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

Overall Summary and Description:

The Director of Marketing & Development, a key member of Ruff Start Rescue’s leadership team, is responsible for envisioning and executing a comprehensive fundraising and communications strategy that advances our mission, helps increase philanthropic support from donors, and drives our growth plan.  This role focuses heavily on fundraising, program support, development, and diversifying revenue streams to maintain organizational goals and objectives. This position is also responsible for supervising a team of three full-time staff and five part-time staff (with 4 direct reports) and ensuring that their tasks are being completed in a timely and efficient manner. This position will spearhead all aspects of the fund development program including general donations, corporate sponsorships, grants, major gifts, planned giving, recurring giving, special events, and merchandising. The Director of Marketing and Development will oversee external messaging for the organization, including social media, digital marketing, print materials, fundraising appeals. Additionally, the Marketing & Development department is responsible for merchandise and all rescue events.

Availability:

Ability and willingness to allow for a flexible schedule are key.  This is a salaried position with a time commitment of at least 40 hours a week. The majority of these hours can be done remotely but you will be required to be in the office (Princeton) at least 3 days a week.  Daily emailing and/or phone calls is 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.

Lead and Supervise:

Marketing Area

  • Marketing and Communications Manager
  • Social Media Marketing Specialist
  • Media Promotions Assistant
  • Creative Coordinator

Development Area

  • Development Officer
  • Donor and Database Management coordinator
  • Grants Manager
  • Events Manager

If any of the above-staffed positions become vacant, the Director of Marketing & Development would be responsible for filling in while a replacement is found. This includes recruiting, interviewing, hiring, retaining, and rewarding these positions.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develop comprehensive fundraising and marketing plans and objectives in conjunction with the Executive team with targeted goals, quantifiable outcomes, and timelines.
  • Prepare budgets and effectively manage financials, staff, and department resources to achieve these goals and objectives.
  • Secure and maintain financial support from individuals, foundations, and corporations. Forms of solicitation will include electronic, printed materials, virtual, phone calls, and face-to-face.
  • Work with the donations and database management coordinator to Manage donation software and oversee data entry and gift processing in compliance with the donation recording policy.
  • Oversee in-kind donation solicitation and ensure proper recording is completed.
  • Oversee, support, and ensure the success of the development officer role which includes duties such as: Oversee the relationships with all donors and organization partners (individual, corporate, and foundations). This component will be accomplished through letters, email, phone conversations, virtual meetings, in-person meetings, and social media channels.
  • Work with the grants manager to ensure the success of continued growth of grant funding, grant calendar for proposals, and reporting for secured grants.
  • Assist with both annual and one-time special events.
  • Oversee expansion and growth of merchandise sales, animal care fund, corporate sponsorship, and employee match programs.
  • Market fundraising partner programs on a regular basis.
  • Create innovative fundraising opportunities to remain competitive and ensure long-term financial growth even during economic downturns. This task will require a great deal of market research collected through the web, seminar participation, word of mouth, and reaching out to animal welfare organizations nationwide on successful tools and ideas.
  • Oversee all marketing efforts including proactive and reactive media contacts, printed marketing materials, direct mail content, newsletters, event publicity, and appeals for contributions.
  • Oversee all RSR events, work with the Events Manager to ensure that the events are successful for attendees, donors, and have a positive ROI for the organization
  • Ensure the annual report is completed in a timely manner.
  • Build and maintain a planned giving program.
  • Work with the Executive Director to ensure that the organization is up to date on trends and best practices in fundraising, marketing, and development. Provide updates to the Board of Directors as requested.
  • Work with internal volunteers to ensure the health and stability of the marketing and development departments and the internal functions.
  • Assist with strategic planning to ensure that Ruff Start Rescue establishes and implements a long-term strategic plan with measurable outcomes and annual goals that move the organization toward achieving its long-term, strategic goals.
  • Responsible for donor/sponsor acknowledgment and recognition.
  • Coach management staff under your supervision to be long-term successful leaders. Set them up for success to oversee internal volunteers or other staff members under their leadership. This includes, but is not limited to: recruiting, rewarding, and retaining direct reports.
  • 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 experience in funds development. A proven track record of major gift solicitation success, particularly with corporations as well as hitting aggressive contributed revenue goals.
  • Experience in all aspects of the grants process (prospecting, proposal development, post-award reporting)
  • Understanding of major gifts process, and knowledge and resources available to ensure compliance with non-profit donation tax laws and reporting.
  • Experience preferred in Planned Giving, Endowment, Grants, and Capital Campaigns.
  • Proven experience working with the public, developing and maintaining excellent relationships to support goals/mission.
  • Have the knowledge, experience, and ability to assist in launching a capital campaign.
  • This position requires excellent time management and organizational skills and a demonstrated ability to create, plan, organize, and implement programs and events. Ability to supervise staff and direct a variety of volunteers.  Must be comfortable with public speaking. Requires knowledge of fundraising strategies, resource development, and donor relations.

