Amelia Nusbaum

Shelter Operations Manager

City of Houston - BARC

Amelia M. Nusbaum, manager of BARC Animal Shelter and Adoptions, completed a master’s degree in museum science with an emphasis in zoological enrichment from Texas Tech in 2008. During her studies, Amelia spent six months as an intern with Toledo Zoo & Aquarium, where she gained in-depth experience in applying the principles of behavior to training marine mammals. Intent upon a career that impacts the lives of animals in a positive way, she joined Houston Zoo, Inc. as a keeper immediately upon graduation. She spent four years caring for, training and enriching the lives of birds, primates, red pandas and other mammals. Seeing a need for a higher quality of life for animals in shelters, she joined BARC in 2011 as a senior animal care technician. In this position and later as shelter supervisor, she began developing an enrichment program and creating policies and staff training programs that support educating her team. As shelter manager since 2019, she continues to develop those programs using the fundamentals of animal behavior science to build team skills such as observation and interpretation of animal body language, implementation of handling techniques that minimize stress, and the daily use of behavior modification and enrichment along with development of a strict and effective disease prevention and sanitation policy and program.