Kennel Assistant

Kennel Assistant Job Description

The Kennel Assistant provides care and the basic needs of animals that are being groomed, boarded or that are patients of Animal Hospital at Baldwin Park including cleaning of cages, runs and ward areas, laundry, walking, and proper feeding, medicating and care of all hospitalized animals.  The kennel assistant operates under the supervision of the Kennel Manager/Practice Manager.

Primary Job Responsibilities

  • Observe animal appearance and activity for general physical condition, obvious signs of illness, disease and discontent.
  • Handle animals as required and restrain animals.
  • Walk hospitalized and boarded dogs several times a day to provide exercise and time for elimination of bowels and bladder.
  • Bathe, groom and provide Tender Loving Care to boarded and hospitalized animals.
  • Provide care for animals housed/visiting the Hospital.  Report signs of illness, disease, injury or unusual activity to animal health technicians/veterinarians.
  • Apply knowledge of normal food and liquid requirements of animals. As required, provide special food and liquids.
  • Discharge and admit animals at the request of receptionists, practitioners and animal health technicians.  Assure animals being discharged have been checked by animal health technician and/or practitioner. Ensure that animals are clean and fresh smelling prior to discharge.
  • Under the supervision of veterinarians or technicians assist with the administration of medications, post operative care or preparation of samples for laboratory examination, collect specimens, clean instruments, fill prescriptions as authorized.
  • Ensure that cages and animals are properly numbered and identified and that personal property (toys, treats, blankets, leashes) are stored in the proper area and identified.
  • Clean, disinfect and maintain kennels, cages, runs and stalls as often as is necessary to ensure no cages or kennels are soiled and odors are not apparent.  Perform general cleaning in other areas of the hospital to control the spread of disease, Wash and sterilize water and food bowls.
  • Launder and dry towels and blankets.
  • Patrol hospital grounds daily, picking up any trash and stool material.  Empty trash.
  • Groom animals utilizing techniques that vary depending on type of hair, coat, breed and owner instructions. Bathe and dry animals. As required, perform pedicures.
  • Record information such as feeding schedules, appearance, behavior of animals that are boarded, groomed or hospitalized.
  • Exhibit a technical knowledge of products and medications sold, including dietary products.  Demonstrate the ability to explain and educate clients on products and answer their questions regarding product purchase/use.
  • Work well with all employees and ensure that your actions support the hospital, the doctors and the practice philosophy.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Controls Over Work

The Kennel Assistant works under the direct supervision of the Veterinary Practice Manager/the Kennel Manager who will indicate general assignments, limitations and priorities.   Practitioners/animal health technicians provide specific instructions in giving medications, feeding specific diets or following special sanitary procedures.  Recurring assignments are performed independently.  Deviations or unfamiliar situations are referred to the supervisor.

Other Significant Facts

Skills and Knowledge

  • Apply knowledge and skills in controlling/handling individual animal temperament.
  • Ability to gain animal confidence when restraining them for transport, grooming and/or treatment.
  • Knowledge of proper methods of animal restraint
  • Knowledge of grooming practices for wide range of small animals.
  • Ability to use cleaning materials and equipment with skill and efficiency
  • Ability to perform moderately heavy physical labor
  • Knowledge of principles and processes for providing client and personal services. This includes client needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of client satisfaction.
  • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Ability to work independently on assigned tasks as well as to accept direction on given assignments. Understand and carry out oral and written direction

Physical Effort

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the primary functions of this job.

  • Frequently required to bend, stand, stoop, walk, sit, communicate, and listen, frequently working in a bent position.
  • Frequently use hands to manipulate, handle, or feel; will reach with hands and arms.
  • Use strength or agility in capturing and restraining stronger, more active animals.
  • Frequently lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.

Occasionally handle dogs weighing up to and over 150 lbs. Assistance will be provided by animal handlers when working with larger animals.

Work Environment

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is exposed to hazards associated with aggressive patients; hazards associated with infected animals and controlled substances; exposure to unpleasant odors and noises; exposure to bites, scratches and animal wastes; possible exposure to contagious diseases.

Work is normally performed inside; some outside work is required.
Follow federal and state animal health laws and regulations including OSHA and DEA.