Adoption Facilitator Career Profile

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4 January 2024


What is an adoption facilitator?

An Animal Adoption Facilitator works with individuals and families to find suitable homes for cats, dogs, and other animals. They may interview prospective pet owners to best determine whether they will be able to care for an animal properly and also to see if the home Environment will be a good fit for the animal.

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Alternative Names

There are several alternative names or terms used to refer to individuals or organizations involved in facilitating animal adoptions. The specific terminology can vary based on regional preferences and the nature of the organization. Here are some alternative names for animal adoption facilitators:

  • Animal Adoption Agent
  • Pet Adoption Center Worker
  • Animal Rescuers
  • Pet Placement Officer
  • Adoption Counselors
  • Pet Adoption Coordinators
  • Pet Rehoming Officer
  • Animal Foster Facilitator
  • Pet Matchmakers
  • Animal Placement Workers
  • Pet Adoption Advocates
  • Animal Adoption Consultants
  • Companion Animal Placement Facilitator

These terms are used interchangeably in many cases, and the focus is generally on the shared goal of finding suitable homes for animals in need. Whether they are called adoption facilitators, rescue groups, or something else, these entities play a vital role in connecting animals with caring individuals or families.

Career Categories

The Adoption Facilitator can be found within the following OZT career categories:

  • Animal Care

What does an Adoption Facilitator do?

With which Groups of animals does an Adoption Facilitator work with?

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An animal adoption facilitator typically works with a variety of domesticated animals, primarily those in need of homes, care, and attention. The specific types of animals can vary depending on the organization they work for, but common examples include:


Many animal adoption facilitators work with dogs of various breeds, sizes, and ages. These may include puppies, adult dogs, and senior dogs.


Cats, including kittens and adult cats, are commonly facilitated for adoption. Animal adoption facilitators may assist with matching cats to suitable homes.

Small Animals:

This category includes small mammals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and ferrets. These animals may also be available for adoption, and facilitators help find suitable homes.


Some animal shelters or rescue organizations also work with birds, including parrots, cockatiels, and other companion birds that may need rehoming.


In certain cases, reptiles such as turtles, snakes, and lizards may be taken in by shelters or rescues, and facilitators assist in finding appropriate adoptive homes.

Small Exotic Pets:

Animals like hedgehogs, sugar gliders, and other small exotic pets may be available for adoption, particularly in facilities that specialize in exotic animal rescue.

Farm Animals:

In some cases, adoption facilitators may work with larger animals like farm animals, including goats, pigs, and chickens, that are in need of new homes.

Horses and Equines:

Larger animals like horses may be under the care of certain animal welfare organizations, and facilitators may assist in their adoption process.


While less common, some animal shelters or rescue groups may deal with the rehoming of fish, particularly in cases where individuals can no longer care for aquariums.

The specific types of animals an adoption facilitator works with depend on the organization’s mission, resources, and the animals in need within their community. Regardless of the type of animal, the facilitator’s role involves assessing the needs of the animals, matching them with suitable adopters, and ensuring a positive and responsible adoption process.

What is the level of Interaction with the Animals?

With whom does an Adoption Facilitator work?

An adoption facilitator typically works with various individuals, organisations, and entities throughout the process of facilitating adoptions. Here are key stakeholders and collaborators with whom an adoption facilitator may interact:

Animal Shelters and Rescues:

Adoption facilitators often collaborate closely with animal shelters and rescue organisations to identify animals in need of adoption and facilitate the adoption process.

Pet Owners Surrendering Animals:

Some adoption facilitators may work with individuals who are surrendering their pets, helping them navigate the process and ensuring the well-being of the animals.

Prospective Adopters:

The primary clients of adoption facilitators are individuals or families interested in adopting animals. Facilitators guide them through the adoption process, provide information about available animals, and assess compatibility.

Animal Care Professionals:

Adoption facilitators may liaise with veterinarians, animal behaviourists, and other professionals involved in the care and well-being of animals to ensure that adopted animals are healthy and suitable for adoption.

Government Agencies:

Depending on the region, adoption facilitators may need to comply with local regulations and work with government agencies overseeing animal welfare and adoption practices.

Professional Associations:

Adoption facilitators may be members of professional associations related to animal welfare and adoption, providing opportunities for networking, professional development, and staying informed about industry trends.


Many adoption facilitators rely on volunteers to assist with tasks such as caring for animals, organising adoption events, and providing support during the adoption process.

Educational Institutions:

Adoption facilitators may collaborate with schools, colleges, and universities to provide educational outreach programmes about responsible pet ownership and the benefits of adoption.

Community Organisations:

Collaboration with local community organisations can help adoption facilitators reach a broader audience and engage with the community in promoting animal adoption.

Pet Product and Service Providers:

Adoption facilitators may work with businesses that provide pet-related products and services, such as pet stores, grooming services, and training facilities, to enhance the overall well-being of adopted animals.

Legal Professionals:

In some cases, adoption facilitators may work with legal professionals to ensure that adoption processes comply with relevant laws and regulations.

Media and Public Relations Professionals:

Adoption facilitators may engage with media and public relations professionals to promote adoption events, share success stories, and raise awareness about the importance of adopting animals.

