The Lead Veterinarian is responsible for the comprehensive medical and surgical care of the Museum’s live animal collections (both program and exhibit). As an integral part of the Animal Welfare and Conservation Team, the Lead Veterinarian works with the Museum’s Animal Welfare and Conservation Division in the planning and implementation of its veterinary care program to ensure compliance with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) and the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV) current standards and guidelines. The Lead Veterinarian is responsible for reviewing and managing the decisions related to animal health and nutrition, husbandry protocols, animal quarantine protocols, enrichment plans, and infectious disease control measures. This position recognizes the capacity to achieve greater results by integrating skilled volunteers, leveraging their diverse knowledge and skills. He or she must be a practicing veterinarian licensed in the state of Virginia prior to start date. This position reports directly to the Senior Director Animal Welfare and Conservation.
DVM or VMD degree from an AVMA accredited university or school of veterinary medicine.
Must possess and maintain all necessary licenses, permits, certificates and credentials required by the laws of the United States, the State of Virginia and all other appropriate governmental agencies prior to start date (including any certification and credentials required).
Must be able to obtain and maintain a DEA controlled substance registration certificate within 3 months of hire.
Must be able to obtain and maintain a national USDA/APHIS Category II Accreditation within 3 months of hire.
Minimum of 2 years of professional experience practicing veterinary medicine with zoological, exotic companion animal, and/or wildlife species.
Demonstrated experience in captive management and health monitoring of zoological species.
Thorough knowledge of approved animal husbandry techniques.
Familiarity with AZA accreditation standards and related policies.
Proof of rabies vaccination and maintain appropriate titers.
Must hold and maintain independent insurance and provide proof to the Museum.
Willingness to participate in scientific studies and clinical projects.
Above average ability to organize, manage time, and set priorities while meeting deadlines.
Effective problem analysis and resolution skills; ability shift priorities to meet needs.
Ability to maintain a high level of professionalism, integrity, and confidentiality.
Superior verbal and written communication skills.
Trained in chemical immobilization techniques.
Intermediate level computer knowledge and Microsoft Office skills.
Must be able to remain calm and give clear directions in an emergency situation
Must have a valid driver’s license.
Duties and Responsibilities
Manages a comprehensive veterinary care program for the Museum’s live animal collections (both program and exhibit) based on current AZA Standards and the Guidelines for Zoo and Aquarium Veterinary Medical Programs and Veterinary Hospitals (http://www.aazv.org/?839); ensure that the Museum’s program emphasizes preventative disease control measures.
This includes a preventative medicine program, annual examination schedule, quarantine protocol, pre-shipment requirements, disease surveillance, pathology, disinfection of animal enclosures and equipment, and controlled drug protocols.
Provides comprehensive medical and surgical care to all collection animals. Responds and addresses all animal health concerns.
Provides emergency on-call coverage for the animal collection 7 days per week via phone and/or on-site visits or delegates coverage to assigned on-call veterinarian(s).
Maintains medical records for all collection animals using Species 360.
Performs gross necropsies and interprets histopathological results and relays these results to Animal Welfare staff. Reviews all mortalities and collaborates with Animal Welfare staff to prevent future mortalities.
Review and participate fully in emergency response preparedness including animal escape, venomous bite response, fire, and weather emergencies.
Participates in animal collection management with the Museum’s Senior Director Animal Welfare and all curators.
Reviews and manages decision related to animal nutrition plans, husbandry and enrichment protocols, Institutional Collection Plan (ICP) updates, and animal welfare issues.
Works with an appointed AZA Veterinary Mentor to ensure that the veterinary program is compliant with current AZA Standards and Guidelines.
Establishes and maintains professional relationships with local AZA facility veterinarians and veterinary specialists.
Provides annual zoonotic disease training for all staff meeting.
Ensures that the Animal Welfare and Conservation Team is apprised of relevant laws and regulations regarding the Museum’s live animal collections and maintaining current AZA Standards.
Supervises Medical Coordinator and coordinates all animal exams and procedures, veterinary specialist consultation, emergency care, medical treatments, on-site medications and supplies, and veterinary clinic equipment maintenance.
Provides and/or coordinates transports of animals leaving the facility for medical care or transfer.
Serves on and participates in the Museum’s Safety, and Animal Welfare and Use Committees.
Other duties as assigned.
Essential Job Requirements:
Ability to work flexible hours on-site to include evenings, weekends, and holidays.
Ability to be on-call 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, unless on-call coverage is delegated to another assigned veterinarian(s).
Must be able to express or exchange ideas by means of the spoken word and perceive detailed information through oral communication.
Ability to restrain animals to lift and/or exert up to 50 pounds of force.
Ability to be around a variety of live animals and wildlife.
The candidate must have visual acuity to be able to operate motor vehicles and/or equipment.
Must be able to sit, stand, walk, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, reach, push, pull, lift, grasp, feel, and utilize repetitive motions.
Must be able to move throughout the Museum’s building(s) and outdoor trail as needed.
The candidate will be subject to outdoor environmental conditions such as wind and humidity; occasionally work may take place in narrow areas.
Must be able to follow MSDS guidelines when handling chemicals; occasionally the candidate may be subject to atmospheric conditions (fumes, odors, and dust).
About Virginia Living Museum
Protecting What’s Precious
The Commonwealth of Virginia is blessed with an “uncommon-wealth” of natural wonders, among the most diverse in the country. At the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, Virginia, this natural heritage comes alive.
Opened in 1966 as the Junior Nature Museum and Planetarium through the combined efforts of the Junior League of Hampton Roads and the Warwick Rotary Club, the facility expanded and was renamed the Peninsula Nature and Science Center in 1976.
In 1987, the facility again expanded and was renamed the Virginia Living Museum, becoming the first living museum east of the Mississippi, combining the elements of a native wildlife park, science museum, aquarium, botanical preserve and planetarium.
Today, the Virginia Living Museum continues to be a museum leader in its use of native wildlife to present its message – stimulating knowledge, awareness and appreciation of the living world.
Visitors to the Living Museum encounter more habitats, wildlife and plant species than would be encountered in a lifetime of outdoor adventures in Virginia. The exhibits showcase all of the state’s regions from the upland coves of the Appalachian Mountains t...o the salty offshore waters of the Atlantic Ocean and feature more than 245 different animal species.
The Museum’s unique exhibits are also a vital component in its extensive education programming. The Museum believes in hands-on education; that by experiencing science it will become memorable.
More than two million students have visited the Museum since 1987. All of the Museum’s classes are correlated to Virginia’s Standards of Learning and targeted to specific grade levels.
For Museum members and visitors, there are special programs and weekend safaris to the caves, swamps and fossil banks of Virginia, helping to bring science and nature up close and personal to young and old alike.
With more than 500 active volunteers, the Virginia Living Museum is testimony to the appreciation and overwhelming support it receives from the local community.
In the Strategic Plan adopted in 2012, the Museum expanded its mission into the area of human health, to explore the connections between humans, animals and the environment. With this new initiative, the Museum has begun expanding programming and exhibits into new areas designed to improve health awareness in our community and to promote the science education necessary for emerging health-related careers.
Please note: AAV does NOT provide medical information to the public on this site or via phone, email or social media sites. Please visit the find a vet directory to locate a veterinarian in your community.