Dani is the newest member of the animal care team and started a few months ago at the centre. She particularly likes the cats and, you'll often find her socialising the kittens in the cattery to get them used to being handled so they're comfortable being picked up before they go to a new home. Despite her love of cats, Dani also likes Huskies and enjoys playing with the dogs in the yard. She hasn't been here very long but Dani is doing really well and is already an integral part of the team!
Dani with Bruce the German Shepherd cross
What does your job involve on a daily basis?
"I'm an Animal Care Assistant, so my daily jobs all revolve around the animals. I start with cleaning in the mornings - make sure everybody has a nice clean living area, with fresh blankets and water, and giving them breakfast. As well as this I have to give out the correct medication to the animals in my area in the morning, to make sure they're healthy and have everything they need. I also have paperwork to complete to keep a record of the health and behaviour of the animals I'm looking after that day. I always make sure I get some time to spend one-to-one with the animals because it's important that they get the love and fuss they deserve, and it's best to start socialising with animals at a young age so they grow up feeling happy and confident around people. In the afternoons I give out their meals and any more medication they need."
How did you get into the role?
"I studied Animal Management and Dog Grooming at college, so I knew I wanted to work with animals. The job I have now was advertised earlier in the year, so I applied for it around July and was lucky enough to get it!"
Dani's foster cat Amelia
What is the best part of the job?
"Simply doing a job that involves working with animals is great - having that sort of contact with animals every time I'm at work is amazing. I particularly enjoy socialising with the cats but I also like working in the kennels when I get to spend time with the dogs in the yard. Seeing the improvement the animals can make is really inspiring, especially when I see very nervous animals start to gain confidence and come out of their shells a bit. Of course it's also lovely to see animals going to their new homes, knowing I've been a part of their recovery. It's particularly special when I get to see a long-stay animal get adopted after spending weeks searching for a new home."
What is the hardest part of the job?
"I've seen some animals arrive in a shocking state. Seeing the animals brought in by Inspectors can be very upsetting as they are sometimes in terrible condition and I hate thinking about what they might have been through before they were rescued. Some of them are terrified when they arrive, it's so sad but at least they're in a safer environment here. The worst is when an animal is too sick to save, that's very upsetting. Knowing I can't save them all is sad, but I do what I can to help the animals in my care."
Tell us about your most memorable moment at work
"Not long after I started, I was spending some time in the Intake Room with the kittens and cats, giving them some fuss, when I noticed one of the cats acting strangely. She was pregnant and we knew she wasn't far from having her kittens, and suddenly she was giving birth! Amelia is a lovely cat, and strangely she only had the one kitten. I'm now fostering the two of them; they're very sweet and they're both doing really well. I've named the kitten Tigger."
Neo the Husky cross German Shepherd
Who was the most memorable animal at the centre?
"I haven't been here very long to have lots of memorable animals! One that I think will stick with me is Neo. He was a Husky cross German Shepherd, and he was so handsome. Neo was very nervous around people he didn't know when he arrived and it took quite a bit of work to get him trusting people again. However, he did eventually start to come around and soon he was the friendliest dog you could ask for! Neo absolutely loved to play, and he was always jumping in to the pool in the yard. He's been adopted now, but he was here for a while and I liked to spend time with him in the yard, so he's probably the most memorable dog for me."
And finally, have you ever adopted an animal from the RSPCA?
"I've decided to keep Tigger, my foster kitten, so he's the first animal I've adopted from the RSPCA! I also adopted two cats from the Cats Protection in the past: Penny (typical naughty tortie) and Milo (a black long haired cat). Milo came to us as a kitten but he's a grumpy 13 year old now!"
Thank you Dani!