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Experience of working in an animal shelter

2081 words (8 pages) Essay

1st Jan 1970 Sociology Reference this

Working in an animal shelter is a good experience where one is educated on how to take care of animals. Though I believe it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that animal rights are respected and observed by all, it is my responsibility too to take care of animals that I am in contact with. It is with humble care that the Humane Animal Control Project was set up in the United States. The project was to protect movements of owned dogs and cats by private owners and those that were kept in the animal shelters. The government also has the responsibility of taking care of its citizens. It is entitled to supports the available animal shelters in making sure that animal movement are controlled and regularly checked. It has been observed that uncontrolled animals pose a threat to human beings. The animals act as transmitters of health hazards such as spread of rabies or a bite.

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The implementation of the project was done in accordance to the objectives of the animal shelter. It focused to ensure that health of citizens and animals were observed and taken care of. The project also included ways in which animals could be controlled so that they could not stray around and transmits the Zootomic diseases, destroy well laid garbage and spread litters over the area. The project also mentions ways of licensing privately owned cats and dogs and providing shelter to uncared animals. In the United States, the private humane societies collaborate with the local government to perform these services to animal owners.

When you work in an animal shelter, you have to devote all your time, energy and money in to dealing with the animals in the shelter. The exercise involves protecting the animals and providing for them ‘humanely’. Humanely providence means providing proper medical care, food, good housing, controlling spread of diseases, establishing an active adoption programmes and providing exercise to the animals in care.

Observing the above is one of the attributes of a good animal caretaker and this was one area that I loved getting involved with. It has been observed that cats and dogs are sociable animals and so they deserve the best care and loving homes. One of the many responsibilities that I attended to while in the animal shelter was to ensure that the animals were sprayed and segregated so as to control their breeding in the house. It was a rule that all animals be neutered and sprayed before they left the shelter for a new home or given to adoption. Together with the humane society of United States, we focused on providing humane education to the community, developed animal control programs in the community, established and enforced laws that offered protection to the animals and lastly established animal clinics that provided services at low costs.

Working in the animal shelter needs a lot of patience and courage. Just like the human beings, animals too fall sick and it doesn’t matter which area you are working within the shelter, you just have to take care of an animal that is sick. Doing this work is unpleasant but with time you learn to persevere until the animal is back to normal. There was this one special lady who was an animal technician. The lady had been informed about the job by one of her friends meaning she never had an idea of what the job was all about. Although she had never thought of working in such a place in the past, she is glad that she found that place. Sometimes she had to sleep near the animals so as to keep an eye on them, when they were sick. When asked to talk about the hard times she had in the animal shelter, she didn’t have a ready answer, noting that she enjoyed her work and the environment she was working in. Her statement was that if you never loved staying with people or being close to animals then you won’t manage the job. She insisted that animals too have feelings and have to be communicated to because they cannot speak.

The main aim of the project raised by the animal shelter is to provide its cats and dogs with some social network. The animal shelter will try to raise some amount so as to ensure that the animals are well provided with the needed services and care. It expects to raise $30,000 through fundraising and asking for grants from other established organizations in the United States. At the moment, the shelter obtains funding in the additional projects that are set up by it although it survives through all this on a tax -based funding.

The significant project also aims at raising enough cash to build enough cages for the cats to play around and interact freely. It also aims at finding a suitable area that can be used by the community for walking their dogs and playing with them just outside the shelter. Leslie (2003) indicates that enough interaction between the animal and the human beings makes the animals sharp and provides greater chances for them to be adopted.

As I look back I cannot help to think about this one significant experience. I was told to organize a show that would teach the community to appreciate dogs and treating them well. The show was to feature on the importance of animal shelters by demonstrating how animal sheltered dogs can be used to find drugs, explosives or anything that might be of interest of police. The guests were to be shown how trained dogs can be of help to both the state and individual as well. Our objective from the show was that if anyone thought of getting a dog by adoption, and then were to get it from the animal shelters.

A dog’s statistics carried out indicated that over three million dogs in the United States were euthanized (deliberately killed in a painless death). It further indicated that the unwanted dogs were usually either killed through this way or killed ruthlessly which was against the law of the state. Most of the killings were observed to be due to unacceptable behaviors that could be avoided. The show was to instill the notion that when a dog is well trained and provided for, it forms a great companion to the man as it exhibit a social behavior as a pet cat. Most of the citizens in the community had the mentality that the dogs that are in the animal shelter have some problems and that’s why they were thrown out of their original homes.

