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.

Qualifications:

  • 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.

Exciting Opportunity for Compassionate Veterinarians! Join Ruff Start Rescue’s Life-Saving Team! 

Are you a dedicated and caring veterinarian with a passion for shelter medicine? Ruff Start Rescue invites you to be a part of our mission-driven team as a relief veterinarian. Whether you’re an experienced vet, a recent graduate, or considering a venture into relief work, we want to hear from you.

About Us:

Ruff Start Rescue is a non-profit animal welfare organization on a mission to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome animals in need. Located in the heart of Princeton, MN, our dedicated team strives to create a compassionate community for animals and people. Be part of an organization where your skills and passion make a tangible difference daily!

Why Choose Ruff Start Rescue?

  • Work in an environment where authenticity is valued, creating a culture of trust and collaboration.
  • Benefit from exposure to diverse experiences in the animal welfare sector.
  • Collaborate with a team that values your passion and dedication.
  • Experience a positive and supportive work environment where teamwork is essential to achieving our shared goals.
  • Find personal satisfaction in knowing that your work directly contributes to creating a better life for animals and their families.
  • Be part of an organization that recognizes and celebrates the impact of each team member.

Availability

  • We are flexible! We are looking for a part-time or relief veterinarian.

 Your responsibilities will include:

  • Overseeing all aspects of assigned patients, from providing high-quality, high-volume spay and neuter surgeries to additional surgical procedures and dentistry.
  • Knowledge of shelter medicine principles to contribute to rescue animals’ medical care and diagnosis.
  • Physical examination, pre and post-operative care, anesthetic protocols, patient monitoring, and emergency response.

Qualifications:

  • Joining our dynamic team requires the following:
  • DVM Degree with an active veterinary license in the State of Minnesota.
  • Ability to perform high-quality, high-volume spay-neuter surgeries; candidates with at least two years of anesthetic and surgical experience.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of shelter medicine.
  • Personal Characteristics:
  • Bring your unique qualities to our team:
  • Demonstrate honesty, integrity, and discretion in handling sensitive situations.
  • Strong interpersonal skills – outgoing, patient, professional, and able to connect with various people.
  • Show compassion and empathy for foster families and our animals.
  • Work collaboratively as a team player, supporting the organization’s overall goals.
  • Possess a possibility-driven, proactive, personable, energetic, collaborative, and tactful approach.
  • Maintaining a strong drive for results while navigating unexpected challenges calmly.
  • Showcase excellent organizational skills to contribute to our life-saving initiatives.
  • What we offer
  • Salary: Competitive pay: Based on experience
  • Join a team of passionate professionals who share the same passion as you! An organization that strongly focuses on a healthy work-life balance and great team dynamic.
  • Reports to: Director of Programs
  • How to Apply: Please include your resume and cover letter.

Are you an outgoing leader who enjoys making connections? Then Ruff Start Rescue has a position for you! Volunteers are critical to achieving Ruff Start Rescue’s mission. Our 400-plus volunteers work in every aspect of our organization. The Rescue could not operate without them. Recruiting, training, scheduling, nurturing, and retaining volunteers are crucial to organizational success. 

The Volunteer Manager will provide support for RSR, helping to ensure that volunteer engagement is a driving force of the organization’s mission, growth, and impact. They will help oversee day-to-day volunteer activities and work to implement projects that expand the Volunteer  Department’s reach within other areas of the Organization. They will be responsible for recruiting, engaging, training, and onboarding new volunteers, managing volunteer information, matching volunteers to opportunities based on their interests, keeping volunteers informed with up-to-date information, and overseeing our volunteer management software.  The Volunteer Manager oversees volunteer management training for staff and supports other volunteer management needs. This highly visible leadership position requires a can-do attitude and problem-solving commitment. The Volunteer Manager interacts closely with all volunteers and staff and must be approachable, friendly, upbeat, and have excellent communication skills. 

