Generally, animal shelter managers work an above-average number of hours per week due to the job's intense nature and the urgent care required for many animals. This can mean some managers will need to be on-call during "unsocial hours" should emergency situations arise.
The job's main duty focuses on managing a small team of staff which assesses incoming animals and creates plans to bring them back to health. Work also includes typical managerial tasks such as scheduling rotas, dealing with staff competency, and hiring and firing team members.
There are times when managers will need to be very hands-on with animals, especially in unusual and emergency situations. This can include administering medicines, addressing wounds, and cleaning up "accidents." An animal shelter manager must have a good overview of animal care and specialized knowledge of at least two common household pets, such as cats or dogs.
The typical animal shelter has both indoor and outdoor sections, so animal shelter managers should be able to work in both. However, most of the work will be within an office. Those in this position report to the city's animal care and control centers and provide electronic and verbal reports regarding cases, budget requirements, and facility maintenance.
While it is possible to work up from a volunteer at a shelter to a managerial position, many shelters require their manager to have at least a Bachelor's degree in a field such as Animal Studies, Public Administration or Veterinary Science. As these positions are fairly rare, most shelters will be looking for at least three years of managerial experience, as well as good decision-making skills and proven report-writing experience.