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Manager of Training and Interventions (MTI)

Overview of Responsibilities and Duties:

Responsible for a cultivating and maintaining an assistance dog training and intervention team.  The manager of Training and Interventions (MTI) will lead and participate in the training of assistance dogs and the incorporation into community programs while in training.  The MTI will also supervise volunteers including inmates who work with dogs.  The husbandry care, enrichment program, assistance dog team follow ups will all be tracked and supervised by this leader.  Clients include children, veterans, and adults with a variety of disabilities or those who serve people with disabilities. Their disabilities include autism, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Strict adherence to standards established by Assistance Dogs International(ADI) will be required.  The MTI will ensure the assisted intervention programming with dogs in training will strictly adhere to Animal Assisted Interventions International standards(AAII).


Primary Responsibilities

  • Provide leadership and coaching to assistance dog instructors including tracking of continuing education units required by AAII.

  • Provide support in the form of observations, evaluations, trouble shooting canine behavioral challenges, training skill demonstrations, and public outings.

  • Review trainer entered data on dog progress and proactively manage a trainer’s progress with dogs

  • Assist with all levels of  training assistance dogs, the volunteers who work with them, and assist with clients who receive them.  

  • Assist with Coordination and implementation of animal assisted intervention programs that are part of dogs training before placement and that utilize program designated animals.

  • Coordinate general dog health care, grooming, nutrition, veterinary visits, and enrichment to ensure correct and consistent care for husbandry and handling of the assistance pups and dogs in training in conjunction with the animal care coordinator and instructors.

  • Develop and implement measures designed to improve processes and efficiencies in the dog training program.

  • Expand training curriculum that tracks program milestones with the goal of creating assistance dog partnerships and intervention programs.

  • Supervise and track Department of Labor Apprenticeship program.

  • Perform Guide Dog Behavior Assessment Test (GDBArT) and Behavior Checklist (BCL) scoring on each puppy and dog to determine a dog’s behavioral suitability.

  • Supervise play groups of dogs and train others how to monitor appropriate behavioral interactions.

  • Assist with interview, matching and placement of VIP, PWAP, and general release dogs.

  • Assist with care of assistance puppies and dogs in training at PAALS, at home, and in sometimes prison environment.

  • Accurately track, schedule, and implement medical appointments, assessments, and procedures to adhere to PAALS high standards for health of canines, including updating databases such as the International Working Dog Database.

  • Accurately track, schedule, and implement training of husbandry volunteers, weekend PAALS volunteers through databases and with adherence to PAALS protocols to include responding to ones received with instructors.  

  • Communicate with volunteer trainers, instructors and director on dog training issues, including weekly reviews of weekend reports each Monday morning.

  • Support the management of dog files and training logs to include all databases and hard files in a timely fashion.

  • Transport puppies and dogs as needed in personal vehicle or PAALS vehicle (including bus)

  • Assist with general dog health care and veterinary visits

  • Work as a team member who cares for the mission of PAALS and everyone who supports it.


Secondary Responsibilities

  • Coordinate selection of puppies and breeders to acquire through breeding coop as POC and through reputable breeders.

  • Coordinate breeding/whelping and puppy development program.

  • Implement Prison PAALS as needed while tracking overall progress of training with inmates.

  • Ensure appropriate equipment is ordered and available for adult dogs-in-training

  • Work with volunteers as assigned and maintain good relationships with all volunteers

  • Work with director and applicant review committee to set up and conduct interviews with potential clients as required

  • Coordinate dogs in training to participate in “Clients in Waiting” Sessionsto help match dogs with their partners.

  • Work with director, instructors, and volunteer client coordinator to schedule and implement team trainings throughout the year.

  • Timely computer record maintenance, phone correspondence, and email communication

  • Participate in presentations and fund raising/marketing opportunities

  • Oversee follow up of assistance dog teams including annual assessments

  • Assist with applicant interviews as requested

  • Participate in continuing education related to dog training, dog behavior, disability education, and animal assisted interventions

  • Physical Demands/Environment:

  • Must be physically active and able to work both indoors and outdoors.

  • Must be able to frequently kneel, crouch, crawl, stand and bend to perform cleaning of crates and care of dogs.

  • Must be able to use hands, arms, shoulders in legs to assist with cleaning of the environments both indoor and outdoor, care of dogs, and typing on keyboards.

