors, and the community.


Animal Care Technician I

The essential role of an Animal Care Technician (ACT) is to provide routine, daily care for all animals while in the shelter. The ACT’s role within our organization is vital as they have the most direct interaction daily with all our animals. They are responsible for feeding, cleaning, exercising, enriching, socializing, and medicating animals. The ACT works collaboratively with volunteers to ensure all animal needs are met.

As an Animal Care Technician, you will get to see the value of your work in the progress each animal makes from intake to adoption. The ideal ACT is kind, empathetic, patient, reliable, and easily adapts to changes. He or she will enjoy working on a small team with a passionate and dedicated staff.

Essential Functions

  • Feed all animals in shelter care based on species, age, size, or other dietary guidelines
  • Clean and sanitize kennels/cages, bedding, dishes, and common spaces daily to ensure a safe and healthy living environment for all animals
  • Walk and exercise dogs
  • Bathe/groom animals as necessary
  • Provide enrichment activities to all animals and participate in behavior modification plans as directed by Animal Care Managers
  • Medicate and provide supportive care to ill or injured animals at the direction of the Supervising Veterinarian or Shelter Director
  • Administer monthly flea/heartworm prevention to animals as appropriate
  • Conduct interactions between potential adopters and adoptable animals, ensuring good matches are made
  • Educate guests on the importance of routine pet care, including preventative veterinary care, training, and exercise
  • Assist with dog-to-dog interactions and oversee playgroups
  • Monitor population for medical or behavioral concerns and communicate these to the Animal Care Managers
  • Aid in the training of volunteers
  • Maintain a professional and healthy environment for all animals, staff, and volunteers
  • Discuss animal behavior, medical issues, euthanasia, and other sheltering challenges with the public in a way that is educational, positive, and free of judgment
  • Any other duties as assigned by the Animal Care Managers or Shelter Director


  • Must be 18 years or older
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively in English, including speaking, listening, reading, and writing
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds
  • Ability to stand, bend, stoop, and walk for an 8-hour+ workday
  • Ability to work around pet dander, dust, and other allergens
  • Must be comfortable handling dogs, cats, and other small animals of varying sizes and temperaments
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to deal with difficult and stressful situations involving animals and guests
  • Must show compassion towards both people and animals
  • Willingness to work in an environment with loud noises and some strong smells
  • Willingness to work both indoors and outdoors year round
  • Willingness to work both at Portsmouth Humane Society and Norfolk Animal Care Center under our organization’s employment
  • Professional animal husbandry experience preferred but not required

Job Type

  • Full-time/40-hours a week, which may include one or both weekend days, as well as holidays
  • Hourly/Non-exempt


  • Earned Paid time off


  • $10.00-$11.00 per hour based on previous experience

Additional Information

The Portsmouth Humane Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Job Type: Full-time or Part-Time