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National Cat Help Desk Specialist

Job Summary

The National Cat Help Desk Specialist provides advice and support to individuals, shelters, rescue and TNR organizations, elected officials and municipal employees seeking help with a broad range of cat-related and policy situations. Inquiries come through a variety of media and may involve complicated and urgent situations. Compassion, empathy and discretion are vital skills required for this position. Creative problem-solving and critical thinking are also essential.

The National Cat Help Desk Specialist will also serve as an advocate for cats and the organization in a variety of settings, exercising the highest standards of constituent care and service, and always operating from the position of what’s best for the cats. Other key duties include: representing Alley Cat Allies in a professional manner at conferences, workshops, and events; and documenting and managing complex information in the data base system. The National Cat Help Desk Specialist will also conduct research on a variety of topics on issues and programs related to cats and the work of Alley Cat Allies.

Job Responsibilities

Community Support

  • Serve as an account manager for people and organizations contacting Alley Cat Allies with issues relating to the welfare and protection of cats, and provide superior customer service on general issues and questions affecting contacts.
  • Advise, guide, and provide support for individuals, organizations, government agencies, and public or elected officials trying to implement “pro-cat” measures, or stop “anti-cat” measures, in their communities.
  • Provide appropriate support to people needing assistance based on their needs and situation, and the needs of their cats.
  • Analyze, triage, and prioritize initial requests for help prior to responding.
  • Monitor caseload and turnaround time, making adjustments as necessary based on urgency, sometimes as quickly as moments or hours.
  • Escalate high-priority or urgent cases requiring special attention to the Cat Help Desk Manager and provide assistance as needed.
  • Make recommendations for potential mobilization of Community Response based on escalation criteria and potential impact of intervention.
  • Appear as a professional and enthusiastic representative of the organization at events, conferences, and workshops.
  • Participate in on-the-ground activities such as trapping, spay/neuter clinics, and mediations.
  • Provide campaign support as needed including; contacting targeted officials and agencies or groups, gathering information, networking with on-the-ground-activists, and mobilizing community support as needed.

Organization Support

  • Work with internal partners to maximize the effectiveness of local cases, campaigns, and response situations.
  • Conduct ongoing research on topics related to the work of Alley Cat Allies and the issues facing cats to support the effectiveness of The National Cat Help Desk work and share findings with other departments in the organization, as directed and appropriate.
  • Monitor and/or moderate listservs, discussion boards, and social media, and post information and responses as necessary and appropriate.
  • Maintain ongoing dialogue with internal customers and stakeholders on insights, trends, and emergent issues.
  • Work with other staff and internal experts to create standard responses and resources, and maintain a library of these items for use by all staff, and the public, as appropriate.
  • Interact with other internal stakeholders to develop specialized resources and responses and to communicate information that will help internal stakeholders with their work and objectives.


  • Track and report on all communications with Alley Cat Allies, including issues, trends, and general statistics, daily, weekly, monthly, and annually as directed.
  • Maintain and update accurate data base records on inquiries, contacts, cases, and campaigns.
  • Provide cross-training of other department members and create documentation of all duties and processes, to ensure adequate coverage in case of absence.
  • Other duties as required.

Partners (position collaborates with)

  • Other Cat Help Desk Specialists and Cat Help Desk Manager
  • Entire Community Programs and Support team, especially Community Response Manager for escalated cases and campaigns, and Community Engagement Manager for public resources.
  • Publications and Communications team for information on new relevant publications and resources and topics for media and promotion.
  • Research, Law & Policy for issues, legislation and research.
  • Development for impact reporting and stories for fundraising.

Requirements and Qualifications

  • High school diploma required; Bachelor’s Degree preferred;
  • Experience and ability to assess individual and community needs and to respond appropriately.
  • Demonstrated critical thinking and creative problem solving skills.
  • Willingness and ability to take the initiative; proven self-starter.
  • Well-developed coping skills, with the ability to lessen emotional distress for yourself and others.
  • Ability to address sensitive matters tactfully.
  • Active involvement in, and knowledge of, animal rescue and/or animal rights, especially related to the issues facing cats.
  • A grasp of the fundamentals of community organizing, and the ability to communicate community organizing and actively participate with time and experience.
  • Ability to balance multiple projects and priorities in a fast-paced environment.
  • Good written, verbal and interpersonal communications skills.
  • Ability to work well as a member of a team.
  • Excellent customer service skills.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Ability to work at high-performing levels both collaboratively and independently.
  • Highly proficient computer skills with demonstrated knowledge of Microsoft Office Professional programs, data bases and other software and web applications as indicated.

Essential Functions

  • Must be able to see and read from a computer screen
  • Ability to sit at a work station for long periods of time
  • Ability to travel occasionally and to perform work outdoors
  • Ability to communicate clearly and concisely via telephone and in writing
  • Must be able to work around cats
  • Must be able to lift up to 30 pounds unassisted

How to Apply

Send a resume and cover letter to Please include your current or most recent salary information, and indicate where you heard about this job.