  • Work in proximity to cleaning agents and disinfectants and must be able to follow instructions for the use and storage of these chemicals. 

  • Lift and move up to 50 pounds of dog and dog food




  • College degree in animal behavior, psychology, zoology, biology or related experience 

  • At least five years experience in operant conditioning based training, preferably with assistance dogs.  

  • Computer proficiency in Word, PowerPoint, and Xcel programs

  • Outstanding communications skills, both written and verbal

  • Exceptional interpersonal skills

  • High Attention to detail

  • Ability to multi-task

  • Must be able to work cooperatively and collaboratively in a team environment

  • Ability to stay focused despite numerous distractions and multiple tasks

  • Ability to communicate effectively with peers, direct reports, management, clients, partners, donors, sponsors and board members

  • Professional under pressure and reacts to changing situations with integrity

  • Clean driving record

  • Background check

Job Location:



Columbia, SC (NE Columbia)

Based on experience.

Medical insurance and retirement benefits not included.  Many other perks at the discretion of the director based on work performance and feasibility.


20-40 hours/week, with flexible schedule.  Some work can be done remotely with qualified canidate



Overnight Animal Caretaker chief responsibility will be to provide for the health, care, and safety of the PAALS Assistance Dogs in training housed on-site and for the security and appearance of the property.   Responsibilities will vary with current needs of staff, dogs, season of the year. 


Reports To: Executive Director.


  • To thoroughly clean and disinfect the dog housing areas of the facility during evening and early morning hours to ensure health of all puppies and dogs. 

  • To observe animal appearance and activity for general physical condition, obvious signs of illness, disease, unusual activity, and discontent and report information to trainers and the Executive Director.

  • Assist with breeding program and puppy care as needed.

  • To exercise dogs as needed.  

  • To be prepared to handle emergency situations in the housing facility.

  • To keep food prep area and storage areas clean and neat. 

  • Administer medications, heartworm, and flea/tick treatments as needed. 

  • To wash and dry towels and blankets.

  • To wash and sterilize water and food bowls. 

  • To perform general cleaning as needed.

  • To keep equipment and tools put away in proper storage areas

  • Other duties assigned as required. 


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities


  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and helpful disposition

  • Ability to work independently

  • Ability to be flexible and handle multiple tasks.

  • Knowledge of common dog diseases, symptoms, and means of transmission

  • Detail-Oriented

  • Physical Effort: Often requires lifting and carrying materials weighing up to 40 lbs.

  • Frequently requires handling of materials up to 20 lbs.

  • Additionally, handle dogs weighing up to 120 lbs. 

  • Knowledge of: Cleaning and disinfecting methods and the use and care of cleaning materials and equipment. 

  • Knowledge of: Basic animal behavior 

  • At least one year of animal care experience (Required)

  • Reliably commute or plan to relocate before starting work (Required)



  • Part Time

  • Monday - Friday Hours: 7pm-10pm & 5am-6am (Must stay overnight at facility)

  • Must be available at least two weekends per month

(Our facility has your own private room and bathroom. Shared full kitchen access) 



Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEA) Committee



PAALS Board of Directors has decided to establish a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee. The committee will be charged with developing a committee protocol, reviewing the existing PAALS statement on DEI, and identifying meaningful ways to develop opportunity for all. The committee will report to the Board of Directors, and one board member will serve on the committee.



​We are looking for PAALS advocates who have diverse perspectives, identities, and roles; a deep interest in diversity, equity, and inclusion; and a commitment to working collaboratively. We are hoping for 3-4 individuals to serve on this committee. Outreach to local areas that are underserved by PAALS, to improve knowledge of PAALS, and participation in PAALS programs will be important to this committee's success.




​If you are interested in serving on this committee and taking part in this important initiative, please submit a brief letter to Melissa Payne at PAALS (see addresses below) indicating why you want to join this committee and sharing what experiences you have that demonstrate a desire to be involved with PAALS' DEI initiative. PAALS thanks you for helping us improve!

Mail:  Melissa Payne

         221 N Grampian Hills Road

         Columbia, SC 29223




Ideas for Diversity Statements:

​At PAALS, we recognize that supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion are the right things for our organization. This commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion are woven into our values and beliefs that our organization is strongest when we embrace the full spectrum of humanity.



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