Effective collaboration with these stakeholders is crucial for the successful facilitation of animal adoptions and the overall promotion of responsible pet ownership. Building strong relationships with these partners contributes to creating positive outcomes for animals and their adoptive families.

What are the different specialisations or career directions that an Adoption Facilitator can venture into?

Adoption facilitators play a vital role in connecting animals in need of homes with potential adopters. They work in animal shelters, rescue organisations, and adoption agencies to facilitate the adoption process and ensure that animals find loving and suitable homes. Here are different specialisations and career directions that an adoption facilitator can venture into:

Animal Adoption Counsellor:

Specialise in assisting potential adopters in finding the right pet for their lifestyle and needs. Adoption counsellors assess adopters’ preferences, conduct interviews, match them with suitable animals based on temperament and compatibility, provide information on pet care and behaviour, and guide them through the adoption process.

Animal Foster Programme Coordinator:

Manage the foster care programme for animals in need of temporary homes. Foster programme coordinators recruit and train foster carers, match animals with suitable foster homes, coordinate foster placements, monitor animal well-being, facilitate foster-to-adopt transitions, and provide support and resources to foster caregivers.

Adoption Event Coordinator:

Organise and oversee adoption events, outreach activities, and promotional campaigns to facilitate adoptions and raise awareness about adoptable animals. Event coordinators plan logistics, coordinate volunteers, promote events through various channels, showcase animals, and engage with potential adopters to encourage adoptions.

Animal Transport Coordinator:

Coordinate the transportation of animals between shelters, rescue organisations, foster homes, and adoption events. Transport coordinators ensure safe and efficient movement of animals, handle logistics, arrange transport schedules, coordinate with volunteers or transport partners, and facilitate cross-regional adoptions.

Adoption Programme Manager/Director:

Advance to a leadership role overseeing adoption programmes and strategies. Programme managers or directors develop and implement adoption policies, procedures, and standards, manage adoption team members, collaborate with other departments, track adoption outcomes and trends, and work towards improving adoption rates and success.

Animal Welfare Educator:

Develop and deliver educational programmes, workshops, and materials to promote responsible pet ownership, animal welfare awareness, and adoption advocacy. Educators may conduct adoption-related seminars, training sessions for adopters, community outreach events, and public campaigns to encourage adoption and reduce pet homelessness.

Adoption Follow-Up Coordinator:

Focus on post-adoption support and follow-up to ensure successful transitions and long-term placements. Follow-up coordinators contact adopters, provide guidance on pet care and behaviour, address any concerns or challenges, offer resources and referrals, and maintain communication to support positive adoption experiences.

Adoption Marketing Specialist:

Specialise in adoption marketing and promotion to attract potential adopters and increase adoption rates. Marketing specialists create adoption profiles, write compelling descriptions and stories for animals, develop marketing campaigns, manage social media platforms, collaborate with media outlets, and utilise creative strategies to showcase adoptable animals effectively.

Animal Behaviour Consultant:

Provide behaviour consulting services to adopters and shelters/rescues to address behaviour issues in adopted animals. Behaviour consultants assess behaviour problems, develop behaviour modification plans, offer training sessions, and provide guidance on managing and strengthening the bond between adopters and their pets.

Animal Welfare Advocate/Policy Analyst:

Advocate for animal welfare policies and initiatives related to adoption, responsible pet ownership, and humane treatment of animals. Advocates may work with legislative bodies, advocacy groups, and animal welfare organisations to promote adoption-friendly legislation, support adoption programmes, and raise awareness about adoption benefits and best practices.

These specialisations and career directions offer adoption facilitators diverse opportunities to contribute to animal welfare, advocacy, education, and successful adoption outcomes within the animal rescue and adoption field.

What does an Adoption Facilitator focus on?

Adoption facilitators work to match prospective adopters with animals that fit their preferences, lifestyle, and needs. This involves understanding the characteristics of both the adopters and the animals.

What are the daily tasks of an Adoption Facilitator?

The daily tasks of an adoption facilitator can vary depending on the specific organisation, the number of animals in their care, and the overall scope of their responsibilities. Here is a list of common daily tasks that an adoption facilitator may undertake:

Animal Care:

  • Check the well-being of animals in the facility, ensuring they have food, water, and a clean living environment.
  • Monitor and address any health or behaviour concerns, and administer medications or treatments as needed.

Adoption Process Management:

  • Review and respond to adoption applications and inquiries from potential adopters.
  • Conduct interviews and screenings to assess the suitability of adoptive homes.
  • Facilitate meet-and-greets between potential adopters and animals.

Communication and Follow-Up:

  • Communicate with prospective adopters to provide information about available animals, answer questions, and offer guidance throughout the adoption process.
  • Follow up with adopters after the adoption to provide support and address any post-adoption concerns.

Paperwork and Documentation:

  • Complete and maintain accurate records, including adoption agreements, medical histories, and behaviour assessments.
  • Prepare the necessary paperwork for adoptions and ensure compliance with organisational and legal requirements.

Animal Health Checks:

  • Conduct health checks on incoming animals, coordinate veterinary visits, and administer vaccinations or treatments as required.
  • Monitor and document any changes in the health or behaviour of animals under care.

