Living With Animals: Not The “Dog Catcher”

By Hope Bidegainberry on November 8, 2019

One need not be a partisan or a pundit to know that our political environment has become fully toxic, and while this one small issue might be a silly bone to pick in light of all we’re going through I just can’t let it go without comment. I am fed up hearing, from all sides of the political spectrum, that so-and-so is “someone who could not get elected dog catcher.”

We’re not “dog catchers.” We’re humane workers, animal care professionals. Frankly, we demonstrate the sort of ethics, commitment and professionalism the general public obviously finds lacking in many of our elected officials, and we exhibit strengths and traits those elected officials would do well to emulate. We don’t fill some elected position as lowlifes incapable of rising to higher office. Ours is typically an unelected professional path which we compete for and if hired we train for, just like people compete and train for most highly desired jobs. And our profession is one that requires dedication to saving lives, a great deal of training, and a strong work ethic.

I can’t speak for every organization, of course, but I’ve had personal experience with hundreds of the Humane Societies, SPCAs, and government Animal Care and Control agencies throughout our nation and beyond. These organizations employ Animal Control Officers and Humane Investigators (who do everything from rescue stray animals to investigate allegations of criminal cruelty), Animal Care Attendants (who provide the daily care for thousands of homeless animals), Adoption Counselors (who work to make perfect matches), Humane Educators (who help children understand the needs of animals, both domestic and wild), Volunteer Managers (who seek to engage the public in augmenting the work of professional staff), along with Veterinarians, Veterinary Technicians, Animal Behaviorists and other specialized positions, as well as the personnel required to run any modern business (Human Resources, Finance, Information Technology, Facilities Maintenance, etc.).

At the end of our workday (assuming the workday ever really ends for any of us) we know that we spent those hours fully committed to making a positive difference in the lives of beings who can neither advocate nor fully care for themselves. I’m not sure there’re a whole lot of elected officials who can truthfully say the same.  

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