Nonfarm Animal Caretakers Job Description video

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A love of animals is just the beginning. If you wish to pursue a career as an animal caretaker, you must care enough about creatures to carry you through the difficulties of coping with a wide variety of chores and needs. Veterinary assistants in animal hospitals and clinics are trained to prepare the animals for surgery, and to clean them, and their cages. You cannot be squeamish about cleaning wounds and incisions, or coping with messes. A job as a laboratory animal caretaker might require you to care for mice, rats, sheep, fish, frogs, or other species being used for tests. You will need to follow precise instructions about feeding, cleaning, and perhaps applying substances to be tested. At a kennel or stable, animal caretakers provide grooming and companionship, and do a lot of cleaning of the animals’ living space and equipment. Caretakers at animal shelters carry the additional burden of putting to death sick or unwanted pets. Zookeepers prepare special foods, clean exhibits, nurture young animals, and often interact with the public. Some zoos may require their animal caretakers to have a college degree in zoology or some other form of animal science is expected. Certification and training programs for groomers, shelter workers and laboratory specialists and veterinary assistants are sometimes available; you might ask someone who already has the kind of job you want, how they got started. Often it just takes a high school degree, a love of animals, and an entry-level job where training is provided. Though animal caretakers are not veterinarians, they often are the first to notice signs of abuse or illness. They are protectors, but also need protection, from bites, scratches, hooves, chemical substances used on the job and the emotional strain of caring for creatures who cannot say thank you…at least not in words.


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