CWD Dog Handler

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CWD Dog Handler

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

Posted Job Title
CWD Dog Handler

Job Profile Title
Research Specialist A

Job Description Summary
The Wildlife Futures Program (WFP) at Penn Vet is hiring two full-time dog handlers to conduct chronic wasting disease (CWD) landowner outreach and surveillance activities in support of Pennsylvania's wildlife health programs. One CWD detection dog-handler team will be primarily responsible for the Southwest and Northwest Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) regions, and the other will primarily cover the Southeast and Northeast regions.

The position will include approximately 6 months of training with the Penn Vet Working Dog Center, located in Philadelphia, prior to deploying to the field.

Job Description

Responsibilities include:

  • Initiate, develop, and conduct landowner outreach regarding CWD surveillance
  • Conduct CWD surveillance activities on Pennsylvania public lands and private property
  • Provide daily care of assigned canine, including inspection, feeding, watering, exercising, grooming, socialization and minor first aid.
  • Develop professional and effective communication networks among PGC and WPF staff, local landowners, and other federal, state, and local CWD and wildlife stakeholders
  • Provide canine training in accordance with an approved training regimen as determined by the program. Attend in-service and out-service training as assigned
  • Maintain assigned canine and equipment, vacuum, wash and clean the windows of the canine team vehicle as needed
  • Complete and submit monthly canine utilization reports and any required memos, bills, receipts, etc. to the program manager

Employee should establish a work location central to the PGC region in which they are assigned to minimize travel times. Canines will be kept in the handler's home to maximize socialization and rapport with the handler; there will be an annual $2500 allowance for this responsibility. Canines may be crate trained but will not be confined longer than eight hours.


A Bachelor's (or Associate's) degree in Wildlife/Fisheries Science, Biology, Natural Resource Management, Environmental Studies, Pre-Veterinary, Ecology or related field, and 0-1 year of experience, (1-2 years for Associate's), or equivalent combination of education and experience, are required. Proven written and verbal communication skills and relationship development skills are required for this position. Map, compass, and/or GPS skills, prior dog handling skills, and computer and technology experience are preferred. Employee must possess a current valid driver's license (e.g., class C Pennsylvania driver's license).

The employee must be self-motivated, capable of working independently without frequent, direct supervision, and able to follow verbal and written instructions. This person must be able to work outside under a variety of adverse and rugged field conditions. They should be able to cooperate with assisting agencies, organizations, and groups; and interact with the public in a professional manner. S/he must possess and use good interpersonal and public relations skills. Frequent contact with members of the public is anticipated.

A cover letter is required. This position is contingent upon grant funding.

Job Location - City, State
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

Department / School
School of Veterinary Medicine

Pay Range
$35,568.00 - $57,600.00

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits

  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family-whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement-and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

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