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American Humane Association’s
Red Star Rescue® and Emergency Services for Animals Program

Location: Greater Oklahoma City area

American Humane Association seeks a veterinarian to provide disaster response services, shelter assessments and training for the greater Oklahoma City area and regional states, serving local communities, working with first responders, civic leaders, health providers and families to prepare for and cope when crises and disasters strike.  The Red Star Veterinarian will deploy nationally for disaster responses and provide services locally including: preparedness training, response to cases of animal cruelty and neglect, and special events to build awareness.  

The Red Star program was established in 1916 when American Humane Association accepted an invitation from the War Department to help animals serving in the U.S. Army during World War I.  Today, the Red Star rescue team responds to natural disasters and animal cruelty/neglect cases to assist animals and communities in crisis.  The team consists of a national network of trained staff and volunteers who stand ready to deploy anywhere in the country on a moment’s notice to rescue and shelter animals in need.  A fleet of regionally-based rescue vehicles are equipped for animal rescue and transport, veterinary services and responder accommodations.

For more than 100 years American Humane Association has been the nation’s leading voice for the protection of children and animals, the most vulnerable in our communities.  As the oldest national humane organization – and the only one devoted to this dual mission and the power of the human-animal bond - American Humane Association has since 1877 been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in the prevention of abuse and neglect and the promotion of our most precious assets. 

This position is based in the greater Oklahoma City area and reports to the Red Star National Director. 

Position summary:  

The Red Star Rescue® & Emergency Services for Animals Veterinarian is an emergency response position with the American Humane Association (AHA). This position is based in the greater Oklahoma City area and will manage American Humane Association’s regional program and operations. The person in this position must be committed to animal welfare and have experience and expertise in one or more of the following areas: animal shelter management, equine health, emergency response, and/or animal behavior. This position will expand veterinary expertise for the Red Star program and will consult with local veterinarians and contribute to veterinary medical operations at incidents where the Red Star unit is deployed. The Veterinarian will also support and manage special events conducted by Red Star including spay/neuter clinics, vaccination clinics, preparedness programs, and philanthropic events.


  • General
    • Be able to travel up to 50% of the time to disaster scenes, animal cruelty cases, puppy mill seizures, trainings, and other AHA business
    • Maintain all licenses and certifications in order to practice veterinary medicine 
    • Conduct animal shelter assessments / evaluations
    • Serve as a technical advisor to local jurisdictions and AHA staff on veterinary matters
  • Emergency Preparedness
    • Monitors national and international animal health and welfare trends as well as weather, news, internet, FEMA and pre-configured emergency alerts for potential emergency deployment activities; keeps the National Director updated on emerging issues
    • Tracks cases of animal cruelty, abuse and neglect nationwide for possible deployment, intervention or visibility opportunities; keeps the National Director updated on emerging issues
    • Coaches and mentors Red Star staff and team lead volunteers before, during and after emergency responses; assures volunteers are debriefed after responses and receive appropriate after-care and support as appropriate
    • Ensures that all program and training materials are up to date and reflective of best practices in incident command, emergency response, AVMA standards and guidelines- including: volunteer handbook, training manuals, handouts and presentations, standard operating procedures, policies, documentation and animal disaster publications
    • Promotes, plans and delivers Red Star’s emergency response and sheltering training, as well as other related trainings for community volunteers, first responders and other interested participants in coordination with AHA staff responsible for training coordination
  • Incident Response
    • Administers and/or supports the Red Star responses and associated resources during natural disasters, animal cruelty cases and other community crises
    • Assesses resource needs during emergency responses and deploys Red Star resources as appropriate- including staff members, volunteers, vehicles, and other equipment and materials- under the direction of program leadership
    • Interfaces with Incident Command during emergency responses and makes critical, timely decisions involving personnel, equipment and supplies; works with staff and volunteers deployed on the ground; searches for injured, displaced or stranded animals in the field; and cares for rescued or sheltered animals
    • May manage, under the supervision of the National Director, Red Star, field teams for animal search & rescue or shelter teams for emergency animal sheltering 
    • Works collaboratively with shelter teams to provide emergency animal sheltering services, assuring the safety and well-being of animals, staff and volunteers while providing direction through delegated responsibilities to appropriate staff and volunteer leads 
    • Provides expertise to local and/or state emergency management for response planning, deployment and tasking
    • Acts as the primary, initial point of contact to the general public in the region for animal welfare, disaster or emergency situations
    • May conduct or assist with investigations of animal cruelty
  • Regional Cache Management
    • Assumes direct responsibility for all fleet and equipment located in the region. Duties include ensuring compliance with all state and/or federal laws and regulations as it relates to documentation and licensing for vehicles, maintenance, etc.
    • Monitors and tracks expenditures for vehicles and responses
  • Community Outreach
    • Represents American Humane Association at public events, reflecting the mission and values of the institution
    • Responds to questions and inquiries regarding animal protection issues, disaster preparedness/response as well as other questions from the public, agencies/organizations or members
    • Works collaboratively with senior leaders and volunteer teams to continually improve program efficiencies and expand program reach 
    • Actively networks with regional animal welfare and animal sheltering organizations; proactively assists agencies/organizations through AHA programs and services
    • Coordinates with AHA’s Communications team and the Red Star National Director to seek out and deliver public speaking engagements, radio and television interviews and engage in social networking
    • Provides stories, data and content from responses for Communications/Philanthropic Services and Red Star leadership use on websites and for appeals, funding proposals, projects and general public information
    • Cultivates and initiates partnerships with other response agencies/partners
    • Represents AHA at conferences, meetings or events
  • Communication and Diplomacy
    • Exercise strong communication and interpersonal skills to work diplomatically and effectively with Red Star staff and jurisdictional personnel, including: police, fire EMS, local shelter and animal control personnel
  • Other duties as assigned

Essential experience, knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine is required
  • Expertise and experience in one or more of the following areas:
    • Animal shelter management
    • Equine health
    • Emergency response
    • Animal behavior
  • Commitment to animal welfare
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; active listening
  • Adept at building collaborative relationships and demonstrating diplomacy
  • Work effectively without direct supervision in the field
  • Detail-oriented and organized
  • Excellent judgment
  • Must be able to analyze situations and make recommendations within a short period of time
  • Adept at using computer for email and writing reports

Direct reports:   


Physical demands and work environment:  

  • Frequent local and regional travel for community outreach
  • Periodic travel nationally, often on short notice for emergency responses
  • Must meet the physical requirements of rescuing animals during disaster responses which may include bending, lifting, standing for long periods of time, pushing, pulling, etc.
  • May require lifting 70 pounds or more on occasion
  • Possible exposure to hazardous conditions such as fire, flood, hazmat and demolished structures
  • Exposure to potential animal hazards such as animal bites and zoonosis
  • May require immunization against Hepatitis A & B, Rabies and Tetanus

Employees are expected to adhere to all organizational policies and to act as role models, demonstrating American Humane Association’s core values:



Respect for all

Loyalty to mission


Honesty, integrity, trust

To apply, please email resume, cover letter to 

American Humane Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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