“I was 14 when my mother asked if I would like to do a summer camp in DSPCA. The summer camp was supposed to last for two weeks, but I ended up doing all the camps that year, back-to-back, for the entire summer. You could say I fell in love with it! I would also arrive quite early, just to see if I could help out. I’ve always wanted to be a vet. I am 22 now, doing my final year studying veterinary. I’ve worked every summer here since the first summer camp. I have worked in all sections of the shelter – dog training, pet boarding, daycare, re-homing, cat boarding, you name it! I think after college I’ll still be working here. Shelter medicine is incredibly fascinating. You never know what’s going to come through the door next. The versatility and the complexity of the cases are endless. At a regular veterinary, you mostly do the same things – give vaccines, treat loved pets that have sore tummies or need some nurturing – and, now and then, a more complex case might come in and you would often have to refer it to a specialist. In here, you can have an injured fox coming in and, right after, a pig or a goat or a horse. These animals don’t have owners. They are mostly unwanted animals, so we can’t refer them anywhere. Because of this, the feelings of accomplishment after each case are so much greater. One of the big things for me is when animals come in after living in horrible conditions. Often the inspectors would bring in a dog that’s badly injured, slow and sluggish because of the matted coats with faeces stuck to them. I would take them in, clip and wash them and look after their injuries. By the end, they are like a new dog. The real reward comes from the relief that I can provide in a matter of 30 minutes. That 30 minutes often unlocks a completely new animal. By the end, they would shake all their past off and you would see them move differently. You can actually see it! There’s a spring in their step that you can’t see anywhere else. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing that.”
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