A career with animals may involve working for an animal charity, veterinary practice, wildlife organisation, zoo or private business – eg, cattery, pet shop, pet photographer, dog walker or groomer. The work can be directly with animals, in a hands on role – e.g. veterinary, dog warden, animal care assistant, field officer, behaviourist, ambulance driver and handlers, or it may involve working with animals in a more remote way 獸醫.
Working in animal related management, campaigns, fundraising, administrative or personnel positions can be just as rewarding as working directly with animals. Raising awareness of animal suffering, raising funds to assist other more hands on organisations and campaigning for better legislation for the protection of animals is all crucial to the task of helping animals.
Animal welfare charities are probably the busiest and most challenging organisations that one could work for. The lack of legislation to control the breeding and selling of all types of companion animals, has led to a huge increase in the numbers of unwanted animals. Many animal related careers are not for the faint hearted, and may involve contact with factory farming, inhumane slaughtering in the meat trade, hunting, the exotic pet trade, dog fighting and animal abuse. However, for those who care about animals and truly want to make a difference, working in the animal welfare sector can be an immensely rewarding career.
There are hundreds of different courses and qualifications in animal care, including online courses, part time and full time courses. Training options include certificate, diploma and courses including: veterinary, animal care, behaviour and management, equine studies, feline studies, wildlife and animal charity related courses.
Commitment, reliability and a genuine concern for the welfare of animals can be more important attributes than formal qualifications. A mature person looking for a career working with animals, may not necessarily have animal welfare experience, however, good work experience, life skills and being able to demonstrate a genuine interest in animal welfare, will give applicants a good chance of being employed within the animal care sector. Interest, aptitude and commitment can sometimes be more important than initial entry qualifications. Many animal welfare organisations recruit good volunteers when jobs arise. Volunteering with animals will improve employment prospects considerably as valuable, practical animal care work experience can be gained.
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