I worked at Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society full-time (More than a year)
If working with dogs is what you actually want to do with your life than this job will be very rewarding. You run dog playgroups every single day as well as train the dogs who need it (shy, jumpy/mouthy/ crate training, etc). I worked with a couple of very educated dog trainers who I learned a lot from. Very down to earth group of people who all have the same goal-helping animals find homes. I enjoyed being outside and on my feet every day as it’s a very active job. I also enjoyed not being around the bosses all day as we were just so busy running around exercising/training the dogs.
The benefits were really nice. Health insurance was awesome! We get 50% off the thrift stores and discounts at the vet. Seriously awesome benefits.
I really miss working there but had to leave for personal reasons.
Being worked until you feel burnt out. Overtime was extremely common every day and we rarely had lunch breaks. Imagine working outside every single day on your feet with NO BREAK. It sucked. It was getting better right when I left though so I can only speak about when I worked there.
We constantly were doing other people’s jobs. Since we work with the dogs every day we would get called to help the vets, adoption counselors and even kennel staff.
We worked in rain, snow and sunshine. We had to get the dogs into playgroup no matter what. Even if there was lightning, which was scary due to the metal fences surrounding the area we ran playgroups.
Pay increases was rare and you were lucky to get one. I got a .50 cent raise on my year anniversary but some of my coworkers who were there longer than me were making less. I never talked about my wages but they did.
The directors could be more hands on. Then they would know how hard we work and make changes so we wouldn’t get burn out.
Having to search for loose dogs (sometimes we spent hours searching) and still had to get everything done afterwards. That meant we stayed late often.
I’m not trying to bash the job. I loved it! I just think more could be done for the hourly workers so that the turn over rate wasn’t so high.
Advice to Management
Get to know your employees, how their job is going and make changes. My boss was constantly changing things and adding more work to our schedule than we could actually get done. She was never around and had no idea what went on. Very frustrating.
Give pay raises to those employees who work hard! Nothing more frustrating than hearing about wages in other departments and how certain people get paid more for less work.
Give lunch breaks! Especially to us behavior team members. We need to eat too!
Speak to us kindly. We are doing a lot of the “dirty” work and when we are talked down to it makes us feel like crap.
-again, I miss the crap out of this job and it was literally my dream job. I only want the company to succeed and for everyone to have good experiences here.
Shout out to Maryann, Psara, Mel, Devon, Cynthia, San Juana, Emily, Marie, Chelsea, Ysabel, Rose, Jesus, Miguel, David, Jerry, Amber and Tommy for making me love the shelter! Much love.
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