Interning at animal shelters
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.”