Educational Outreach:

  • Develop and conduct educational programmes or workshops for the community on responsible pet ownership, the benefits of adoption, and related topics.
  • Provide information and resources to the public about animal welfare.

Event Planning and Participation:

  • Plan and organise adoption events to showcase available animals.
  • Participate in community events, fairs, or fundraisers to promote adoption awareness.

Networking and Collaboration:

  • Collaborate with other adoption facilitators, veterinarians, rescue organisations, and community partners.
  • Attend meetings or conferences to stay informed about industry trends and best practices.

Volunteer Coordination:

  • Supervise and coordinate volunteers involved in animal care, adoption events, and other related tasks.
  • Provide training and support for volunteers.

Surrender and Transfer Management:

  • Manage the intake process for animals surrendered by owners.
  • Coordinate transfers of animals between shelters or rescue organisations.

Facility Maintenance:

  • Ensure the cleanliness and organisation of the adoption facility.
  • Oversee maintenance tasks to create a safe and comfortable environment for animals and visitors.

Social Media and Marketing:

  • Update social media platforms with information about available animals, success stories, and upcoming events.
  • Implement marketing strategies to attract potential adopters and supporters.

Continuous Learning:

  • Stay informed about developments in animal welfare, adoption practices, and relevant laws.
  • Attend training sessions or workshops to enhance your knowledge and skills.

Problem Resolution:

  • Address and resolve any challenges or conflicts that may arise during the adoption process or within the facility.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to find solutions to complex issues.

The tasks listed here provide a general overview, and the specific responsibilities of an adoption facilitator may vary based on the size and structure of the organisation they work for. Adaptability, compassion, and effective communication are key qualities for success in this role.

With what kind of tools and technology (if any) does an animal adoption facilitator work?

Animal adoption facilitators may utilize various tools and technologies to streamline their work, improve communication, and enhance the adoption process. While the specific tools and technologies can vary depending on the organisation and its resources, here are some common examples:

Adoption Management Software:

Specialized software or online platforms designed for animal shelters and rescue organizations can help facilitate the adoption process. These systems typically include features for managing animal profiles, tracking adoptions, scheduling appointments, and communicating with potential adopters.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software:

CRM software allows adoption facilitators to maintain records of interactions with potential adopters, track communications, and manage follow-ups. This helps ensure that adopters receive timely responses and personalized attention.

Website and Online Platforms:

Many animal shelters and rescue organizations maintain websites and utilize online platforms (such as Petfinder, Adopt-a-Pet, or social media) to showcase adoptable animals, share adoption success stories, and provide information about adoption procedures.

Digital Communication Tools:

Email, messaging apps, and video conferencing tools enable adoption facilitators to communicate efficiently with potential adopters, colleagues, and volunteers. These tools can be used for conducting virtual meet-and-greets, providing updates on available animals, and answering inquiries.

Animal Identification and Tracking Systems:

Some shelters use microchips or other identification methods to track and identify animals in their care. This helps ensure accurate record-keeping and facilitates reunions if lost animals are brought to the shelter.

Online Adoption Applications and Forms:

Digital adoption applications and forms allow potential adopters to submit their information and preferences online. Adoption facilitators can then review applications, conduct screenings, and schedule adoption appointments more efficiently.

Social Media Management Tools:

Social media management platforms help organizations schedule posts, monitor engagement, and analyze performance across various social media channels. This enables adoption facilitators to reach a broader audience and promote adoptable animals effectively.

Training and Educational Resources:

Online training courses, webinars, and educational resources provide adoption facilitators with opportunities to enhance their knowledge and skills in areas such as animal behavior, customer service, and adoption counseling.

Animal Health Monitoring Systems:

Some shelters use digital systems to track the health status and medical history of animals, including vaccination records, medications, and veterinary appointments. This ensures that animals receive appropriate care and that adopters have access to relevant information.

Donation and Fundraising Platforms:

Tools for online donations, crowdfunding, and fundraising events help animal shelters and rescue organizations generate financial support. Adoption facilitators may participate in fundraising efforts to support the organization’s mission and programs.

Collaboration and Project Management Tools:

Collaboration platforms and project management tools facilitate teamwork and coordination among staff and volunteers. These tools can be used for task assignments, scheduling, and tracking progress on adoption-related projects.
By leveraging these tools and technologies, animal adoption facilitators can streamline their workflow, improve communication with stakeholders, and ultimately facilitate more successful adoptions. However, it’s essential to prioritize human-animal interactions and maintain a compassionate approach throughout the adoption process.

The work environment of an Adoption Facilitator

Where does an Adoption Facilitator work?

An animal adoption facilitator’s working environment can vary based on the type of organisation they work for and the nature of their responsibilities. Here are descriptions of both indoor and outdoor working environments, as well as potential places of employment for an animal adoption facilitator:

Indoor Working Environments:

Animal Shelters:

Adoption facilitators often work within animal shelters, where they manage the adoption process, interact with animals, and engage with potential adopters.

Rescue Organisations:

Facilities operated by rescue organisations, whether focused on specific animal species or breeds, provide indoor spaces for adoption facilitators to conduct interviews and assessments and facilitate adoptions.

Office Spaces:

Adoption facilitators may have office spaces within the organisation where they handle paperwork, communicate with adopters, and coordinate adoption-related activities.

