Job Openings


Last Updated: May 17, 2024

Founded in 2001, Peace Ridge Sanctuary is a nonprofit animal advocacy and conservation organization running multiple shelters for farmed animals, equines, and dogs in Brooks, Belfast, and Freedom, Maine. We’re looking for strong, kind, reliable people who want to grow with the organization and help support our mission of actively rescuing animals from cruelty, neglect, and other emergency situations. If you want a job helping animals, read more about us, our open position(s), and what we’re looking for below.

What you’ll find here – World-class shelters run with the highest ethic. Over 500 wonderful, deserving farmed animals, equines, and dogs rescued from some of the worst conditions imaginable, now living their best lives. Beautiful properties, meticulously maintained barns and habitats, and a positive work environment. A team of strong, kind people who are committed to helping animals. Meaningful work.

Open Positions:

Please read through this page completely for more information about open jobs, potential future jobs, job descriptions, hiring practices, and more before applying.

  • Horses – Freedom, ME
    • Position: Barn Cleaner, Assistant Caregiver, or Caregiver
    • Full-time or Part-time
  • Farmed Animals – Brooks, ME
    • Position: Animal Caregiver
    • Must be comfortable around large animals, like pigs and cows
    • Full-time preferred
  • Dogs – Brooks, ME
    • Position: Dog Walker & Cleaner
    • Full-time preferred, part-time considered
  • Maintenance – Brooks, ME 
    • Position: Property Maintenance Technician
    • Part-time (20-24 hours/week)
    • Primarily in Brooks, but could be asked to go to other shelter locations as needed

Submit Your Application Today!

Job Descriptions & More Info:

What does an animal caregiver’s day look like – Animal caregivers are tasked with keeping our rescued animals happy and healthy. While no two days will be exactly alike, every day will be focused on making sure all of the needs of our residents are met. Typical tasks include feeding and watering, health checks, medical protocols, preventative and special care, barn and habitat cleaning (caregivers always participate in cleaning), assisting with veterinary and farrier appointments, maintaining medical records, enrichment, etc. Other tasks, such as helping fellow team members, preparing for new rescues, training interns or volunteers, participating in on-site events, etc. will be assigned on an as-needed basis. In the high-capacity shelter world, flexibility is key to making sure all the necessary tasks are completed each day, so ideal candidates are organized, detail-focused people who can also be flexible and make adjustments when needed.

What does a barn cleaner’s day look like – Barn cleaners are tasked with keeping our facilities cleaned and maintained in a way that ensures hygienic and dignified living for the animals. Each of our barns and pastures is cleaned daily. Cleaning is a critical part of keeping our animals happy and healthy and barn cleaners play an essential and respected role on our team. Other tasks, such as groundskeeping, repairs, helping other team members, preparing for new rescues, etc. will be assigned on an as-needed basis. Ideal candidates are organized and good at following specific, detailed instructions. For people with farm experience, please familiarize yourself with our organization and mission before applying.

What does a dog walker’s day look like – For this position, we’re looking specifically for someone with professional experience working with dogs in shelter, veterinary, training, or other similar settings. We’re looking for someone who is very comfortable working with rescued dogs coming to us with a wide range of needs, so having a good working knowledge of dog handling and basic training is important. You’ll be busy keeping things clean and tidy, going on lots of dog walks throughout the day, following detailed feeding schedules, and focused on keeping our dogs happy and healthy. This is a very active position.

What we are looking for in a Property Maintenance Technician – For this position, we’re looking for someone skilled in the building trades, with a knack for fixing things, who enjoys working outdoors. Required skills include carpentry, grounds maintenance, and general building trades. Other skills, such as experience with operating farm equipment and vehicle maintenance, are preferred. Physical requirements include the ability to lift over 50lbs, safely climb and work from ladders, work in all weather conditions, and perform general labor tasks. Work is generally assigned by the Shelter Property & Projects Manager and would be both independent and assisted. A valid driver’s license is required. Come help maintain the homes of over 600 animals at our four state-licensed and internationally accredited sanctuaries!

For All Positions – What We’re Looking For:

We’re looking for people who are strong – Regardless of the position, sanctuary work requires physical, mental, and emotional strength. Whether you’re slinging 50 lb. grain bags and hay bales, catching and holding animals for medical care, walking miles on wooded trails with the dogs all day, setting up coral panels for an emergency rescue, cleaning barns, doing pasture pickup, or working outside in any given weather conditions, we’re looking for people with stamina and grit who don’t mind putting in an honest day’s work to help animals live their best lives.

