Working with Animals {month 1}

It's officially been 1 month since I started my new job as an Animal Care Specialist. When I took the job I really didn't know what I was getting myself into. I thought a year ago I would be going to school to get a degree in Web Design. Now I am working with animals. I have always loved animals and when I was a kid I wanted to be a veterinarian. Sadly, I was not blessed with a strong stomach. Blood bothers me, so being a Vet is not an option. I have gotten better, but I don't think I could do it.

This first month has been an emotional roller coaster for me. The first week was easy because it was just watching videos and reading paperwork. Once I started training though and actually seeing all the animals it started to stir up my emotions. You can't save them all. It's just simply heartbreaking.

Detroit for Blog

My job is to feed the animals and clean up after them. I also spend time socializing them and helping people adopt animals. I have just now really started doing adoptions. Last Saturday I adopted out my first dog all by myself. Sadly, he was returned about 3 days later. A lot of these dogs in the shelter really have high energy levels and separation anxiety issues. Which to me, is very understandable considering what they have been through. Animals need more then 3 days to adjust to a new home outside of a shelter. A cat got adopted out yesterday and was returned 2 hours later because it hissed at the other pets in the home.. Well, DUH! How stressed out and scared do you think that cat probably was?! It just lived in a cage by itself for a month!

One of the first days I worked, I had "kennel time" with a dog. Kennel time is 10-15 minutes that we spend with an animal in there cage to comfort them. Each day each employee is assigned an animal. When I was petting this dog, my eyes just filled with tears and it took everything I had to keep myself together. The same day I had to watch a sick cat be put to sleep. Of course I cried during that.

It's all part of the job and as of last week I didn't know if I could find the strength inside me to NOT GIVE UP. Sometimes I just want to go back to sitting in front of my computer daily and not work. Quitting is the easy way out. This time of year is considered "slow". Animals aren't breeding as much so we have less of them. The spring is going to REALLY test me. I am doing better already then I thought I would, so I feel very hopefully.

I feel there is no other job for me in this city I live in. This job is totally different then working at IKEA. Taking this job is eye opening for me. I will grow as a person working here. The experience is worth while that's for sure. I was so depressed last week, coming home crying to Cody. I just can't quit though. I am going to take it day by day and see what happens. Everything to life is a test to me. You become stronger and just keep developing as a person. You just keep getting better and learn from everything you do.

I don't know if I mentioned this or not, but Cody volunteers on Saturday morning at the shelter. He goes in for 2 hours early in the morning just to walk dogs. It really makes him happy and it really helps out the shelter. Something so simple, but yet so rewarding.


  1. Hang in there Jessie. I imagine its hard, but I know you love animals and its where you belong. Id rather you be there (someone who really cares) than someone else.

    Trust me. You don't want to be sitting in front of the computer all day. Let me tell you about it... :) Hoping things get better for you soon.

  2. I could just kiss you for what you are doing for these animals! I could never in a million years be strong enough to work at vet's office, but I'm glad there are caring souls like yourself who are willing to step up to the plate and do it. THANK YOU for what you do for these sweet, furry friends! Oh, and Cody too! :)

  3. I admire what you're doing. I don't think I could do it. I'd be a bawling mess every day! I have such a soft spot for dogs. I can't even watch that Sarah McLachlan commercial, or I'll tear up LOL.

  4. Thanks guys! I appreciate your support. :) It means a lot. I hope that tomorrow is a good day for adoptions.

  5. I volunteered at a shelter when I was in High School, and I really loved it, but I was working 2 real jobs and going to school at the time... So I had to quit. But, it was awesome.


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