I manage the main reception/office and deal with all public enquiries, work in the community to promote the SPCA and raise funds, and help out with animal care, transport or fostering when required.
Why did you choose this career?
I am interested in, and care about people and animals.
What path did you take into it?
A general degree followed by a teaching qualification, work in an SPCA and a government department with animal welfare responsibilities, on-the-job and after work study in animal care and welfare, and fundraising experience within other not-for-profit organisations.
What, in your opinion, is the best bit of being a Office Manager / Fundraiser?
Helping people and helping the animals in our community.
Every job has its downsides. What do you think are the worst bits?
Dealing with angry, frustrated or, more rarely, heartless people.
Is it what you expected when you first started out?
I hoped I could save every animal, every time – and while I still aim for that, it’s not always possible.
What do the public least understand – or mistake – about what you do?
Some people fear the SPCA because they see us as the ones who ‘put animals down’ – in our centre the decision to humanely euthanise an animal is never taken lightly. It only happens if the animal is unwell or injured beyond our resources to heal, a risk to other humans or animals or unable to be successfully re-homed into a family.
Normally the animal’s problems started with humans letting them down long before they ever reach our doors. We try our best.
What kind of people tend to do well in this kind of career?
You have to like people and have good communication skills. Life experience is very useful too because humans are so complex. The hard thing about the job, it’s never the animals which are difficult – its the people!
Finally, any advice you’d offer to people looking to get into this line of work?
Get as much experience with people and animals as you can. Volunteering or working at a vet clinic, SPCA, cattery or kennels could be a good start while you keep up your studies. Lots of people want to work with animals so you have to show that you are motivated, committed and that you can work hard.