Animal attendants work in most parts of Australia and part-time work is fairly common. More than half, however, work full-time averaging 44.7 hours per week.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) maintains a shelter for surrendered and abandoned animals, as well as short stay accommodation for pets whose owners are away. 'I really wanted to look after abandoned animals and in this organisation you're caring for a large number of animals who've also been mistreated,' says Jo an RSPCA animal attendant. At the RSPCA, horse stables and at kennels, an important job for attendants is to make sure that animals get their daily exercise.
An interesting part of the job for animal attendants employed at the Adelaide Zoo is to assist with animal research projects. They also handle the on the spot queries about the animals from visitors and they maintain the exhibits and animal records. Like their colleagues employed at the RSPCA, Monarto Zoological Park and Cleland Wildlife Park, animal attendants at the Zoo also care for injured and neglected animals. You'll need to be interested in animals and their well-being and look forward to being around them all day if you're going to become an animal attendant. You'll also be more comfortable if you're allergy free!
We sometimes treat sick or injured animals. Maybe an animal has a minor cut or ear infection. "Obviously in serious cases we recommend the owner see the vet, says Belinda. Fleas and worms are a big nuisance to dogs, cats, puppies and kittens because they're unable to do much about them. So its an animal attendant to the rescue with preventative treatments such as flea powder, shampoo or tablets. Whether its to create a well groomed look for animals awaiting sale in a pet store, or to keep zoo animals that spend their time outdoors, reasonably clean, attendants bathe, groom or wash down animals. In pet stores, kennels or dog parlours, animals might also have their fur and nails clipped.