Educational Institutions:

If an adoption facilitator is involved in educational outreach programmes, they may spend time in classrooms or community centres conducting workshops or presentations.

Veterinary Clinics:

Some adoption facilitators work closely with veterinary clinics, especially in situations where health assessments and treatments are part of the adoption process.

Outdoor Working Environments:

Adoption Events:

Adoption facilitators often organise or participate in outdoor adoption events held in public spaces, parks, or community events to showcase animals available for adoption.

Community Outreach Programmes:

Engaging with the community may involve outdoor activities, such as setting up information booths at local events or conducting outdoor educational programmes.

Pet-Friendly Spaces:

When facilitating meet-and-greet sessions between potential adopters and animals, adoption facilitators may utilise outdoor spaces to allow for interactions in a more relaxed environment.

Places of employment:

Animal Shelters:

Municipal or private animal shelters are common places of employment for adoption facilitators. These facilities house a variety of animals awaiting adoption.

Rescue Organisations:

Rescue organisations focused on specific species or breeds may employ adoption facilitators to manage the adoption process and find suitable homes for rescued animals.

Nonprofit Organisations:

Nonprofit organisations dedicated to animal welfare may have adoption facilitators working to promote responsible pet ownership and facilitate adoptions.

Government Agencies:

Some adoption facilitators work within government agencies, overseeing animal welfare and adoption practices and ensuring compliance with regulations.

Veterinary Clinics:

Adoption facilitators may collaborate with veterinary clinics, especially those offering adoption-related services and health assessments.

Educational Institutions:

Adoption facilitators may work in educational institutions, partnering with schools or colleges to deliver educational programmes on responsible pet ownership.

Private Businesses:

Some private businesses, such as pet stores with adoption programmes, may employ adoption facilitators to manage the adoption process.

Mobile Adoption Units:

In some cases, adoption facilitators may work with mobile adoption units, bringing animals to different locations for adoption events.

The working environments for adoption facilitators can be dynamic, involving a combination of indoor office work, interactions with animals, and outreach efforts in the community. It’s essential for adoption facilitators to be adaptable to different settings and to prioritize the well-being of both animals and adopters.

What is the average annual salary of an Adoption Facilitator?

Salaries for animal adoption facilitators can vary significantly based on factors such as experience, education, the specific organisation, and the region or country in which they work. Additionally, salaries may differ based on the cost of living in a particular location. Keep in mind that the figures provided below are general estimates, and actual salaries may vary.

North America:


The average salary for an animal adoption facilitator in the United States can range from $30,000 to $50,000 or more annually, depending on factors such as location and experience.


Salaries may range from CAD 35,000 to CAD 60,000 per year, with variations based on factors like location and organization.



In the United Kingdom, salaries for animal adoption facilitators may vary from £20,000 to £30,000 or more annually, depending on experience and the organisation.

Europe (General):

Salaries in other European countries may follow similar ranges, with variations based on the specific country and local economic conditions.



Salaries for animal adoption facilitators in Australia can range from AUD 50,000 to AUD 70,000 or more per year, with variations based on experience and location.

New Zealand:

In New Zealand, salaries may vary, but a range of NZD 40,000 to NZD 60,000 per year is a general estimate.



Salaries for animal adoption facilitators in Nigeria may vary widely, but a general estimate might be NGN 1,200,000 to NGN 2,500,000 annually.


In Kenya, salaries may range from KES 600,000 to KES 1,200,000 or more per year, depending on factors such as experience and the organisation.

South Africa:

Salaries in South Africa can vary, but a general estimate might be ZAR 120,000 to ZAR 300,000 per year.

South America – General Estimate:

Salaries in South America can vary significantly by country. In general, salaries for animal adoption facilitators might range from $10,000 to $30,000 or more per year.

South East Asia – General Estimate:

Salaries in Southeast Asian countries can vary widely. In general, salaries for animal adoption facilitators might range from $5,000 to $20,000 or more per year, depending on the country and organisation.

It’s important to note that these figures are rough estimates, and the actual salary for an individual may be influenced by various factors. Individuals interested in pursuing a career as an animal adoption facilitator should research specific organizations, job markets, and salary expectations in their target region.

Can an Adoption Facilitator be promoted?

The progression of a career for an animal adoption facilitator may involve advancements in responsibilities, leadership roles, and sometimes, changes in job titles. Promotion opportunities can vary based on the size and structure of the organization, as well as the individual’s skills, experience, and professional development. Here are some progressive levels of promotion that an animal adoption facilitator might experience:

Entry-Level Adoption Facilitator

As an entry-level adoption facilitator, individuals typically start by assisting in the adoption process, conducting interviews with potential adopters, and coordinating basic aspects of the adoption procedure.

Senior Adoption Facilitator

With increased experience, an adoption facilitator may be promoted to a senior role. Senior facilitators often take on more complex adoption cases, mentor junior staff, and contribute to the development of adoption programs.

Adoption Coordinator/Supervisor

Individuals may move into a supervisory role, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the adoption department. Adoption coordinators or supervisors manage a team of facilitators, set goals, and ensure the smooth functioning of the adoption process

Adoption Manager

A promotion to the role of adoption manager involves greater responsibility for the overall management of the adoption program within an organization. This may include strategic planning, budgeting, and collaboration with other departments

What are the difficulties an Adoption Facilitator may face?