We’re looking for people who are kind – The animals are our family here and we are looking for people who will prioritize the animals’ health, safety, and love them like we do. Sometimes the animals don’t always cooperate the way we want them to, but that is ok, this is their home, so we’re looking for people who will be patient and kind. Even though we’re often working independently, we’re a team, so being kind and respectful of fellow staff and managers is essential. Our ideal candidates ask questions when needed and are easy to communicate with.

We’re looking for people who are reliable – Every day, the animals are counting on us to take care of them, so we’re looking for people who show up on time and work to meet each day’s goals.

We’re looking for people who want to grow with us – For animal caregiver positions, we’re always looking for people with experience in a high-capacity shelter, sanctuary, or veterinary setting, though we consider serious candidates who don’t yet have experience on a case-by-case basis for assistant caregiver positions. Barn cleaning positions are a great way to get your foot in the door, gain experience, and potentially grow to take on caregiving responsibilities. Regardless of where you’re starting, we’re looking for people who want to keep learning, keep getting better, and want to grow with the organization. We’re looking to invest in the right people long term and we’re looking for them to invest in Peace Ridge long term. What does long-term mean to us? At least a year, (hopefully longer!), so if you’re a job hopper, looking for a short-term gig, or just wanting to try something new out, please don’t apply.

More Details:

Peace Ridge is a nonprofit, mission-driven organization. We strive to pay a living wage and support our team while they do this meaningful work, but candidates should understand nonprofit the nonprofit world is inherently different than the for-profit world. Here is some more information to consider:

  • Please note on the application what position(s) you’re interested in and if you’re looking for full-time or part-time work
  • The work schedule remains consistent from week to week
  • The typical full-time/hourly schedule is 8am – 4pm, five days a week (paid ½ hour lunch); if you’re assigned tasks aren’t completed, you’ll need to work later that day, but we try to keep hourly schedules to 8 hour workdays
  • Weekend and holiday work will be required
  • Paid vacation and sick time is offered to full-time employees
  • Starting pay is $17 an hour with yearly raises based on performance
  • Staff must be respectful of our vegan mission

Because we’re always looking for new hires to become long-term team members who can help us help more animals, we want to make sure that you’re a good fit for us, and we’re a good fit for you. Here are the typical steps of our hiring process:

  • You fill out our required job application form (linked below)
  • If it seems like a potential match, we’ll set up a preliminary phone call (note: due to the high volume of applications, we may not be able to respond to all applications if it doesn’t seem like the right fit)
  • If you’re still interested and we are too, we’ll interview in person at the sanctuary location you’re interested in working at
  • We’ll look to you to give us written feedback by email within 24 hours of the interview
  • While not always required, paid working interviews are often the last interview step to give you a better sense of the workload and job before making a final decision

Submit Your Application Today!

Peace Ridge Sanctuary is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of an applicant’s race, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, color, gender (including gender identity or expression), pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, marital status, religion, physical or mental disability, genetic characteristics, protected medical condition, military status or any other classifications that are protected under applicable federal or state anti-discrimination law.

Looking to Gain Experience:

Ideal candidates for paid sanctuary staff positions should have relevant experience volunteering, interning, or working at other reputable sanctuaries, high-capacity shelters, or veterinary settings and have a strong desire to help the organization fulfill our mission. If you are interested in sanctuary work but do not yet have experience, we encourage you to check out Volunteer or Internship opportunities at Peace Ridge or other non-profit organizations to gain experience.

For Future Consideration:

Interested in working at Peace Ridge Sanctuary, but don’t see a job opening that applies to you? We’re always ready to review applications from experienced candidates who believe in our mission and are looking for one of the positions listed below. We keep quality applications we receive on file and reach out when/if new openings arise that might be a good fit.

  • Farmed Animal Caregiver – Brooks, ME
  • Equine Caregiver – Freedom, ME
  • Dog Walker & Cleaner – Brooks, ME
  • Barn Cleaner – Brooks and/or Freedom, ME
  • Veterinary Professionals – All Shelter Locations

Submit Your Application Today!