By Susan Logan
Editor of CatChannel.com and CAT FANCY magazine
||Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Careers With Animals
Last week I had the privilege of serving on UCLA’s first-ever Careers With Animals panel as part of the university’s annual Career Week. It was well worth the two-hour drive through Los Angeles traffic to see about 100 students interested enough in animals to make them the focus of their careers.
The six panelists couldn’t have been more diverse professionally: the owner of an animal emergency clinic, a veterinary microbiology professor, two wildlife rescue workers, the director of an animal-assisted therapy program. Though our educational backgrounds, career paths and skill sets differed, we all expressed a love for our work despite the long hours, a passion for animals and the knowledge that we’re lucky for getting to work with them in some capacity.
When asked what led us to a career with animals, most of us said we sort of fell into it. For me that might be true, too, but looking back at my life, I can see that it fits in with the way I was brought up. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of my dad teaching me about animals, to respect living things and not to fear them. I had numerous pets: cats, dogs and a goat. I wasn’t allowed to sit down to a meal until I fed my pets first. He laid this guilt trip on me, saying that my pets would see me eating and wouldn’t understand why they weren’t eating, too. “It’s not fair to them,” he would say. To this day, I always feed my cats before eating.
I worked my way through college and graduate school on newspapers and magazines, but it wasn’t until I landed a job eight years ago with the publishing company where I work today, that my life and background started to make sense.
Like me, I believe many people would see a career with animals as a calling, but might not know which route to take. Our exclusive cat career quiz
explores five different animal career paths based upon personality: scientific, entrepreneurial, hands-on, creative and advocatory. The Veterinary Information Network
published a comprehensive list of animal-related careers that could help you if working with animals is your dream.