Beth has been with us for over 2 years now, and has found a natural confidence with the animals as well as perfecting her skills after studying at college. She loves the cats and dogs, and has a soft spot for kittens and any wrinkly dog! Beth likes to make sure all of the animals that need that extra special care get her time and attention - she always cheers up any newbies that are still shy or upset and in need of a cuddle. She has adopted a (very wrinkly) dog from the centre and also enjoys hand rearing kittens and puppies when the opportunity arises.
Beth with Bobby the Staffie cross Boxer
What does your job involve on a daily basis?
"In the morning I start off by cleaning the Intake Cattery, which is where all of the new cats spend their first week or so with us. I ensure their pods are sparkling clean and suitable for the day - this involves cleaning and disinfecting the surfaces, sweeping and mopping the floor, giving them clean litter trays and providing their food and medication every morning. There are only 7 pods in here, which is nice because it gives me the chance to get to know the cats and settle them in. Later in the day, I make sure all of my paperwork is completed, and then I make sure all of the animals are exercised and fed appropriately throughout the day as well as bits of spot cleaning to keep them healthy and happy. I also speak to people who are interested in adopting an animal and do my best to match them up with the right pet."
How did you get into the role?
"I studied Level 3 Extended Diploma in Animal Care at Broomfield Hall College in Derby. After I finished this course I was interested in getting into a career in animal care, so I quickly applied for this job when I saw it advertised. I had my interview and was really pleased to get the job and start here. I've been here for a couple of years now and it's been great to help me improve my confidence and build up more knowledge about all aspects of animal care."
Izzy the American Bulldog
What is the best part of the job?
"Definitely the rehabilitation, I love it. You see some shocking cases of neglect and cruelty come into the centre - animals in a terrible psychological and physical state that need time and love and care (and good nutrition!) that it can be quite upsetting. However, knowing that we will be working with those animals alongside dedicated veterinary staff and my colleagues, as well as Inspectors, is such a good feeling. Seeing them make a complete U turn and become happy and healthy animals ready to find new homes is amazing for me; it's great knowing I helped to make a difference to that individual."
What is the hardest part of the job?
"There are so many cases of abuse that are really upsetting and worrying, it can get to you. I see animals in horrific cases that have never known love or a friendly touch and it makes you so sad to know these things are still happening. I'm happy I can help them out though, it's just tough knowing what they've been through - it's heartbreaking."
Tell us about your most memorable moment at work
"One moment that really sticks with me is when two dogs were abandoned outside the centre. It was a pair of Staffies - a dad and his son who we named Paddy and Finley. They had terrible skin conditions and were both painfully underweight, I was shocked to see the state they were in and that they were so callously tied up and left in the cold. It was lucky I noticed them when I did or they could have gotten very ill in that bad weather with their missing fur. I worked with Paddy and Finley to rehabilitate them and get them back to full health - luckily they both made full recoveries and went on to be adopted by wonderful people - it was bittersweet to see them go because I was pleased for them but knew I would miss them a lot. Another memorable few weeks was when we hand reared some tiny puppies after their mother died. There were 7 Staffie cross puppies that all had to be bottle fed, and that was such an amazing experience for all of us. It was especially great as they all survived! We still get updates from their adopters and it has been fascinating following them on their journey from such a young age."
Beth's dog Sammy
Who was the most memorable animal at the centre?
"Oh this is a hard one! There have been so many! Obviously Paddy and Finley stuck out for me - particularly Paddy because he made the funniest snuffly noises and had such a ridiculous gravelly bark for such a small dog. He was so cheeky, I loved him. Tetley was another Staffie I worked with, who had such an awful start in life. He was rescued by an RSPCA Inspector after being found locked starving and dehydrated in a dog crate, but he was still so happy and loving I couldn't help but love him. Thankfully, two of our volunteers felt the same way and they adopted him! It was a perfect ending for Tetley, I was so happy for him. Unfortunately there are also sad cases that really stay with you. Poor Jenson (a crossbreed dog) was in so much pain that we couldn't save him, and that was such a horrible eye-opener for me, it was awful that such a loving dog was treated so badly. I also still think of Izzy, the American Bulldog, who was looking for a home for us with a long time. Unfortunately we struggled to rehome her, despite her incredibly loyal and funny personality, so we had to transfer her to another centre. I miss her, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she'll find the perfect home soon."
And finally, have you ever adopted an animal from the RSPCA?
"I have! Soon after I started working here, a litter of puppies was brought into the centre after being found abandoned in a box on a park on a sweltering summer day. They were all filthy and so hungry - I spent a long time bathing them and feeding them up on their first day and I completely fell in love with one. I named her Sammy, and she was definitely my favourite! It wasn't that difficult to persuade my mum and dad to adopt her once they met her, as she is such a charmer with her big eyes and cute wrinkles. Luckily, Sammy gets on really well with my Jack Russell x Spaniel Milo - she still gets into silly situations like a puppy (despite being 2 now) but I love her so much that she gets away with it!"
Thank you Beth!