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Girls Inc. Online

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Animal Shelter Manager

Can you see yourself running an animal shelter-a place that rescues and nurtures stray animals and tries to find them good homes? Animal shelter managers are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the shelter. They do the hiring, supervising, and training employees and volunteers. The job can vary from shelter to shelter. Some shelter managers have euthanasia certification and are more hands-on with the animals. Other managers handle PR and media relations.

Education Required: 3-5 years animal shelter experience, Bachelor's degree recommended

Guide Dog Instructor

Do you ever wonder how guide dogs, also known as seeing-eye dogs, end up with their owners? Guide dogs are bred, raised and trained by licensed instructors for the specific purpose of providing people who are blind or visually impaired with a means of greater mobility. Usually, guide dog instructors work in small groups and formally train a "string" of 10 to 30 dogs to become guide dogs. They also train the future owners of the guide dogs so they are confident once they leave the campus and return home.

Education Required: Three-year apprenticeship program; License

Animal Rights Lobbyist

Can you picture yourself fighting the fight for animal rights? Animal rights lobbyists try to influence legislators to pass legislation that will benefit animals. New York State was recently passed that made "intentional animal cruelty" a felony, punishable by up to a $5,000 fine and/or up to two years of prison. Lobbyists work for animal rights societies, and many lobbyists are lawyers who work for humane organizations or on behalf of animals, trying to ensure that the laws lobbyists work so hard to get passed are enforced in court.

Education Required: None

Animal Behaviorist

Do you think you know why animals do the things they do? You might be a future animal behaviorist. Animal behaviorists, also called therapists, observe animals' behaviors and environments. Then they develop strategies for "normalizing" their behaviors. For example, if someone's dog exhibits strange or difficult behavior, an animal behaviorist might come into the home and observe the animal as well as its owners and try to figure out why the dog is doing what s/he is doing.

Animal Cop/Animal Treatment Investigator

Do you like the sound of saying "I'm an animal cop?" Perhaps you would enjoy being a special investigator for the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) or working as an animal cop for another law enforcement group. Animal cops respond to reports of crimes against animals, like abuse and extreme neglect, and arrest the people responsible. Animal cops got a lot of notice in the fall of 2001 when they saved many animals that were abandoned in and around buildings after September 11th.

Here's animals cops do every day:

Animal Trainer - Entertainment and Education

Have you ever watched a movie where an animal almost stole the show and think, "How in the world did they get that cat to do that?" This is the job of an animal trainer, someone who trains animals to behave in certain ways. A film director may ask for a dog that has to perform on cue in a movie-the production would hire an animal trainer, who would find a dog and rehearse with the script. Sometimes the trainers even cue the animals during actual performances on film and television. Water shows also use animal trainers to train dolphins, whales, seals, and other marine mammals.

K9 Officer

Do you think that K9 police units are flat out cool? Perhaps someday you would like to be part of a K9 unit? The main objective for a K9 officer or handler is to search with her/his dog to find suspects or evidence that is linked to a particular crime scene. Since a dog's sense of smell is 10,000 times stronger than humans, the K9 dogs often lead their handlers to a relevant spot that it might have taken detectives hours to find.

Animal Attendant/Animal Nursery Worker

Do you sometimes prefer the company of animals to humans? Animal attendants take care of animals on a daily basis. They give them food and water and clean them, and they also exercise the animals. They work in shelters, veterinary hospitals, ranches (for horses) and laboratories.

Animal Scientist

Do you ever wonder who creates animals' food? That is one of the jobs of an animal scientist. Most animal scientists study livestock, like chickens, pigs and cows. Some, however, do work related to household animals like cats and dogs. Animal scientists study the diets of animals and try to create the best combination of foods for those animals to be healthy. If an animal scientist specializes in nutritional research, s/he may be called an Animal Nutritionist. Other areas of study are breeding, selection, management, marketing of beef products, and genetics.


Thousands of people depend on veterinarians to take good care of their precious animals. Vets may specialize in one area, like small animals for example, which includes dogs, cats, birds, rodents and reptiles. Those vets usually practice in a clinic or animal hospital. Other vets work with large animals, like horses and cows, and those vets are often mobile. Some vets work with companies that develop medicine and food to keep animals healthy and fit, and others work with animals that produce food on corporate and government-run farms.