The Education Manager will provide support for the Education department at RSR. This includes training, mentoring, growing, and promoting our education programs. Education is a vital part of Ruff Start Rescue’s mission. 

Availability:

This is a salaried position with a time commitment of at least 40 hours a week. This position requires you to be onsite at the Princeton Office Monday-Friday. Daily emailing and phone calls are a must. We do have set office hours, but there may be times you go over these hours if needed, depending on your job duties. 

This position oversees: 

    • 2 Staff position 
      • Office Manager
      • Shuttle Driver
  • 400+ volunteers 
  • Volunteer coordinators
  • Community service volunteers
  • Transport coordinators
  • Education Committee 
    • Ranger’s sub-committee 

Volunteer Manager Duties and Responsibilities:

  • The Volunteer Manager is responsible for the oversight of the office manager and shuttle drivers.
  • The manager is the volunteer’s Primary contact at RSR and sets the tone and expectations for all volunteers. 
  • The manager welcomes new volunteers to RSR through regularly scheduled orientation sessions, schedules volunteers into traditional volunteer roles, connects volunteers with their supervisors, and ensures that the volunteers integrate smoothly into their RSR department.
  • Work with department managers to recruit, retain, and reward volunteers for all areas of the organization that require volunteer assistance.
  • Host quarterly volunteer management training for all staff.
  • Maintaining relationships and coordinating with various community agencies that are sources for volunteers.
  • Host annual volunteer events, including picnics and holiday party
  • Communicating RSR policies and procedures to volunteers and correcting as needed.
  • Creating and updating volunteer protocols, SOPs, handbooks, and training materials.
  • Scheduling, organizing, and executing volunteer appreciation events.
  • Acting as administrator on the RSR Foster and Volunteer Facebook Group.
  • Overseeing the Community Service Program, supporting volunteers looking to complete court-ordered community service or school programs with mandated hours of service.
  • Coordinate all volunteer activities and meet with various departments (i.e., Events/Fundraising, Animal Care programs, Communications, Education, Operations, Vetting, etc.) to distinguish volunteer needs.
  • Handle inquiries for information about the volunteer program, including facility tours and corporate volunteer opportunities. 
  • Ensure the volunteer database is accurate and has current information on each volunteer. 
  • Maintain and update volunteer recognition programs and keep up with reporting length of service. 
  • Oversee and manage volunteer coordinators who process new applications within 48 hours and work with applicants.
  • Maintain records related to volunteers and their activities by noting individual skills, abilities, and special interests while tracking training, volunteer assignments, and other related information. 
  • Supervise, encourage, evaluate, and provide corrective action to motivate volunteers and effectively perform assigned duties. 
  • Fills the positions for volunteer coordinators, home visit coordinators, transport coordinators, and shuttle drivers by posting, recruiting, training, and retaining these positions. 
  • Develop and oversee the volunteer and education program budgets.  
  • Coordinate/organize/attend corporate events and volunteer events.
  • Develop and coordinate ongoing educational training for volunteers
  • Attend professional meetings and attend community events to promote RSR.
  • Have a thorough understanding and working knowledge of volunteer programs
  • Other duties as assigned 

Education Manager Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Host monthly Education Committee meetings and attend Ranger Committee meetings.
  • Ensure that RSR’s Education program reaches the appropriate number of individuals the Organization determines each year.
  • Host in-person presentations, virtual events, reading programs, and other educational opportunities. 
  • Host quarterly Jr. Events
  • Responsible for presenting to Educational presentation requests if a volunteer is not available. 
  • Manage all projects and provide oversight on new programs within the department. 
  • Communicate metrics and new initiatives to leadership. 
  • Work with the  Education Committee to coordinate all educational programs, ensuring they meet educational objectives.
  •  Provides overall administrative leadership, management, and marketing for educational programming.
  • Creates educational materials, ensuring they reach the target audiences while meeting the educational objectives and budget.
  • Other duties as assigned