Being an adoption facilitator can be a rewarding but challenging role. Here are some of the difficulties that adoption facilitators may face in their work:

Emotional Challenges:

Dealing with the emotional aspects of working with animals in need, including cases of neglect, abuse, or illness, can be emotionally taxing. Witnessing animals in distress or facing euthanasia can be particularly difficult.

Limited Resources:

Animal shelters and adoption organisations often operate on limited budgets. Adoption facilitators may face challenges in providing optimal care and resources for animals, which can impact the overall success of adoptions.

High Volume of Animals:

In some cases, adoption facilitators may be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of animals in need of homes. Managing a large number of adoptions, especially during peak seasons, can be challenging.

Limited Adoption Interest:

Not all animals receive equal attention from potential adopters. Some animals, especially those with special needs or specific breeds, may face challenges in finding suitable homes.

Behavioural Challenges:

Animals with behavioural issues may require additional attention and resources. Adoption facilitators may face difficulties in finding appropriate adopters willing to address and manage these behavioural challenges.

Adoption Criteria and Screening:

Balancing the need to find homes for animals with the responsibility of ensuring a good match can be challenging. Screening potential adopters to meet the welfare needs of animals while encouraging adoption can be a delicate process.

Legal and Regulatory Compliance:

Adoption facilitators need to adhere to local laws and regulations governing animal welfare and adoption. Navigating and staying compliant with these regulations can be challenging, especially if they are complex or subject to change.

Burnout and Compassion Fatigue:

The emotionally demanding nature of the work, combined with potentially long hours and limited resources, can contribute to burnout and compassion fatigue among adoption facilitators.

Community Outreach and Education:

Encouraging responsible pet ownership and dispelling myths about shelter animals can be a challenge. Adoption facilitators may need to invest time in community outreach and education to change perceptions and promote adoption.

Post-Adoption Issues:

Facilitators may encounter challenges after an adoption is completed, including adopters facing difficulties in caring for the adopted animal, behavioural issues emerging post-adoption, or the return of animals due to unforeseen circumstances.

Limited Space and Facilities:

Shelters and adoption organisations may have limited space and facilities. Managing the logistics of housing and caring for animals within these constraints can be challenging.

Public Misconceptions:

Overcoming public misconceptions about shelter animals, their backgrounds, and the adoption process can be challenging. Dispelling myths and promoting a positive image of shelter animals requires ongoing effort.

Despite these challenges, adoption facilitators play a crucial role in improving the lives of animals and connecting them with loving homes. Training, support, and a strong commitment to animal welfare can help adoption facilitators navigate and overcome these difficulties.

Future Growth and Possibilities

Some general trends and possibilities that may influence the future of the animal adoption and welfare industry are:

Increased Emphasis on Adoption and Rescue:

There has been a growing societal awareness of the importance of adopting animals from shelters and rescue organisations rather than purchasing them from breeders. This shift in attitude may contribute to increased demand for adoption facilitators.

Advancements in Technology:

Technology is playing an increasing role in animal welfare, including the adoption process. Online platforms, mobile apps, and social media have become essential tools for promoting animals available for adoption, reaching a broader audience, and facilitating the adoption process.

Focus on Animal Behavior and Enrichment:

Organizations are placing more emphasis on understanding and addressing the behavioral needs of animals. Adoption facilitators with expertise in animal behavior and enrichment may be increasingly valued.

Community Engagement and Education:

Animal adoption organizations are recognizing the importance of community engagement and education to promote responsible pet ownership. Adoption facilitators may take on roles in community outreach and education programs.

Specialized Roles and Services:

There is a trend toward offering specialized roles and services within animal adoption organizations, such as adoption counseling, behavioral training, and post-adoption support. This diversification may create new career paths for professionals in the field.

Remote and Flexible Work Options:

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated trends toward remote work in various industries. While hands-on roles like animal care may require on-site presence, certain administrative and coordination aspects of adoption facilitation may incorporate remote work options.

Legislation and Policy Changes:

Changes in local, regional, or national legislation related to animal welfare and adoption practices can influence the operations and requirements of adoption facilitators. Staying informed about legal developments in the industry is crucial.

Public Awareness and Advocacy:

Increasing public awareness of animal welfare issues and advocacy for humane treatment may result in continued growth in adoption facilitator roles. This may be driven by a desire among individuals to contribute to animal welfare causes.

It’s important to note that the animal welfare industry is dynamic, and trends can evolve over time. Professionals in the field should stay informed about industry developments, continuously update their skills, and adapt to changing needs and expectations. For the most current and accurate information on job market projections, individuals interested in pursuing a career as an animal adoption facilitator should consult local labor market reports and industry publications.

Availability of Jobs


Which Skills are required for an Adoption Facilitator?

The skills required for a career as an adoption facilitator can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills and personality traits, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.

Life Skills and Personality Traits

Animal adoption facilitators play a critical role in matching animals with suitable adoptive homes and assisting potential adopters throughout the adoption process. Here are some specific personality traits commonly found in successful animal adoption facilitators:

Compassion and Empathy:

Adoption facilitators must genuinely care about the welfare and well-being of animals. Compassion allows them to understand the needs and emotions of both the animals in their care and the potential adopters they assist.

