Deeply dysfunctional work environment with poor leadership
Dog staff (Former Employee) – Austin, TX – July 1, 2018
Good for animals, horrible for workers. Management is embarrassingly inexperienced and generally incompetent, cliquey, and sometimes outright abusive towards employees with no system for accountability. Executive leadership is apathetic toward working conditions and contemptuous toward entry-level employees. Leadership from multiple departments provide very little support to their most essential staff and seem completely out-of-touch with the actual work their employees do every day. Very poor communication between departments, which leads to poor quality of care for the animals. No communication of any kind regarding workplace safety hazards. Morale is always poor due to high turnover, long hours, and low pay in a constantly chaotic, unstructured, and unsafe environment. Constantly short-staffed with no work-life balance. Frequent serious injuries due to inadequate training and exhaustion.
Vet Tech (Current Employee) – Austin, TX – April 11, 2019
The mission that APA works towards, keeping Austin no kill, is fantastic. Because of this, the staff that are attracted to work there are generally great, and everyone is in it for the right reasons. This sense of community and "all in it together", and putting the animals first, is the greatest thing about working there.
The issues come from upper management. There's such a focus on volunteer retention and foster retention, while staff are seen as expendable or replaceable. Discipline can be harsh or unfair, and great employees end up leaving because no one made them feel valued enough to stay. Rates of pay vary enormously from department to department in an arbitrary way.
I wouldn't recommend working there with the current staff culture, because it's all on you but you get the least amount of latitude and support. However, they treat their volunteers/fosters amazingly and that teamwork culture really thrives in those spheres. If you're committed to helping the animals in Austin, I would highly recommend volunteering or fostering, but find some other way to pay the bills.
Cheap healthcare/benefits, flexibility to change departments, great animals
No room for constructive negative feedback, staff receive poor feedback and personal development, little to no training, disorganized management style