Specific Job Skills and Requirements 

  • Access to the internet on a daily basis.  You must have a laptop to bring to work.
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Minimum high school diploma required.
  • Must be 18+ and have reliable transportation.
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks and work in a fast-paced environment.
  • 2+ years of experience managing employees
  • Preferred experience: 2+ years managing volunteers, management or leadership experience.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Windows and Office, especially Word and Excel.
  • Proficiency using Gmail preferred, including Google Drive.
  • Must be able to communicate objectives and goals professionally.
  • Ability to work courteously and cooperatively with all members of RSR and the public.
  • Experience with public speaking
  • Experience with developing and implementing programs, processes, and procedures.
  • Collaboration skills are a must to value differences, build rapport, and discuss Ruff Start policies, procedures, and changes effectively.

Meetings/Participation

  • Attend/Take part in yearly volunteer picnics or appreciation events.
  • Attend and take part in any major events where the leadership team should be present. 

 

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. 
  • Maturity and good judgment.
  • Ability to show compassion and empathize with the foster families. 
  • Work as a team player, supporting the overall goals of the organization. 
  • Ability or experience working with organization/company founders is a plus.
  • 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.
  • Respect for all people and animals. 
  • Demonstrate affection for animals and concern for their welfare.
  • Ability to handle stressful and awkward situations with new fosters or RSR volunteers. Must be able to approach problem-solving logically, research history, avoid biases, and focus on what is in the best interest of the rescue data to draw the right conclusions—even under pressure.
  • Deep and abiding passion for professionally advocating Ruff Start Rescue’s position on key animal welfare and No-Kill issues.

 

Salary: $43,000+ DOQ

 

Benefits

    • Health insurance will be available for employees on the first of the month after 30 days. RSR will pay 50% of the employee’s monthly premium.
    • Retirement plan with up to a 3% employee contribution available after 90 days.
    • Additional insurance options are available after 90 days – you pay a 100% premium at a discounted group rate.
      • Short term disability
      • Life Insurance
      • Dental Insurance
      • Accident Insurance
      • Hospital Indemnity Insurance
      • Critical Illness Insurance
      • Cancer Insurance
      • Vision Insurance 
  • PTO 
    • First-year 10 days Prorated from 90 days
    • Years 1 and 2 15 days (3 Weeks)
    • Year 3 and 4 20 Days (4 Weeks)
    • Year 5 and 6 25 Days (5 Weeks)
    • Year 7 + 30 Days (6 Weeks)
    • When an employee rolls over to a new year bracket, we prorate from their anniversary day.
  • Ruff Start Rescue recognizes seven paid holidays each year. Should a holiday fall on the weekend, the holiday will be observed on the workday closest to the holiday..  
  • Professional Development courses cover up to $200 annually. 

Reports to: Director of Operations

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

The Office Manager is responsible for ensuring the Rescue can adequately operate and continue our mission in our workspace. The Office Manager is responsible for supporting all departments’ needs within the facility. Assisting with miscellaneous responsibilities and requests to keep the office running smoothly, this role consists of recruiting and “staffing” volunteers in the following areas: office upkeep, cat caretaking, dog let-outs, accepting in-kind donations, greeting members of the public, and one-time onsite volunteer roles.

Availability:

The ability and willingness to allow for a flexible schedule are key.  This is a full-time hourly position. The typical schedule would be Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9 am – 5 pm, and Tuesday and Thursday, 10 am-6 pm in the Princeton, MN office, with occasional weekends.

