How to Plan a Career for Pet Animal Lovers?


How to Make a Living Doing What You Love: If You Have a Passion for Animals, Here’s How to Do It.

Alice Calabrese yearned for a departure from her routine badly. The animal lover, who had enjoyed a successful career in retail banking for eleven years, came to the conclusion that her job was making her unhappy.

“At one point in my career, I reached a point where it was a struggle for me to get out of bed and go to work every day. “I was looking for a new job where I could feel good about what I did every day and know that I was making a difference for the better,” she says. “I was looking for a job where I could make a difference for the better.”

A year after Alice first started looking for work, she was offered a new position in animal welfare. She is now the Development Director for the Humane Society at Lollypop Farm in Fairport, New York. This change came about as a result of her efforts. Calabrese, who is now the President and CEO of the organization, is just one of the millions of people all over the world who work in the field of animal protection.

Maybe, like Alice, you’ve been thinking about pursuing a line of work that’s more compassionate toward animals. But where do we even start? The first thing you need to do is pinpoint the aspects of a job that most interest you. There is no limit to the possibilities. There are hundreds of different career paths available, including animal control officers, special event planners, and animal protection lobbyists, to name just a few of the options available.

It is a common misunderstanding that the only way to assist animals is to work in the field of veterinary medicine. This is not the case. And that is not at all the case,” says Betsy McFarland, director of communications for the Companion Animals section of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Nearly every talent can be honed to the service of animal welfare in some way. For instance, there are attorneys who focus their practice exclusively on animal law. In addition, The Humane Society of the United States has a dedicated art director who is in charge of the publication’s layout. One of our full-time employees is a librarian, and we also have a number of other positions that require a wide range of skills. To assist animals, earning a doctor of veterinary medicine degree is not necessary.

Check out the different areas of concentration that are offered on the website of Humane Society University, look through the Occupational Outlook Handbook that is provided by the United States Department of Labor, or look for books that focus on animal careers at your local library or bookstore to learn more about the wide variety of positions that are available in the field of animal welfare. Reading advertisements for job openings is another great way to learn about the different kinds of jobs that are available and to obtain a more detailed description of particular opportunities.

Animal Protection 101

After settling on a subject of interest, the next step is to research the prerequisites for entering the profession of your choice in order to prepare yourself adequately. The amount of time you devote to your studies could be very different from person to person. Even if the job of your dreams doesn’t require a degree, taking classes related to the field in which you want to work can improve your chances of finding work in that field. Explore potential college majors at www.princetonreview.com and www.collegeview.com, where you can also find a list of universities that offer coursework in animal ethics, animal rights, or animal welfare. In addition, you can check out our list of universities that offer coursework in these areas.

Both those who are already working in the field of animal protection and those who are interested in learning more about animal welfare can benefit greatly from the educational opportunities provided by Humane Society University. In conjunction with Duquesne University, HSU provides a Bachelor of Arts in Humane Leadership, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Organizational Leadership. These programs, along with non-credit certificate programs, non-credit certificate courses and workshops, are all available to students. Check out the list of educational opportunities available through HSU for more details on additional programs offered by HSUS.

Getting Your Paw in the Door

Finding a good job can be difficult regardless of the level of education you have obtained. You’ll need more than just a passion for animals to succeed in this field; you’ll also need experience working with them. It’s possible that putting in a few hours a week as a volunteer at an animal welfare organization could pave the way for a new career in the field.

“While having a passion for animals is important, in most cases, animal welfare organizations want to see that you also have some good experience, not just passion,” says McFarland, who got her start as a volunteer at a shelter in Texas. “While having a passion for animals is important, having some good experience, not just passion,” she adds. “Volunteering is a great way to gain experience while also assisting animals, and it can be a lot of fun.” The vast majority of organizations that deal with wildlife rehabilitation, local animal shelters, and spay/neuter clinics rely on the assistance of volunteers.

The director of public relations and education for the Idaho Humane Society, Dee Fugit, is of the same opinion. “Some of our most valuable volunteers were also some of our most valuable employees.” “Volunteering is a great way to get your foot in the door at an organization and see how things really get done on the inside, which can help you determine whether or not working on behalf of animals is something you would like to do in the future.”

Visit the website www.pets911.com to locate an organization in your area that is in need of volunteer assistance. You can connect with thousands of opportunities to volunteer across the country and the world by searching databases such as www.volunteermatch.com, www.idealist.org, and www.volunteerabroad.com. These websites are searchable online. You can find opportunities that are specific to the animal welfare community by looking through the list of employment, volunteer, and internship opportunities that are provided by HSU.

Sniffing out Employment

Even though you have the knowledge and experience necessary, you will still have to prove to the humane society that you are the most qualified applicant. But before you start running, keep in mind that preparation and patience are the most important things to have.

There are a lot of hoops to jump through before you can land the job of your dreams. According to McFarland, “networking is extremely important; in fact, it is extremely important for any field.” It’s also essential that you put in the effort to craft an impressive resume and hone your ability to perform well in interviews.

Check out Idealist’s Resume Writing Tips and Monster.com’s Career Advice for pointers on how to develop an impressive resume and improve interviewing skills. Both of these resources can be found online.

When you are ready to start applying for jobs, you can search for openings at the HSUS’s www.AnimalSheltering.org, www.AmericanHumane.org, and www.AmimalConcerns.org websites. These websites are owned by the Humane Society of the United States. Check Check the Humane Society of the United States of America website on a regular basis for job openings at regional offices located throughout the United States or in our national offices located in Washington, District of Columbia, and suburban Maryland. Explore the HSU’s list of professional organizations and associations to learn more about organizations that work to improve the lives of animals and to discover job opportunities.

It may take you several months before you find a position that is a good match for your level of experience and skills, but this will depend on whether or not you are willing to relocate, what kind of salary you are looking for, and other factors. “You will need to exercise some patience. According to McFarland, “Getting the job of your dreams isn’t going to happen overnight, but it’s going to be worth the wait.”

People who have pursued careers that are more humane argue that they gain something more valuable than fame and fortune as a result of their work, despite the fact that helping animals is not typically a glamorous or well-paying occupation. According to Calabrese, “there are never two days that are the same, and at the end of the day I know I’ve made a difference—even if it’s only for one animal.” In addition, Fugit says, “The faces of those animals when you befriend them are worth more than any amount of money.”

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