Meetings/Participation

  • Reports to the board 1x a year and gives a presentation/update on the department. (located in Princeton, MN).
  • Attend/Take part in yearly volunteer picnics or appreciation events.
  • Attend and take part in any major events.

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.
  • 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.
  • Deep and abiding passion to professionally advocate Ruff Start Rescue’s position on key animal welfare and No-Kill issues.

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 available after 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 covered up to $200 annually.

Salary: $50,000 + DOQ

Reports to: Executive Director

Description: Have you always been interested in transforming your love for animals into a career? Join our team to get great hands-on experience!  Provide examinations, patient care, and surgical services for animals belonging to Ruff Start Rescue. You’ll have access to a variety of learning and development opportunities along with hands-on learning providing an excellent opportunity to advance your career. Work alongside the DVM and certified technicians to provide treatments to the rescue animals based on their recommendations.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Enter required data into medical records legibly, whether be paper or computer-based.
  • Help with set up, check-in, recovery, checkout, and cleaning
  • Perform physical exam; accurately counts heart rate, capillary refill time, mucous membranes, temperature, respiratory rate, and effort.
  • Support veterinarians and certified technicians to ensure quality veterinary care, advocate for pets, and educate clients.
  • Performs common in-house laboratory diagnostics
  • Understands basic pharmacology of commonly used medications
  • Administers medications via appropriate routes and duration
  • Understands aseptic techniques during surgical and non-surgical procedures
  • Assists with nail trims and blood draw.

Qualifications:

  • The ability to lift 50 lbs and bend, stoop, kneel, squat, twist, reach and climb steps.
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, are a must.
  • The right candidate will be able to work independently effectively and will be self-motivated.
  • Must be able to handle the physical and emotional aspect of work in an animal shelter environment, including the use of and assisting with euthanasia

Personal Characteristics

  • Able to demonstrate honesty, integrity, and discretion. With the ability to handle sensitive and confidential situations.
  • Strong interpersonal skills – outgoing, patient, professional, and able to get along well with various people are a must.
  • 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.
  • A deep and abiding passion to professionally advocate Ruff Start Rescue’s position on key animal welfare and No-Kill issues.

Benefits

  • Health insurance will be available for employees after the 90 day trial period. RSR will pay 50% of the employee’s monthly premium.
  • A Retirement plan with up to a 3% employee contribution available after a 90 day trial period is offered to employees making over $5,000 annually.
  • Optional insurance options available after 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.
  • RSR all offers Professional Development $200 annually.

Availability: Monday – Friday 8 am – 5 pm (times and days may vary due to workload). Ability and willingness to allow for a flexible schedule are essential.

Hourly rate: $16

Reports to: Senior Medical Manager and Director of Programs

Applicants, 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 for this position.

Overall Summary and Description:

  • The Transport Partner Specialist will work collaboratively with internal operations as well as build relationships with shelter and rescue partners across state lines.
  • Work closely with the out-of-state shelters and pull available animals into the RSR foster program, support the out-of-state foster homes with supplies, appropriate vetting needs to travel, and transport instructions. Help guide the foster homes through the foster process until they are able to be transported to MN.
  • The Transport Partner Specialist will work closely with the RSR vetting team and intake manager to resolve any medical or behavioral concerns with the out-of-state foster homes. This may include but is not limited to; daily phone calls, daily emails, and working through urgent situations.
  • Ensure all transport animals are safely delivered to MN on transport and placed in MN foster or foster-to-adopt (FTA) homes.
  • You will help oversee the TX transport Foster Facebook group.  The Transport Partnership Specialist must have excellent customer service and management skills. You will be a leader and looked up to and must remain professional at all times. You must be willing to delegate small tasks so that you are able to focus on managerial tasks.

Availability:

  • Ability and willingness to allow for a flexible schedule are key.  This is an hourly position with up to 25 hours per week.  The majority of these hours can be done remotely, but you will be required to attend transport or have an equally qualified volunteer in your place.