 

This position oversees: 

  • 10-12 Cat Caretakers
  • 10-12 Office Assistants
  • Office Cleaner (weekly)

 

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for making sure everyone coming to the office is greeted promptly with great customer service.
  • Assisting with last-minute animal intakes, preparing kennels, cleaning kennels, and readying animals to depart the office.
  • This position is approximately 70% manual labor and 30% administrative.
  • Responsible for filing supply requests for Fosters.
  • Responsible for filling preventatives and mailing daily orders.
  • Responsible for filling merchandise orders for pick up and shipping.
  • Recording and putting away In-Kind donations
  • Overseeing, filling, and retaining the cat caretaker roles. If a cat caretaker cannot come in for a shift, the Office Manager is responsible for filling in for them or finding a replacement.
  • Overseeing, filling, and retaining the dog let-out volunteers. If a dog let-out volunteer cannot come in for a shift, the Office Manager is responsible for filling in for them or finding a replacement.
  • Assorted administrative tasks.
  • This position is responsible for oversight of all incoming donations, recording them, and putting them away.
  • The Office Manager is responsible for finding and maintaining volunteers to assist with lawn care, snow removal, garbage service, and facility maintenance.
  • Oversees office cleaning and organization.
  • Other duties as assigned

 

Specific Job Skills and Requirements

  • Access to the internet on a daily basis.  Must have a laptop.
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Minimum high school diploma required.
  • Must be 18+ and have reliable transportation.
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks and work in a fast-paced environment.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Windows and Office, especially Word and Excel.
  • Proficiency using Gmail, including Google Drive, is preferred.
  • Ability to take initiative and work with minimal supervision and direction.
  • Must be able to communicate objectives and goals in a professional manner.
  • Ability to work courteously and cooperatively with all members of RSR and the public.
  • Collaboration skills are a must to value differences, build rapport, and discuss Ruff Start policies, procedures, and changes effectively.

Physical Demands

  • Lifting weight up to 50 lbs. occasionally, up to 25 lbs. frequently

Meetings/Participation

  • Attend/Take part in yearly volunteer picnics or appreciation events.
  • Attend and participate in any major events where the leadership team should be present.

Personal Characteristics

  • Demonstrates honesty, integrity, and discretion. Skilled at handling sensitive and confidential situations and information.
  • Strong interpersonal skills – outgoing, patient, professional, and able to get along well with a variety of people.
  • Maturity and good judgment.
  • Ability to show compassion and empathize with foster families, owner surrenderers, and other members of the public.
  • 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.
  • Respect for all people and animals.
  • Demonstrate affection for animals and concern for their welfare.
  • Ability to handle stressful and/or awkward situations with new fosters or RSR volunteers. Must be able to approach problem-solving logically, research history, avoid biases and focus on what is in the best interest of the rescue data to draw the right conclusions—even under pressure.
  • Deep and abiding passion to professionally advocate Ruff Start Rescue’s position on key animal welfare and No-Kill issues.

Hourly Rate: $18 an hour

Benefits:

  • Health insurance will be available for employees after the 90-day trial period. RSR will pay 50% of the employee’s monthly premium.
  • Retirement plan with up to a 3% employee contribution available after a 90-day trial period.
  • Optional insurance options are available after the probationary period – you pay 100% premium at a discounted group rate.
  • Short term disability
  • Life Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Accident Insurance
  • Hospital Indemnity Insurance
  • Critical Illness Insurance
  • Cancer Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Vacation Leave upon completion of probationary period – 10 PTO days prorated in your first year.
  • Professional Development courses cover up to $200 annually.

Reports to: Volunteer and Education Manager

Applicants, please note: to be considered for this position, you must submit a cover letter and apply here!

Overall Summary and Description:

Are you seeking a rewarding and meaningful career? A career that allows you to utilize your skills while saving the lives of countless animals? You’ll join a team that is dedicated to saving the lives of animals in need. We improve animal welfare in communities through adoption, education, and providing resources for people and pets.

The position is a unique blend of analysis, design, and technology. The ideal candidate will have hands-on experience in website oversight, analytic optimization, and ad-hoc IT support. If you are seeking an impactful opportunity focused on helping animals in need, this is the role for you.