Excellent Communication Skills:

Effective communication is essential for explaining adoption procedures, providing information about available animals, and addressing questions or concerns from potential adopters. Adoption facilitators should be able to communicate clearly and professionally, both verbally and in writing.

Customer Service Skills:

Adoption facilitators interact with a diverse range of people, including potential adopters, current pet owners, and shelter staff. Strong customer service skills are essential for providing friendly, helpful assistance and ensuring a positive adoption experience for all parties involved.


Matching animals with the right adoptive homes can take time, as it involves understanding the needs and preferences of both the animals and the potential adopters. Adoption facilitators must have patience and be willing to take the time necessary to find the perfect match.

Problem-Solving Skills:

Adoption facilitators may encounter challenges or obstacles during the adoption process, such as addressing concerns from potential adopters, resolving conflicts between adopters and existing pets, or navigating adoption paperwork. Strong problem-solving skills enable facilitators to find creative solutions to these issues and ensure successful adoptions.

Knowledge of Animal Behavior and Care:

Adoption facilitators should have a basic understanding of animal behaviour, care, and training. This knowledge allows them to provide accurate information to potential adopters and offer advice on pet care and behaviour management.

Organisation and Attention to Detail:

Managing adoption paperwork, scheduling adoption appointments, and coordinating adoption events require organisation and attention to detail. Adoption facilitators should be able to multitask effectively and ensure that all adoption-related tasks are completed accurately and in a timely manner.


Animal adoption facilitators work in dynamic environments where the availability of animals for adoption and the needs of potential adopters can change rapidly. Facilitators must be adaptable and flexible, able to adjust their approach to accommodate changing circumstances and priorities.

Commitment to Animal Welfare:

Adoption facilitators should be dedicated to promoting the welfare of animals and finding them loving, permanent homes. Their commitment to animal welfare motivates them to work tirelessly to ensure that each animal is placed in the best possible adoptive home.


Adoption facilitators often work as part of a team, collaborating with shelter staff, volunteers, veterinarians, and other animal welfare professionals to facilitate successful adoptions. Effective teamwork is essential for achieving common goals and providing the best possible care and outcomes for animals.

Animal adoption facilitators possess a combination of compassion, excellent communication skills, customer service skills, patience, problem-solving skills, knowledge of animal behaviour and care, organisation, attention to detail, adaptability, commitment to animal welfare, and teamwork, enabling them to facilitate successful adoptions and promote the well-being of animals in their care.

Life Skills

Career Skills

  • Basic animal handling and care techniques
  • Ability to give educational talks to the public
  • Customer service skills
  • Good health and physical fitness
  • Basic computer literacy
Career Skills

Which Subjects must I have at school to help prepare for this career?

The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.

OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!

What will I need to study to become an Adoption Facilitator?

Minimum educational requirements

At a minimum, a high school diploma or its equivalent is typically required. This serves as the foundation for further studies and entry into related fields.

Study Focus

Subjects for Further Study:

Animal Science or Biology:

Consider pursuing further studies in animal science or biology to deepen your understanding of animal anatomy, physiology, and behaviour.

Psychology or Animal Behaviour:

Courses in psychology or animal behaviour are valuable for understanding the psychological aspects of animals, which is crucial for assessing behaviour and facilitating successful adoptions.

Communication or Public Relations:

Further study in communication or public relations can enhance your communication skills, which are essential for interacting with potential adopters, colleagues, and the community.

Social Work or Sociology:

Courses in social work or sociology can provide insights into the dynamics of human-animal relationships and community engagement, which are relevant to adoption facilitation.

Advanced Studies (If Necessary):

Bachelor’s Degree in a Relevant Field:

Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in fields such as animal science, biology, psychology, social work, or a related area can provide a more in-depth and comprehensive education.

Master’s Degree (Optional):

While not always necessary, some individuals may choose to pursue a master’s degree in fields like animal behaviour, public administration, or nonprofit management for advanced knowledge and career advancement.

Optional Short Courses:

Animal Welfare and Ethics:

Short courses on animal welfare and ethics can provide insights into ethical considerations in animal care and adoption practices.

Customer Service Skills:

Courses focusing on customer service skills can enhance your ability to interact effectively with potential adopters and provide a positive experience.

Project Management:

Short courses in project management can be beneficial for individuals aspiring to take on leadership roles within an animal welfare organisation.

Social Media and Marketing:

Courses on social media and marketing can help you develop skills in promoting animals for adoption and engaging with the community.

Volunteer Management:

If you plan to work with volunteers, courses on volunteer management can provide valuable insights into effective coordination and supervision.

Study Duration

The duration of most diplomas is around 3 years, and short courses differ, but can range from a few days to a few weeks.

FREE Career Path Plans

If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.

Why is planning important?

To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A preparation path is like a road map to where you want to go.

Possible Path(s):

Here’s a step-by-step career preparation path for a high school student aspiring to become an animal adoption facilitator:

  1.  Attend Career Guidance Sessions:

Attend career guidance sessions at school or in the community to learn about various career options, including roles related to animal welfare and adoption.

2.  Research Possible Careers:

Conduct research on careers related to animal adoption, such as working in animal shelters, rescue organisations, or as adoption counsellors.