This position oversees:

  • Approximately 100 foster homes located in TX.
  • Team of intake volunteers dedicated to helping manage spreadsheets, post bios, get pictures, prepare and attend transport, and place all animals in MN foster or FTA homes.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Maintain professional working relationships with partner rescue and shelter organizations out of state.
  • Oversee and direct RSR out-of-state foster homes. This includes pulling/picking up animals, helping with supplies, arranging vetting and transport to MN.
  • Work closely with RSR vetting and intake staff to ensure safe monthly transports.

Specific Job Skills and requirements

  • Must be 18+ and have reliable transportation.
  • Smartphones are a must with access to FB, Google Drive, and Gmail.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Familiarity with animals, knowledge of animal behavior, and experience working with animal welfare programs are preferred.

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.
  • Work as a team player, supporting the overall goals of the organization. Possibility-driven, proactive, personable, energetic, collaborative, and tactful.
  • 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.

Benefits

  • Retirement plan with up to a 3% employee contribution available after a 90 day trial period.
  • Professional development – Classes, webinars, books, expos – take as many as you can to build your skills. Ruff Start will give you a yearly budget to spend on professional development. There are, however, many free resources available as well.
  • Optional insurance options available after 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

Salary: $17 an hour

Reports to: Intake Manager and Director of Programs

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

Role Description: We are seeking compassionate and driven relief veterinarians with shelter medicine experience that can fill in and perform high quality, high volume spay and neuter surgeries. If you are an experienced vet, more recent graduate, or someone interested in venturing into relief, we want to hear from you!

Ruff Start Rescue veterinarians are responsible for the compassionate veterinary care for all RSR owned animals, including but not limited to surgical services within the surgeon’s skill level, medical treatment and diagnosis of rescue animals. Services and surgeries will take place on site in Princeton, MN at our facility.

Salary: Based off experience

Reports to: Senior Medical Manager and Director of Programs

Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Oversee all aspects of assigned patients, including (but not limited to) physical examination, surgery; pre and post-operative care, anesthetic protocols, patient monitoring and emergency response.
  • Provide high quality, high volume spay and neuter surgeries, as well as additional surgical procedures and dentistry within the surgeon’s skill level for the animals within the rescue and partner rescues.

Qualifications:

  • DVM Degree with active veterinary license, in good standing in the State of Minnesota
  • Ability to perform high volume high quality spay neuter; preferred candidates need at least 2 years of anesthetic and surgical experience
  • Demonstrated knowledge of shelter medicine
  • Supervisory knowledge to include training methods, motivation and decision making techniques.
  • Ability to train and effectively direct medical staff and overall organizational medical activities

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.

How to apply: Submit a cover letter, resume, and three professional references to apply@ruffstartrescue.org with “Relief Veterinarian, DVM” in the subject line.

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

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.

High Level Volunteer Opportunities

Reports to: Board Chair

Role: To serve as a voting member of the Board of Directors

Term: Two Years

Time Expectations:

  • Attend and participate in monthly board meetings.
  • Participate actively in one or more committees of the board. Provide feedback and input to committee reports.
  • Attend scheduled board retreats, planning meetings, workshops, and other board development activities.
  • Attend, support, and participate in at least two signature organizational events, the annual holiday event, and the fundraising gala.
  • Ability to check your organizational email several times per week and respond in a timely manner.

Obligations:

  • Show passion in furthering the mission of Ruff Start Rescue®.
  • Stay informed about the organization’s mission, services, policies, and programs.
    • Engage actively in strategic and policy-making decisions.
  • Make a personal annual financial contribution of at least $1,000 and assist the organization in finding additional donation sources.
  • Participate and support any capital campaigns.
  • Follow developments in community, economy, government, etc., that may affect the organization.
  • Promote the organization to others and participate in fundraising.
  • Build working relationships that contribute to consensus.
  • Suggest nominees to the board who can make significant contributions.
  • Assist the board in carrying out its fiduciary responsibilities by ensuring adequate financial resources; oversee financial and risk management.
  • Select, evaluate, appoint, and, if necessary, terminate the executive director.
  • Monitor the community and professional image of the organization and provide feedback to the board and leadership.

Note

  • Board members have no individual authority separate from the board.
  • Board members are expected to support decisions of the board, regardless of personal desires and/or opinions.

