Our staff is devoted to showing up for Ruff Start’s animals, volunteers, and fosters. To see who currently comprises our staff, visit our team page.

We are currently hiring for the below opportunities. Please carefully read each position description and rules to apply before submitting your application.

Employment Opportunities

Description: Provide examinations, patient care, and surgical services for animals belonging to Ruff Start Rescue as well as participating rescues and shelters in accordance with the ideals and standards of Ruff Start Rescue. Work alongside the DVM to provide treatments to the rescue animals, based on their recommendations. 

Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Evaluate and examine incoming surgical patients for previous sterilization surgery, hernias, pregnancy, cryptorchidism, or health problems that may preclude them from having surgery. 
  • Complete medical and surgical procedures in a competent, safe, and efficient manner
  • Perform diagnostic tests such as UA’s, fecals, cytologies, skin scrapes, etc 
  • Assist in all aspects of surgical sterilization and medical care on all patients presenting for care.
  • Enter required data into medical records legibly, whether it be paper or computer-based. 
  • Help with set up, check-in, recovery, checkout, and cleaning
  • Work collaboratively with all other staff and volunteers to ensure animals are being cared for properly and getting the required treatments to prepare them for adoption.


  • Certification as a Veterinary Technician preferred with experience as a high quality, high volume spay and neuter program veterinary technician.  
  • Preferred candidates need at least 1 year of anesthetic and surgical experience. 
  • The ability to be able to lift 50 lbs and be physically able to bend, stoop, kneel, squat, twist, reach, and climb steps.
  • Ability to accurately evaluate the health and condition of animals, while providing safe restraint.
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written or typed.
  • The right candidate will be able to effectively work independently and will be self-motivated.

 Personal Characteristics

  • Demonstrates honesty, integrity, and discretion. Skilled at handling sensitive and confidential situations.
  • Strong interpersonal skills – outgoing, patient, professional, and able to get along well with a variety of people. 
  • Ability to show compassion and empathize with the foster families. 
  • Work as a team player, supporting the overall goals of the organization. 
  • Possibility-driven, proactive, personable, energetic, collaborative, and tactful.
  • Brings a strong drive for results, while maintaining a calm approach to managing change and working through unexpected or challenging situations.
  • Well organized.
  • Deep and abiding passion to professionally advocate Ruff Start Rescue’s position on key animal welfare and No-Kill issues.

Availability:  8-10 hours shifts. Ability and willingness to allow for a flexible schedule are key.

Hourly rate: DOQ

Reports to: Senior Medical Manager and Director of ProgramsApplicants, Please note: Send cover letter, resume, and three professional references to apply@ruffstartrescue.org. Interested applicants who do not include both items in their submission will not be considered.

Are you looking for a rewarding and meaningful career? A career that allows you to utilize your professional background while saving the lives of countless animals?  Ruff Start Rescue has a position for you. As a key member of the leadership team, the Associate Director reports directly to the Executive Director and develops strategies, and oversees the execution of plans to attain short and long-term goals. The AD establishes policies and procedures that promote organizational vision, support business sustainability, and growth, and minimize risk. They are responsible for overseeing and handling the day-to-day operations of the rescue. The AD will act as the executive director’s right hand and trusted advisor, allowing the ED to free up their time to focus on moving the mission forward. The AD will have a bird’s eye view across teams and departments, allowing them to connect the dots in ways others can’t.


 This is a salaried position with a time commitment of at least 40 hours a week. These hours are a mix of work-from-home days and required in-office days (Princeton) of at least three days a week.  Daily emailing and phone calls are a must.

You would have an opportunity to:

Directly Support the Executive Director: 

  • Work with leadership to set strategic priorities: help identify areas where leadership should direct their focus and metrics for success. Ensuring those metrics are revisited regularly and evaluating progress against them.
  • Strategically help manage the executive director’s time by looking at external opportunities, including meetings, travel time, and assess their fit against priorities.
  • Act as gatekeepers: Ensure the executive director’s involvement in project or decision-making processes occurs at key times when their input and authority are most needed.
  • Prepare for and follow up on meetings: prepare ED for upcoming meetings by ensuring they have all the information necessary to be productive and engaged.
  • Manage internal and external communications: As partners to the ED, the Associate Director often drafts organization memos, reports, pitch decks, speeches, and presentations on their behalf.
  • Ability to serve as a true business partner and second-in-command to the Executive Director
  • Serve as backup to the Executive Director and in ED’s absence.


