Best Friends Animal Society
  • 578- Regional Services
  • Chicago, IL, USA
  • Salary
  • Full Time

Join Best Friends and turn your career into a labor of love. The benefits package is one of the best! Medical, Dental, Vision, Basic and Supplemental Life Insurance, Short and Long Term Disability, Child Care reimbursement, Pet Sitting reimbursement, Flexible Spending Account, Health Savings Account, PTO, Paid Holidays, Employee Assistance Program, 401k and Staff Discounts.

Position: Regional Specialist

Reports to: Regional Director

Location: Midwest (Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia).

FLSA status: Exempt


Position Summary: The mission of Best Friends Animal Society is to bring about a time when there are No More Homeless Pets. We do this by helping end the killing in America's animal shelters through building community programs and partnerships all across the nation. We believe that by working together we can Save Them All.

Are you a strong written and verbal communicator? Do you enjoy making data driven decisions and achieving big lifesaving results for pets? Best Friends Animal Society is looking for an organized and enthusiastic professional with a proactive approach to accomplishing challenging goals. This position works under the direct supervision of the Regional Director for the Midwest for the sole purpose of reducing the number of pets dying in animal shelters. If you have a talent for developing and facilitating problem solving relationships and partnerships, this job is for you. Creating spread sheets for tracking and analysis of engagement with network partners, supporting and nurturing existing relationships, recruiting new Best Friends network partners, measuring the impact of grants and consultative support are foundational to the strategic initiatives and success in the Midwest (Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia). Please note: living in or the ability to relocate to the Midwest Region within 30 days is a mandatory requirement for the position.



  • Serve as the primary Best Friends liaison for assigned Network partners within region; promote and communicate about the benefits of being in the Network Program; identify key partners and cultivate more in-depth relationships with them; and deliver the highest quality of support and customer service in all interactions.
  • Assist the regional director/ with defining the lifesaving goals and strategies for the region as well as defining and executing the strategies to achieve said goals.
  • Create new and maintain existing relationships with shelters, organizations and key individuals within designated region, represent Best Friends and our brand while building and maintaining these relationships.
  • Proactively recruit additional key organizations, particularly municipal shelters, to become Network partners.
  • Responsible for maintaining regular communication, providing consultation and support and empowering network partners to save more lives through various means and eventually achieve NK2025.
  • Identify gaps in shelter operations and recommend collaborative solutions for key network partners in order to increase lifesaving in areas identified to have potential for high impact.
  • Analyze key statistics in assigned region and use that data to inform projects and strategies for individual partners as well as the entire regional picture.
  • Work with Regional Director to track progress of efforts to reduce euthanasia within region and communicate progress to relevant people.
  • Maintain familiarity with animal welfare issues, both nationally and within assigned region, in order to develop additional region-specific resources and pursue enhanced relationships with organizations and individuals within those rescue communities.
  • Assist in evaluating grant applications, creating grant agreements or MOUs that clearly outline expectations and deliverables, monitor grant report and progress and provide ongoing mentoring of the grant recipients in achieving their goals, as needed.
  • Provide information on a wide variety of animal related subjects and issues: dog and cat health and behavior, adoption techniques, animal sheltering, animal rescue, the animal welfare movement and current best practice strategies.
  • Represent Best Friends at national, regional and state events and conferences, including public speaking and making presentation on a variety of topics.
  • Collaborate regularly with staff from other regions and departments to come up with creative solutions and resource sharing to support NK2025.
  • Empower, educate and counsel partner organizations to promote engagement in events and promotional opportunities as identified by Best Friends Network Managers and Best Friends Network Director, as well as other staff when relevant.
  • Advise partner organizations in methods to help them resolve difficult animal situations, including determining when appropriate animals should be presented for Sanctuary admission consideration; serve as the animal's advocate in the admissions process.
  • Other duties as needed.


 Skills and Experience:

  • BA/BS from Accredited Undergraduate College (substitution of work experience for education will be considered).
  • Background in the animal humane movement: 3+ years of experience working for or with an animal welfare organization.
  • Proven ability to promote a positive work environment and be a team player.
  • Strong leadership skills with the ability to act decisively in difficult and fast-paced situations.
  • Ability to identify and escalate critical issues as necessary.
  • Experience with reviewing statistical information to inform program direction.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to professionally advocate Best Friends position on issues.
  • Experience/knowledge in the areas of animal behavior, general animal health care, animal rescue, and animal sheltering.
  • Strong interpersonal skills to handle sensitive and confidential situations.
  • Experienced and skilled in starting and maintaining effective relationships with customers, clients, partners and fellow staff.
  • Customer service skills and mindset required; the ideal person for this job is a team player, personable, professional, positive, energetic, proactive and uses tact and diplomacy.
  • Proficient in all Google and Microsoft Office applications with ability to learn and use new applications quickly.
  • Strong critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills a must.
  • Willingness to embrace change.
  • Ability to make sound judgments and work independently in a multi-department environment with demonstrated ability to juggle multiple competing tasks and demands.
  • Ability to coordinate with multiple parties in resolving issues and providing support and facilitate collaboration.
  • Proven attention to detail with advanced organizational and time management skills.
  • Willing and able to travel 10-20% of the time.


Physical Requirements:

  • Must be able to sit, type, and look at a computer screen for extended periods of time.
  • This position will require reliable transportation for visits to shelters and rescue partners.
  • Out-of-town travel ranging from on average from 10-20% depending on the location of the jobholder and the specific responsibilities and tasks assigned. Situationally travel might increase based upon building coalitions. 
  • Daily hours and days of the week may vary according to the needs of the department: includes weekends, nights, holidays and on-call work.
  • Ability to work in the presence of both cats and dogs, including large numbers of cats and dogs as in a shelter setting.


Best Friends Animal Society is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to their race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status, domestic partner status, or medical condition.

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