Availability:

  • Part-time up to 15-20  hours per week

You would have an opportunity to:

Website Oversight (60%):

  • Maintain meticulous attention to detail for page formatting, design style, and CSS coding consistency.
  • Conduct website updates and maintenance, including refreshing on-brand content, improving SEO and meta tags, testing landing pages, and resolving programmatic issues.
  • Maintain proficiency in WordPress, responsive web coding, and web development.
  • Analyze and make recommendations for website improvements.

 

Analytic Oversight and Optimization (40%):

  • Implement Google Adwords/paid search and display marketing campaigns, including ad campaign building, bid management, and ongoing keyword testing and optimization.
  • Utilize Google Analytics to collect website analytics data, track and oversee management of SEO, analyze digital campaign performances, and collaborate with the manager on reporting.
  • Responsible for tracking performance, making suggestions, and implement new tactics in order to expand the audience base.
  • Assist in the creation, implementation, and success of digital advertising campaigns.

 

Ad-hoc IT Support (10%):

  • Provide support for Google Workspace and software integrations.
  • Assist with technical aspects of the online store, particularly with Square.
  • Offer IT support for operating systems, productivity software, and a variety of other applications used internally- Pinpoint recurring technical issues and present solutions to address the root of the problems\

 

Specific Job Skills and Requirements 

  • Candidate must have a strong understanding of web.
  • 2- 4 years of experience in web development or similar field.
  • Skilled in working with WordPress, responsive web coding, Google Ads, and Google Analytics.
  • Experienced with online shopping cart platforms: Square

 

Meetings/Participation

  • Attend/Take part in yearly volunteer picnics or appreciation events.
  • Attend staff meetings once per month.

 

Personal Characteristics

  • A can-do attitude with great communication skills
  • A proactive approach to work
  • 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 various people.
  • Maturity and good judgment.
  • 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.
  • A deep and abiding passion for professionally advocating Ruff Start Rescue’s position on key animal welfare and No-Kill issues.

 

Benefits

  • A retirement plan with up to a 3% employer contribution is available after 90 days.
  • Additional Insurance options are available after 90 days.  You pay a 100% premium at a discounted group rate. (Employees must work 20hrs/week to be eligible)
  • Short term disability
  • Life Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Accident Insurance
  • Hospital Indemnity Insurance
  • Critical Illness Insurance
  • Cancer Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Employee Discount
  • Professional Development courses cover up to $200 annually.

 

Salary: $20+ DOQ

Reports to: Marketing and Communications Manager

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

High Level Volunteer Opportunities

Are you looking for a fulfilling and impactful way to utilize your skills and experience to help animals in need? Ruff Start Rescue seeks passionate and talented professionals to join our Board of Directors! As a board member, you will be critical in strategically governing our organization, supporting our dedicated staff and volunteers and making a positive impact in the lives of the animals we help. We are searching for individuals committed to our mission and who want to impact the lives of animals in need. We also offer a wide range of engagement opportunities such as organizational events, workshops to help you learn more about animal rescue and volunteer opportunities such as our transport days that allow you to directly interact with
the animals you’re saving!

As a board member, you will join a team of dedicated professionals and volunteers, help shape the organization’s direction, and build your skills and experience in nonprofit leadership. Whether you're an experienced board member or looking to take your first step into nonprofit leadership, we welcome you to apply!

We are currently seeking applicants for the following board positions:

  • Veterinary Board Member

Your primary responsibilities as a board member will include:

  • Leading strategically
  • Being an ambassador for the organization
  • Ensuring financial stability
  • Helping to secure fundraising resources
  • Supervising and supporting the Executive Director, and
  • Ensuring healthy governance

Other Details

  • Term Length – 2 years w/option to renew; max of 3 total terms
  • Time Commitment – 4-6 hours per month (depending on areas of expertise, committee assignments, etc.)

Take the first step towards making a difference and apply now!

Ruff Start Rescue