Project Management

  • Oversee large, often cross-functional, organization-wide projects or initiatives; bring together important stakeholders and help drive decisions.
  • Research, perform benchmarking, analyze data, and make recommendations.
  • Propose the creation of new systems and processes to streamline operations.
  • Identify opportunities for expanded/new programs and develop proposals for pursuing those opportunities while continuously looking for ways to increase efficiency in current programs and processes.
  • Participate in the budgeting process. Ensure expenses and revenue projections are appropriate and fiscally responsible. Budget creation and an understanding of nonprofit financials

Strategic Planning and Alignment

  • Lead annual strategic planning process for the organization by acting as a project manager and ensuring alignment with the Executive Director and leadership team.
  • Help determine key performance indicators and update dashboards as needed.
  • Establish a culture of high performance, collaboration, innovation & commitment to delivering impact.
  • Ability to lead through change.
  • Developing and implementing strategies, procedures, and business plans & budgets needed to enhance Organizational growth.
  • Work with the Executive Director to ensure that the organization is up to date on trends and best practices. Provide updates to the Board of Directors as requested.

Hiring and Management

  • Manage the hiring process for leadership roles reporting to the Executive Director: In partnership with HR
  • Manage staff or consultants outside of the leadership team that falls under the executive director:
  • Cross-train on director roles: serve as a backup for direct reports under ED
  • Serve as ‘integrator’ between department leaders, managing day-to-day operational activities and escalations as they arise.
  • Participate in the recruitment & retention of staff
  • Other duties as assigned


Specific Job Skills and requirements 

  • Bachelor’s Degree in business, human services, non-profit management, or related field
  • 5-plus years of business operations management experience plus P&L responsibility
  • Strong business financial acumen
  • Experience leading and managing employees
  • Understanding, knowledge, and resources are available to ensure compliance with non-profit laws and reporting.
  • Background in Animal welfare preferred


  • Attend/Take part in yearly volunteer appreciation events, holiday parties, galas, staff retreats, etc.
  • Attend and take part in any major RSR events

Personal Characteristics

  • Results-driven and meet adversity with tenacity. Master organizer and project planner who can consistently look ahead and anticipate needs before they arise
  • Strategic mindset: natural problem solver who is analytical and structured in thinking. Create order out of chaos by identifying systems and processes in need of adjustment. Deeply understand business operations and can synthesize information to recommend a plan of action
  • Emotional intelligence: highly self aware and perceptive towards the ED and other key relationships. Positive, empathetic, flexible and curious
  • Demonstrates honesty, integrity, and discretion. Skilled at handling sensitive and confidential situations
  • Strong interpersonal skills – outgoing, patient, professional, and team player who is able to get along well with a variety of people
  • Deep and abiding passion to professionally advocate Ruff Start Rescue’s position on key animal welfare and No-Kill issues.

Do the duties listed fit your skills and experience? We are looking for a master organizer who has a passion for animal welfare.

Ruff Start Rescue offers a Competitive Salary & a desirable benefits package, including health insurance, PTO, and retirement plans. RSR recognizes seven paid holidays per year.

Reports to: Executive Director

Applicants, please note: to be considered for this position, you must submit a cover letter in addition to a resume.

High Level Volunteer Opportunities

Current Open Board Positions:

  • Attorney Board Member
  • Veterinary Board Member

Ruff Start Rescue always welcomes new Board members who are passionate about our Mission and rescuing of animals.  We seek talented and skilled professionals who wish to strategically govern the organization and support our Executive Director and the deeply committed staff and volunteers.

Term lengths are two years, with an option to renew an additional term. The time commitment to service includes preparing for and attending Board meetings as well as serving on a committee, which combined averages about three to five hours per month. We also encourage engagement in our organizational events, such as the annual holiday event or a transport/rescue experience, as well as other educational workshops that you may be interested in learning more about animal rescue.

From a Board Governance perspective, here are the primary roles and responsibilities of the Board:

Lead strategically

  • Support strategic thinking and planning and ensure alignment of programs, outcomes, societal impact, and performance to the organization’s mission, vision, and strategy.

Be an ambassador

  • Have an “elevator speech” and enhance the organization’s public image.

Ensure financial stability

  • Read and interpret financial statements and confirm compliance and legal requirements are met.

Ensure fundraising resources

  • Give or get funds to support fundraising efforts and confirm ethical and legal fundraising standards are met

Supervise and support the Executive Director

  • Select, evaluate, and support the ED and oversee policy and organization climate

Ensure healthy governance

  • Attend and require robust meetings and chair and/or serve on committees

How to apply: Submit a cover letter and resume, to apply@ruffstartrescue.org with “RSR Board Member” in the subject line.

**Candidates who do not follow application instructions and/or do not send all requested documents will not be considered**

Ruff Start Rescue