Things You Should Know Before Working at an Animal Shelter
Unsurprisingly, most teens would love to work at an animal shelter. It sounds like a dream job: you get to hang out with dogs and cats all day while you help others find the perfect pet to bring home. We’re here to tell you it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, but if you’re dedicated, it is a gratifying experience. So, if this is something you’re interested in for a summer job or future career, then you’ll want to see what things you should know before working at an animal shelter.
You’re Going To Clean Up Poop
We’re going to rip this bandage off right now. You will have to clean up poop, regardless of if you’re volunteering or getting paid to work there. Even though it’s easy to forget, these pets are still animals at the end of the day, and you will have to deal with the gross things they do.
If you don’t think you can handle this aspect of the job, you’re definitely going to want to pass on this one. The shelter owners won’t want to deal with someone who’s afraid to get dirty.
You’ll Have To Buy the Right Clothing
Unless you want your street clothes to smell like dog food and cat pee, you’ll need to buy some scrubs. Not only will these protect you from horrible smells, but they can keep your clothes from getting ripped open from stray claws and sharp teeth.
You Need To Prepare for the Worst
Speaking of teeth and claws, you need to go into this job expecting the worst. It’s easy to see cute pets and think happy thoughts, but not all of those animals are excited to be there. They might try to bite or scratch at you if you get too close. When you’re new, other employees will let you know who to be careful of and probably not let you handle them in the first place, but accidents happen.
There are occasional reports of vicious dogs getting loose in animal shelters and attacking employees or customers. While this is rare, we need to mention it. If you ever get bit, look into what can happen in the aftermath of a dog bite, and have your parents figure out what legal options you have.
It’s Something You Need To Commit To
Not only will this job take up a large amount of your time, but you’ll need to put a lot of effort into it as well. A lot goes into running a shelter, and you’re one of the gears that help it run. You’ll need to feed the pets, clean up after them, bathe them, and walk them if needed. That’s only a fraction of the things you’ll need to do daily.
Depending on the location you work at, you might even need to assist with surgeries or check on the pets when the shelter is closed for the day. Now that you’re aware of all the things you should know before working at an animal shelter, this job is a perfect fit for you if you think you can handle all of it.