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Animal Caretaker - Research Veterinary Unit

The Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research (PAVIR) has a job opening for a full-time Animal Caretaker (Animal Technician) who will work 40 hours a week in the Research Service Veterinary Medical Unit under the direction of the facility supervisor and the Veterinary Medical Officer.
Our Veterinary Medical Unit supports world-class medical scientists, whose breakthrough research combats human disease and helps Veterans and people with disabilities. It is rewarding to know that your hard work as an Animal Technician makes a difference in the lives of Veterans and people with disabilities!

About This Role

You will join the team of other experienced Animal Technicians, who will offer the necessary guidance and support. In your role as an Animal Technician, you will perform daily cleaning and maintenance of the Veterinary facility. You will be trained in providing care for a diverse group of animals including transgenic mice and rats, hamsters, rabbits, pigs, amphibians, and sheep.

No hands-on experience working with animals is necessary to apply, however a strong interest in animal care taking is required.

Schedule: Monday - Friday 6:30 am - 3 pm, weekend and holiday work will be required.

This is a temporary 40 hours/week position in Palo Alto, CA. This position is scheduled to last 6 months with potential to become permanent.


  • Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance
  • Sick Pay
  • Life Insurance - paid by PAVIR
  • Long-term and Short-Term Disability Insurance - paid by PAVIR
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • 401(k) Retirement Plan
  • Employee Assistance Program (includes free mental health counseling)
  • Commuter Benefits
  • Professional Development Training

Primary Responsibilities of the Animal Technician

  • Utilize equipment required to work in the cage wash area, such as the rack and tunnel washer, steam sterilizer, and bedding dump station.
  • Maintain cleanliness of cage wash area and assigned procedure rooms.
  • Assess and improve sanitation based on current health status.
  • Clean equipment used by animals including racks, cages, water bottles, wire bar lids, and filter tops.
  • Check the condition of all cages daily and change cages as frequently as needed to assure an appropriate micro-environment for the animals.
  • Assure accuracy of light cycles and temperature ranges in the animal room.
  • Become proficient in providing standard and specialized care for a diverse group of species including several species of transgenic mice and rats, hamster, rabbits, pigs, amphibians, and sheep.
  • Assist with synchronization of delivery of supplies to housing rooms and cage wash areas, facility maintenance/Engineering, pest control, and EMS pick up.
  • Provide VMU management with a current caging and equipment inventory.

Qualifications for the Animal Technician role

  • HS diploma or equivalent.
  • Strong interest in animal care taking is required.
  • Ability to work on weekends and holidays is required.
  • Experience and/or exposure working in an animal research facility in collaboration with fellow caretakers, investigators, and veterinary staff is desired.
  • Readiness to learn animal care taking under the guidance of the Veterinary Medical Officer, lead technician, facility supervisor, and animal health technician.
  • Ability to comply and abide by safety and sanitation procedures and laws.
  • Ability to follow directions and procedures.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Ability to work in a team environment.

Physical Requirements

Ability to lift feed materials of up to 50 pounds. Sit, walk or stand for an extended period of time. Other physical demands include bending, twisting neck and body, squatting, kneeling, pushing and pulling up to 200 pounds, squat and bend at the knees and waist repeatedly. Work in a wet/hot environment for extended periods of time. Perform repetitive hand movements, power grasping (requires a clenched fist and some exertion), simple grasping (gripping an object with the hand), fine manipulation, reaching above or below shoulder level, carrying items.

Environmental Conditions

Exposure to wet lab environment, bloodborne pathogens, toxic/caustic chemicals or reagents and potentially noisy equipment.

Working conditions

The workplace is set in an animal research facility with potential exposure to zoonotic diseases. Allergic responses may develop to animal dander. The Animal Technician will be provided with appropriate protective equipment to ameliorate these conditions.


PAVIR, located on the premises of the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, is a mid-size nonprofit foundation, closely connected with the VA and Stanford University. We offer ongoing training, generous benefits and supportive environment. We work with more than 160 uniquely talented medical scientists across a broad spectrum of research areas. We recruit talented employees who believe in making a difference in the lives of others through innovative research.
PAVIR is affiliated with the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS). As a condition of employment, all PAVIR employees are required to have an approved appointment with VAPAHCS and complete a background check.

PAVIR engages in nonprofit medical research and works with sponsors and the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) in administering funds for conducting research to find new and improved ways to combat human disease and help people with disabilities. Please refer to our website for additional information:

PAVIR is pleased to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. Minorities, Women, Veterans, and Individuals with a Disability are encouraged to apply. We welcome and encourage diversity in the workplace regardless of race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. If you need special assistance or an accommodation to apply for a posted position, please contact - Human Resources department.

Location: 94304

For more information, or to apply now, you must go to the website below. Please DO NOT email your resume to us as we only accept applications through our website.