Blank Park Zoo
Blank Park Zoo

Open Daily, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
$14 adults, $8 children

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Open Daily, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
$14 adults, $8 children

View All Rates ›

Associate Veterinarian

Date Posted
June 17, 2021
Full Time

Job Details

The Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide the highest standards of animal healthcare and welfare while collaborating with the zoo community to cultivate and share our knowledge. The zoo is home to more than 2,800 animals representing nearly 240 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, and is fully accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. In March of 2016, in collaboration with Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, the 15,000 square foot Blank Park Zoo’s Animal Health Center was opened. The hospital includes a treatment/triage facility, surgical suite, pharmacy, laboratory, necropsy along with a 6 stall hospital. The hospital is equipped with ultrasonic, laparoscopic, and endoscopic capabilities, along with a new digital radiography system.

Position Summary 

Under the direction of the Senior Veterinarian, while collaborating with the Chief Animal Care Officer, and area supervisors, the Associate Veterinarian has a key role in the implementation and improvement of preventive medicine programs as well as providing appropriate medical, surgical, and nutritional care for the animal collection. The Veterinary Services Team along with the Animal Care Staff, strive to maintain a hospital culture that is based on high quality patient care and welfare.The ideal candidate should emphasize collaborative and teamwork behaviors. This person must have good organizational skills and be able to make decisions quickly, as part of a team and/or under emergency conditions.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities 

  • Responsible for the implementation of all aspects of Blank Park Zoo’s animal health care program, as set forth by the goals of the Senior Veterinarian and Chief Animal Care Officer.
  • Provide comprehensive preventative medical care including but not limited to: physical examinations, disease and parasite prophylaxis, diagnostic imaging procedures and accurate interpretation, anesthetic drug administration and monitoring,
  • Recognize symptoms, diagnose, and isolate causes of acute or chronic illnesses, infectious and non-infectious diseases, or injuries of collection animals.
  • Create appropriate diagnostic and treatment protocols using currently accepted veterinary standards.
  • Participate in behavioral training of animals for medically related procedures.
  • Communicates all animal health related issues to the Senior Veterinarian, veterinary services team, area supervisors, Chief Animal Care Officer and appropriate zoo management officials, including potential euthanasia cases.
  • Assures all reports (daily reports/animal transaction/medical treatment/animal record keeping system, etc.) are completed accurately and in a timely fashion.
  • Assist Senior Veterinarian with diet review and approval process.
  • Must understand and follow all protocols for handling Class II – V narcotics and controlled substances.
  • Participates in the training and teaching of veterinary students and veterinary technician students.
  • Collaborate with local, regional and global communities through participation in zoo activities, events, tours, and lectures.
  • Provide input for research project proposals and approval process.
  • Participate in the department budget to ensure fiscal responsibility of the department.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with the veterinary health team, zoo team members at all levels in all departments, consultants, vendors, USDA personnel, state veterinarian, public health officials, specialists, outside contractors, volunteers, local and national veterinarians, veterinary staff and other zoos.
  • Seek feedback inorder to foster a positive, solution based and open work environment in line with the Zoo’s SWEET (sustainability, wellness, education, engagement and team) Values
  • Other duties as assigned by the Senior Veterinarian.


Education Requirements and Preferred qualifications  

  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from an accredited School of Veterinary Medicine.
  • Licensed or eligible for licensure to practice veterinary medicine in the State of Iowa.
  • Eligibility to obtain a Controlled Substance Registration Certification by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in order to purchase veterinary drugs within 6 months of hire.
  • Eligibility to obtain a U.S. Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA/APHIS) category II accreditation within 3 months of hire.
  • Three years of experience or more as a clinical veterinarian in exotic animal medicine, preferably at a zoological facility.

Physical Requirements

This position requires a variable amount of time spent walking, standing, running, sitting, climbing, stooping, kneeling, twisting, crouching, and or crawling. Lifting up to 50lbs. The use of all senses (vision, hearing, taste, touch, smell) on a daily basis to evaluate animals. Full use of arms and hands. Ability to operate a vehicle both on and off-site and perform all tasks in variable weather conditions.

Contact Information

To Apply

To apply, please complete the online application land attach a curriculum vitae that includes a cover letter and references. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Click here to apply online

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