The show exhibited how the rejected dogs after undergoing through the training, had become clean and dependable. An example of such a dog was ‘Conny’ which was found shaggy, dirty and thin. The dog had been left abandoned tied to a tree in the forest. In the show, the dog trotted alongside its trainer wagging its tail from end to end. It had fluffy skin that was pleasing to touch and look at. The guests were so pleased with the sight of the dogs and most of them adopted the dogs out of pleasure. Before giving off the dogs for adoption, we sprayed and neutered them as a standard shelter policy. The experience was so encouraging and pleasing because it taught me the need of patience and perseverance.

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The experience at the show also taught me that not many people in the United States were knowledgeable about how to keep dogs and cats. Most of them rejected them yet they are among the most humbled animals that can be easily tamed by anyone including a child. The experience also taught me that being a caretaker at the animal shelter needs you to be sensitive, calm have good communication skills, strength and ability to solve a problem immediately. These qualities are essential to anyone working with the animals in that they can be able to interpret how the animals respond to various environments.

The course work done indicates that cats and dogs are social animals and they therefore need to be treated with care at all times. They have feelings that need to be catered for just like the human beings. It also portrays that when such animals are treated well, they become the best companion to human beings as they respond to the way they are treated. The workers in an animal shelter have to wash and play with the animals when they in the shelter, clean the cages, feed them accordingly, keep their records safely and lastly they have the responsibility of screening all those people that are interested in adopting their animals.

Government agencies and animal shelters are seen to control the problem of animal overpopulation and mistreatments. Creative strategies have been implemented by the community members to ensure that animals are not euthanized but instead taken to the care shelters for training and upkeep. Statistics indicate that the people who work in the animal shelters are usually exposed to various injuries and most of them work overtime to see that the animals are in good condition. Those who have passion for animals get the satisfaction from working in the shelter but those who do not have the love for animals, find it hard to cope up with the encounters while they are at work. The statistics further indicated that the workers exhibited a higher illness rate compared to the others who were not working in such a field. Most of the injuries are obtained because the job entails kneeling, crawling, lifting heavy substances such as feeds and repeated bending. They are therefore cautioned to take a lot of care when they are treating the animals. Those travelling to shows might be exposed t bad weather conditions that might be harmful to their health.

The experienced affirmed that animals are social creatures and that they should be treated just like normal human beings. It also depicted that they are affected by the environment they are exposed to. It indicates that owners have the choice of looking for a care taker who can look after their animals when they are at work. In the above experience (while working on a project in the animal shelter), it is evident that the learning objectives were achieved. I learnt that animals have important traits such the human beings and they depend on us to live a quality life. They adapt easily to an environment they are exposed to.

It has been observed that leaders have a special impacts in our lives as they give or show direction towards something in life. Leadership therefore can be described to be a social process that entails one person using the help of others to arrive to a common goal or objective. The lesson learnt in this course shows that leadership can also be observed in animals’ social life. Different animals can be used to indicate this. Leadership also entails using intelligence to manage others that are under your care. According to James (2003), it has an important role in influencing the role of others by taking charge of them.

It is also observed that animals posses leadership when they influence groups by showing examples for them to follow. An example of such an illustration is when they migrate in a group. Usually the movement decisions are made by the leaders of the group who are usually seen to be at the front of the other as they move. This movement always depends with the communication skills of the leaders to the others. From the above experiment, it has been depicted that animals are social beings that can be influenced by the social nature of the human beings. According to Haralambos and Holborn (2004), Social change means an alteration to the social nature of a certain social group. The change can be in the form of behavior, social institution or relations of a certain social group. Social change in animals is depicted when animals interact and adapt to behavior they are exposed to. Social change in animal usually is influenced by the way they are treated by those taking care of them.

Forms of social change are depicted when one is able to work in a situation that was seen to be impossible in the first time. This can be illustrated by the above example where I had to work with the animals though initially I did not have an interest in them. A social change is also depicted when the stray animal are taken care of by the care takers at the animal shelter. An unwanted animal that had unacceptable behaviors changed to being an animal that can be kept at home as a pet after taken through in the animal shelter. The above is seen to be possible in animals because they have been proved to be social beings that copy what they have been taught to do by their leaders (trainers).


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