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anybody work with animals?

(6 Posts)
booyhoo Tue 07-Jul-09 19:59:18

ive been giving my future a lot of thought recently and folowing advice from some lovely mnetters i have considered the things i my life which interest me and i like doing.

ive always loved animals, i was raised with dogs, cats, chickens, cows and horses. last year i got a puppy and fell pregnant around the same time and as much as i love my pup, i just didnt have the time with running the house and working to take proper care of him. so i made the decision that he was better off elsewhere. however, i really do miss being around animals and am thinking of retraining in this area. but i have no idea what exactly i could do.

does anyone work with animals? what job do you do? what does it involve? do you find it fulfilling? what sort of wage could i expect?

anything else you can add that i might find helpful?

redclover79 Tue 07-Jul-09 23:09:59

I used to work with animals and did my degree in animal behaviour (then got pg before I started on a career path!). Loved the work but pay was appalling as you'd expect! Not sure it will have improved much but at least there's minimum wage now. I've worked at a couple of small zoos, a couple of riding schools... Shovelling poop and feeding at zoos, shovelling poop and feeding at riding schools plus went through phases of doing lots of schooling of dangerous unruly ponies as I was skinny and short (still short but not so skinny!). I found working with horses everyone spent a great deal of time bitching about each other and you had to be confident in your knowledge and abilities when the bitching focussed on you. There was a lot less of that at the zoos but there was much more of a mix of people there and it would be impossible to be competitive over things there, you can't compare a Capuchin and a coati and fall out over it!
My degree is science based and I would eventually like to work in conservation so less hands on. I also looked at Animal Care type courses but preferred the academic side. My step sister has just finished a vocational animal care course and has chosen to go on to uni. It seems you either choose to go in at a hands on level or work in the field/research, there doesn't seem to be much middle ground.
Hope this all makes sense! I imagine jobs are probably a bit thin on the ground and experience and qualifications are essential, so maybe look at voluntary work? HTH!

redclover79 Tue 07-Jul-09 23:11:28

BTW, not all horsey places are bitchy I'm sure, I was a lot younger as were all the people working there and we probably could have spent our time more productively!

booyhoo Tue 07-Jul-09 23:56:20

thanks redclover, that is really helpful. you have actually reminded me that my sister completed a HND in animal management and husbandry, cant beleive i forgot she did that (she doesnt work in that field now) so will probe her for some info. TBH i think i prefer the hands on aspect as im not a natural academic. i think i would still have the same cravings for animal company if i was only studying/researching them rather than the day to day care side of things. im happiest when i can just get stuck into something and get on with it rather than having thinking time. im aiming for that "whistle while you work" state of mind and i think this is where i'll find it.

pickyvic Wed 08-Jul-09 00:21:45

id do voluntary work then see what gives. my nephew works with birds of prey. he has volunteered since he was 11. now 16 and works with a fab bloke who has own business (and is bloody gorgeous to boot!) doing all kinds of work - pest control to birds of prey shows at the great Yorkshire Show. he is thinking of doing something in conservation as a career - very rewarding!

ohnelly Fri 14-Aug-09 17:14:05

Hi Im a horse riding instructor and it isnt great money but very rewarding. However most ppl want to ride at evenings & weekends which didnt suit me when I had my son, so I didnt go back after having him. I regret it now tho - I work in a coffee shop just because its convenient!
Ideally find somewhere you can work & train at the same time, so your not just shovelling poo! Lots of colleges offer nvq & bhs training. Go for it!

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