In­tern­ing at an­i­mal shel­ters

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Pets -

RUN­NING a shel­ter is hard, grind­ing work. It’s chal­leng­ing in so many ways, es­pe­cially emo­tion­ally, so those who sign up to in­tern here learn a panoply of life lessons as well as vi­tal skills. But what do the shel­ter pros say about them?

“In­terns at PAWS learn our daily rou­tine, at­tend to the pub­lic, man­age vol­un­teers and help out with our events,” Agnes Lim, as­sis­tant shel­ter man­ager ex­plains.

As work can be com­plex, there is sig­nif­i­cant on-the-job train­ing. This means that short-term in­tern­ships can be a prob­lem.

“Some jobs, like tak­ing pic­tures and help­ing us up­date adop­tion no­tices, are fairly sim­ple,” Agnes says. “They help us a lot and the in­terns pick up fast.”

SPCA Pe­nang has in­terns too. “We take in first-year vet stu­dents so they can learn shel­ter man­age­ment ba­sics,” Kogi Gana­p­a­thy, ad­min and shel­ter as­sis­tant, says. “They learn the ba­sic foun­da­tion skills from bathing the an­i­mals and han­dling them, to giv­ing them medicine.

“It’s help­ful to us not just be­cause of the prac­ti­cal as­sis­tance, but also be­cause we learn from them and they learn from us.”

In­ter­est­ingly, vet­eri­nary stu­dents are also help­ful with adop­tions. “When they get to know the an­i­mals, they can ex­plain to clients their per­son­al­ity traits,” Kogi says. “They also help up­date our Face­book to aid in the adop­tions, which is won­der­ful.”

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