BOARD MEMBER DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Devote adequate time to faithfully perform the responsibilities of being a board member.
  • Set policies for organizational operation.
  • Establish fiscal policy and boundaries, including budgets and financial controls.
  • Provide adequate resources for the activities of the organization through a commitment to fundraising.
  • Develop and maintain a communication link to the community by acting as an advocate.
  • Ensure that the organization’s Articles and Bylaws are being followed.
  • Be familiar with the organization’s goals, objectives, and programs.
  • Read preparation materials prior to each board meeting.
  • Make sure the organization keeps a written, permanent record of all board official actions.
  • Be certain the organization is fulfilling all aspects of its nonprofit and tax-exempt status.
  • Know the budget, budget process, and financial situation of the organization.
  • Pursue action if there are warning signs that something is wrong.
  • Ask questions concerning those policies, practices, issues, and circumstances you do not understand.
  • Insist on meaningful board meetings with full disclosure of operating results.
  • Require the organization to engage competent legal counsel.
  • Require all committees to make reports at the board meetings, when appropriate.
  • Authorize appropriate indebtedness for major programs.
  • Avoid conflicts of interest.
  • Review the organization’s insurance program.

How to apply: Submit a cover letter, resume, and three professional references 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**

Summary:  The Veterinary Board Member is an active member of the Ruff Start Rescue Board of Directors who is responsible for adhering to general board responsibilities, along with governance authority and responsibility to determine important policies, overall operations, and maintain general, active management of and ultimate control over matters involving professional judgment regarding veterinary medicine and publicly owned animals under Ruff Start Rescue’s care/supervision/treatment. This individual will also provide broad-level overview information and guidance to current staffed veterinarians, CVTs, and program staff. Topics may include but are not limited to, high volume spay/neuter, best practices for veterinary medicine, protocols, shelter medicine. They will help give guidance regarding policies for internal foster animals, as well as the care of public animals performed by Ruff Start Rescue.

Time Commitment: 2-3 hours weekly, in addition to general board time commitments

Location: Current Zoom/Future In-person

Reports to: Board Chair

Responsibilities:

  • Provide veterinary expertise to the board, medical department, and staff as needed
  • Participate in medical meetings with the programs management team/medical team as needed
  • Evaluate quality medical/compliance reports as needed and make recommendations for improvement/expansion of services/revenue opportunities
  • Advise staff and board on medical standards, guidelines, protocol, etc. within the clinic and to ensure compliance with MVMA, AVMA, OSHA, and the MN Board of Animal Health

Qualifications:

  • An active member of the Ruff Start Rescue Board of Directors
  • Knowledge of local, state, and federal laws and regulations within the veterinary field
  • Knowledge of issues, concerns, and challenges facing animal welfare organizations, as well as veterinary medicine in general
  • Clinical experience in and/or willingness to learn about fast-paced shelter medicine, treating health conditions common in shelter populations, as well as owned pets
  • Must have an active DVM License in Minnesota and is willing to keep license active during Board terms
  • License must be in good standing with the MVMA

Summary: The Development Board Member is an active member of the Ruff Start Rescue Board of Directors who is responsible for adhering to general board responsibilities, along with providing the board insights, recommendations, and discussion specific to their fundraising and donor expertise.  This individual will also provide the marketing department and staff guidance when needed on topics including, but not limited to: fundraising, revenue planning, events, marketing strategies, and maintaining current donor relations, along with cultivating new ones, etc. 

Time Commitment: 2-3 hours weekly in addition to general board time commitments

Location: Current Zoom/Future In-person 

Reports to: Board Chair

Responsibilities:

  • Provide fundraising and donor expertise to the board, executive director, and development department. 
  • Member of the Ruff Start Rescue Advancement Committee, which meets virtually, monthly, on the second Tuesday of the month from 3:00-4:00 PM CST.  
  • Make recommendations on marketing plans, events, donor relationships, social media strategies, etc.
  • Analyze relationships with current and prospective major donors, along with corporate donors, and provide guidance to board, executive director, development department, to cultivate or strengthen those relationships.
  • Determine board fundraising expectations and goals with the board chair.
  • Engage in advocacy and networking through participation in Ruff Start Rescue Fundraising events and other opportunities to expand Ruff Start Rescue brand

Qualifications: 

  • Active member of the Ruff Start Rescue Board of Directors 
  • Prior experience with event planning, fundraising, and donor relationships
  • Animal welfare and rescue/shelter experience preferred
  • Experience with grant writing and application process
  • Strong background/knowledge of social media (mainly Facebook/Instagram) preferred
  • Experience in public appearances, events, and marketing strategies

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

Ruff Start Rescue