Begin a Career in an Animal Adoption Agency: Training and Career Info
Animal adoption workers are employed by animal shelters and private agencies. On-the-job training is usually provided. A high school education and experience working with animals is generally preferred.
Training for Animal Adoption Workers
Animal care workers in shelters and private animal adoption agencies learn to groom, exercise, feed and play with animals. They also clean cages and watch for signs of animal illnesses or injury. Trainees must be willing to do the difficult physical work of lifting or restraining animals. Working with animals can be dangerous at times, and workers are subject to receiving bites and scratches.
Animal adoption workers must deal with the emotional stress of caring for abandoned animals. Shelter workers face the additional stress of seeing animals euthanized. They often work late shifts and holidays to provide ongoing care for animals. Patience and compassion are key requirements for workers in animal shelters and animal rescue agencies. Workers must also remain courteous to the public and screen people to ensure animals are adopted by responsible pet owners.
Private adoption agency workers are trained to scrutinize potential pet owners and guarantee specific criteria are met before pet adoption is sanctioned. Prospective pet owners are often screened via applications that require proof of a fenced yard, veterinarian and personal references. A home visit is often necessary for pet agency workers to approve a pet adoption.
Career Information for Animal Adoption Workers
In 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that animal care jobs would grow at the rate of 21% between 2008 and 2018 (www.bls.gov). However, the BLS also reported that animal care workers earned a low median wage of $19,550 per year in 2009.
Animal service workers seeking advancement may choose to start their own animal adoption agencies or seek promotions as shelter managers, administrators and directors. Additional education and training may be acquired through animal studies and animal welfare degree programs or though the Humane Society University. Student coursework may include:
- Humane leadership
- Financial management of non-profits
- Animal welfare
- Animal law
- Animal health and shelters
- Fundraising for animal care organizations
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