Stray Aid Ltd - Animal Care and Welfare Assistant Apprenticeship - Level 2 (Ref: VAC001561241 )

Salary: £3.90 per hourClosing Date: 07 Aug 2019Hours: 30

Stray Aid

Location:  Coxhoe, Durham                

Stray Aid was founded in 2006 by John and Sue Bielby, with the main aim of helping local councils reduce the number of stray dogs being destroyed. Sue qualified as a veterinary surgeon in 1983 because she wanted to help sick and injured animals. She was aware that from time to time a “stray dog” had to be destroyed, but had absolutely no idea the extent of the problem in her area. In 2005, in her capacity as a veterinary surgeon, it came to her attention that literally hundreds of stray dogs were being destroyed in County Durham every year, regardless of age or state of health.

Stray Aid is an animal welfare-based organisation whose primary aim is to stop rehomeable stray dogs and cats from being put down. We increase public awareness to the plight of unwanted animals, providing information on what to do if you lose or find a dog or cat, who to contact and how to get help. We are creating a network to facilitate the exchange of dogs around the country. We provide and maintain a safe and secure environment for our strays until such time as our dogs can be rehomed. In addition, Stray Aid subsidises a veterinary surgeon to provide necessary veterinary treatment for unowned animals.

Our mission is to rescue, re-unite or rehome the lost, abused, abandoned or unwanted dogs found on the streets in the North East of England.

An animal welfare-based organisation with a mission to rescue, re-unite or rehome the lost, abused, abandoned or unwanted cats and dogs found on the streets in the North East of England.

Training to be provided:

  • Animal Care and Welfare Assistant Level 2
  • Functional skills if required
  • Onsite mentoring from the employer.
  • Training at our Kirkley Hall Campus in Ponteland


Vacancy full description:

A position as our new Animal Welfare Assistant has recently become available. This is a great opportunity for the right person - we look forward to meeting you.

Job Description

The job of our Animal Welfare Assistant is varied; no two days are the same. You will be required to undertake kennel duties as well as admin work.

As a professional animal carer, good communication and inter-personal skills are essential. You must be able to talk to owners, dog wardens, RSPCA and council officials both in person and on the telephone. Basic computer literacy and the ability to keep records, track the movement of animals on paper and take payments are essential skills you will need. You will be responsible for all aspects of the welfare of the dogs and cats in our care. Your duties will include cleaning, food preparation, feeding, bathing, grooming and exercising the animals. You will also be responsible for providing enrichment for animals of various temperaments, monitoring the condition of the animals, completing daily charts, carrying out regular health checks and administering medication. You must be able to follow the instructions of our veterinary surgeon and report back any irregularities to her immediately and accurately.


The position can be physically demanding and you will be required to work outside in all weathers. You must be prepared to carry out general site maintenance, as well as dirty and sometimes unpleasant tasks.


This position also involves office work so you must be comfortable in a customer facing role. Tasks include greeting customers, answering phone and email enquiries, taking payments, using computer software, filing, health & safety procedures and other paperwork.

You are expected to dress appropriately, to include corporate clothing where provided.  Excessive jewellery must not be worn. Plain rings and stud earrings are acceptable.

Stray Aid will not accept responsibility for the loss or damage of any personal property brought to the site.

You will work mainly alone although you will also need to work as part of a team.

  • The charity works 8am-6pm daily including weekends
  • Shifts to be determined within working hours
  • 30 hrs per week
  • Minimum wage
  • As our business relies heavily on busy times throughout the year, you will be required to work bank holidays and school holidays
  • Flexibility needed
  • There is a 3-month probation period for the right candidate
  • You must hold a current UK driving licence, and your own transport is essential


Candidate Requirements

  • We are responsible for caring for vulnerable animals. Recognition of this is at the fore-front of our work and prospective candidates are expected to appreciate the duty we are entrusted with.
  • An ideal Animal Welfare Assistant would have a responsible, conscientious and mature attitude and work with attention to detail. We are looking for someone hard-working and able to use their initiative. Organisation and self-motivation are also very important traits as you will be working mainly on your own. You must also be comfortable working in a team during busy periods and helping other staff to ensure the business runs smoothly.
  • As we are a charity with a small team, it is vital that our new Animal Welfare Assistant is personable and able to work well with our other staff and volunteers. Our job is not easy at the best of times (especially when it’s torrential rain!), so having a positive attitude is valuable. You need to have a good level of physical fitness as you may be on your feet all day, and not be afraid to work in all weathers.
  • We’re looking for someone who is competent and confident in handling dogs and cats with a variety of temperaments, including some with potentially challenging behaviours. The ability to demonstrate these skills is very important and previous kennel experience is essential. Relevant animal qualifications would also be advantageous.
  • As our business revolves around building and maintaining good public relationships, you must be comfortable in a customer facing role. Excellent communication and customer service is essential. This position will involve some office work so an ideal candidate will be IT literate. Previous customer experience and office experience preferred, although training will be provided.

  • Must be able to travel to Kirkley Hall, Ponteland once a week via bus or by own transport.


  1. Skills required:
  • A passion for the wellbeing of cats and dogs
  • Punctuality is a must
  • General animal handling skills with the ability to be calm and confident around animals
  • Able to listen and follow instructions
  • Teamwork
  • Tidy appearance.

 Personal qualities:

  • A self-starter
  • Have a compassionate nature
  • Ability to work both in a team environment and independently
  • Ability to cope with a physically demanding job
  • Have great communication skills for working within a team
  • Have strong interpersonal skills and be confident to interact with the public
  • To be reliable
  • Good time keeper
  • Be able to work in a team
  • To be confident around all animals.

Qualifications required: GCSE Grade A-C in Maths and English (or equivalent). Functional skills will be undertaken at College by applicants without this qualification.


Future prospects: ­­­­­­­­­For the right candidate a full time position


Reality check: As well as looking after cats and dogs you will be required to keep all areas clean and to clean up after the animals. You will also be expected to work in all weathers and the job role is physically demanding.

PLEASE NOTE: You must hold a current UK driving licence, and your own transport is essential



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