3.  Explore Educational Paths:

Identify educational paths that align with a career in animal adoption, such as degrees in animal science, biology, veterinary sciences, or fields related to animal behaviour and welfare.

4.  Align High School Subjects:

Choose high school subjects that align with the chosen educational path, such as biology, environmental science, or psychology.

5.  Obtain a High School Diploma or Equivalent:

Focus on academic success and graduate with a high school diploma or equivalent qualification.

6.  Learn about Animals:

Gain knowledge about different species of animals, their behaviour, and their needs through self-study, online courses, or workshops.

7.  Align Post-School Path:

Determine whether to enter the workforce directly, pursue further studies (such as obtaining a college degree), or explore entrepreneurship in animal-related fields.

8.  Gain Experience:

Volunteer or intern at animal shelters, veterinary clinics, or with organisations involved in animal welfare. Seek mentorship opportunities to learn from professionals in the field.

9.  Pursue Extracurricular Activities:

Participate in extracurricular activities related to animals, such as joining a school’s animal club or participating in community service projects related to animal welfare.

10. Join Professional Associations:

Connect with professional associations or organisations related to animal adoption, such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) or local animal welfare groups.

11. Gain Specialized Skills:

Acquire specialised skills, such as effective communication, counselling, and organisational skills, which are essential for working as an adoption facilitator.

12. Network with Professionals:

Attend events, conferences, or workshops to network with professionals in the animal welfare and adoption fields. Networking can open doors to opportunities and provide valuable insights.

13. Enter the Job Market or Further Studies:

Decide whether to enter the job market with the gained experience, pursue tertiary studies for advanced qualifications, or consider starting a small business related to animal welfare.

14. Stay Updated and Pursue Continuing Education:

Stay informed about industry trends, legislation, and best practices. Pursue continuing education opportunities to enhance skills and stay competitive in the field.

By following these steps, a high school student can prepare for a career as an animal adoption facilitator and develop the knowledge, skills, and experience needed for success in the field.

Possible Combined Career Paths

It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.

Possible Alternative(s):

Stepping Stone Career

A stepping-stone career refers to a job or position that serves as a transitional or intermediate step towards a long-term career goal. Individuals may take on a stepping-stone job as it requires minimum education or finances to enter, or to gain relevant experience and develop skills, or to make professional connections that will ultimately help them progress towards their desired career path.

These interim positions may not be the ultimate or dream job, but they provide valuable learning opportunities and contribute to the individual’s overall career development. Stepping-stone careers are often seen as a strategic approach to building a successful and fulfilling professional trajectory, allowing individuals to gradually move closer to their desired roles or industries.

A career as an animal adoption facilitator can provide valuable skills and experiences that may serve as a stepping stone to various related fields within the broader realm of animal welfare, care, and nonprofit work.

Here are some potential career paths that individuals with a background as animal adoption facilitators might explore in their future:

Training and Apprenticeship

Becoming an animal adoption facilitator often involves a combination of educational qualifications and hands-on experience gained through on-the-job training, apprenticeships, or relevant in-house programmes. Here are some components of in-house training or on-the-job experience that may be required or beneficial for aspiring animal adoption facilitators:

Orientation and organisation-specific Training:

Upon joining an animal welfare organisation or shelter, new employees typically undergo an orientation process to familiarise themselves with the organization’s mission, values, policies, and procedures. This training ensures that they understand the specific context in which they’ll be working.

Shadowing Experienced Facilitators:

One effective method of on-the-job training is shadowing experienced adoption facilitators. New employees can observe and learn from experienced colleagues, gaining insights into the adoption process, effective communication with potential adopters, and handling various scenarios.

Animal Handling and Care:

Hands-on training in animal handling and care is crucial. This includes learning how to safely interact with animals, understanding their basic needs, recognising signs of distress or illness, and ensuring their well-being.

Adoption Process Training:

Training on the adoption process is essential. This involves understanding the steps involved, conducting interviews with potential adopters, completing necessary paperwork, and facilitating successful adoptions.

Communication and Customer Service Skills:

Given the client-facing nature of the role, training in effective communication and customer service skills is important. This includes how to engage with potential adopters, answer their questions, and provide information in a clear and compassionate manner.

Behavior Assessment Training:

Learning how to assess the behavior of animals is a key aspect of an adoption facilitator’s role. Training may cover observing and interpreting animal behavior, conducting behavioral assessments, and identifying potential challenges.

Community Outreach and Education:

Some organizations emphasize community outreach and education. Training in this area may involve learning how to organize and participate in adoption events, conduct educational programs, and engage with the local community.

Record-Keeping and Documentation:

Training on proper record-keeping and documentation is crucial for maintaining accurate and up-to-date records of animals, adoptions, and interactions with adopters. This ensures compliance with organizational and legal requirements.

Volunteer Management (if applicable):

For those who work with volunteers, training in volunteer management may be provided. This includes understanding how to recruit, train, and coordinate volunteers effectively.

Crisis Management and Conflict Resolution:

Training on crisis management and conflict resolution is important for handling challenging situations, such as disputes between adopters, unexpected health issues with animals, or other unforeseen circumstances.

Legal and Ethical Considerations:

Understanding legal and ethical considerations in animal welfare and adoption practices is crucial. Training may cover local regulations, ethical standards, and best practices.

Continuous Professional Development:

Animal adoption facilitators should engage in continuous professional development. This may involve attending workshops, conferences, or webinars to stay informed about industry trends, new practices, and advancements in animal welfare.

The specific training program will vary depending on the organization, its resources, and the complexity of the adoption process. Ongoing mentorship and support from experienced colleagues can also contribute significantly to the development of an animal adoption facilitator.

Average level of education of those entering the career:

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

Licenses, Certifications, Registrations and Professional Associations

The specific licences, certificates, and legal requirements for becoming an animal adoption facilitator can vary based on local regulations, the nature of the organisation, and the responsibilities of the role. It’s essential to research and comply with the specific requirements in your region. Here are some general considerations:

Volunteer Certifications:

Some animal shelters or rescue organisations may require or offer certifications for volunteers, including those involved in adoption facilitation. These certifications may cover topics like animal handling, behaviour assessment, and basic care.

Animal Welfare Legislation Compliance:

Animal adoption facilitators must comply with local, regional, and national animal welfare legislation. This may include regulations related to the treatment of animals, adoption procedures, and facility standards.

Driver’s Licence (if applicable):

If the role involves transporting animals or participating in off-site adoption events, a valid driver’s licence may be required.

Animal First Aid and CPR Certification:

Some organisations may require or recommend certification in first aid and CPR, particularly if the facilitator is responsible for handling animals with potential health issues.

Training on Zoonotic Diseases:

Understanding zoonotic diseases (those that can be transmitted between animals and humans) is important. Some organisations may provide specific training in this area.

Animal Behaviour Certification (optional):

While not always required, obtaining certification in animal behaviour can enhance your skills in assessing and working with animals. Organisations such as the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) offer relevant certifications.

Business licence (if self-employed):

If you operate as an independent contractor or run your own adoption facilitation service, you may need to obtain a business licence.

Insurance (if self-employed):

Independent adoption facilitators may need to consider liability insurance to protect themselves and their clients in the event of unforeseen events.

Always check with the specific animal welfare organization or shelter where you plan to work, as their requirements may vary. Additionally, local and national regulations can differ, so it’s important to be aware of and comply with the laws in your specific location.

Professional Associations

There may not be specific professional associations or societies exclusively dedicated to animal adoption facilitators. However, individuals working in the field of animal welfare, including adoption facilitation, may find valuable resources, networking opportunities, and support through broader organisations focused on animal care and welfare. Please note that the availability of associations or societies may change over time, and new organisations may emerge. Here are some relevant organisations:

International Organisations:

World Animal Protection (WAP):

Website: World Animal Protection

International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW):

Website: IFAW

United States:

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS):

Website: HSUS

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA):

Website: ASPCA

National Animal Care & Control Association (NACA):

Website: NACA

United Kingdom:

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA):

Website: RSPCA

Blue Cross:

Website: Blue Cross


Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS):

Website: CFHS

British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA):

Website: BC SPCA


RSPCA Australia:

Website: RSPCA Australia

Animal Welfare League Australia:

Website: AWL Australia


European Association of Animal Production (EAAP):

Website: EAAP

Eurogroup for Animals:

Website: Eurogroup for Animals


International Coalition for Animal Welfare (ICFAW):

Website: ICFAW

Please note that while these organisations may not be specifically tailored to adoption facilitators, they often encompass a broader scope of animal welfare, including adoption programmes. Additionally, local and regional animal welfare organisations may provide specific support and resources for professionals working in adoption facilitation. Always check the latest information on the websites of these organisations for updates and relevant resources.

Where can I study further?

All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.

See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards animal care

How do I start to prepare for this Career?

If you do decide on following this career, then OZT can assist you in figuring out a path to prepare, as well as help you to gain further knowledge about the career and the animals you will be working with. We do this by offering you FREE career development tools. There are almost a dozen free tools, but these are the three primary ones:


Use the career path plan above on this profile as an example to follow, or to work out your own path.

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But, if you are still uncertain about choosing this specific career, and even where to start, then have a look at our special series of WHAT NEXT courses (link below). They take you through all of the questions you might have on how to choose the right career, what to do while at and after school, and even how to start your own business.


Join the OZT online community for special access to more tools!

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming an adoption facilitator.

Members of the Platform have special access to:

  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
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  • Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
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Some of the best websites to help you decide on a career are:

Best Friends

Humane Society

Animal Sheltering by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS):

Website: Animal Sheltering

Description: Animal Sheltering, a publication by The HSUS, provides articles, resources, and information relevant to professionals working in animal shelters, including adoption facilitators. It covers topics such as best practices, animal behaviour, and trends in the field.


Website: Petfinder

Description: Petfinder is a widely used online platform that connects adoptable pets with potential adopters. While it primarily serves as a pet adoption platform, it also provides resources for animal shelters, rescue organisations, and individuals involved in animal adoption.

American Pets Alive! (AmPA!):

Website: American Pets Alive!

Description: American Pets Alive! is an organisation that focuses on advancing the no-kill movement and providing resources to animal welfare professionals. Their website includes information on training, resources, and tools for individuals involved in animal rescue and adoption.

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