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Young Students Want to Work for an Animal Shelter When They Grow Up

Olivia, a seventh-grade student from Lake View Academy in Saratoga Springs, has always loved animals. This is why she chose to come to the Humane Society of Utah’s Pet Resource Center in Murray to complete her job shadow assignment for her Career Technical Education class. The project required students to shadow a professional working in a field they are interested in learning more about. With her, Olivia brought two other students from her CTE class, Nixon and Lizzy, and her niece, Zoey, because, like Olivia, they all love animals, too. Lizzy said she chose to come to an animal shelter because she “really wants to be a veterinarian when I grow up.”  

The assignment

For the assignment, the students were given a tour of the facility and educated on the types of medical procedures we provide for animals in need and how we save lives by transferring in pets from overcrowded shelters in Utah and other states. The students also learned how to read animal stress signals and why it’s essential to go slow with pets when meeting them for the first time. They also interacted with our Humane Education animals, including our two curious bunnies, Otis and Murray, and our fun-loving ferrets, Milton and Nellie. As the kids filled out a questionnaire for their teacher on their experience and what they learned from it, Otis and Murray came to investigate as Milton and Nellie played enthusiastically nearby. 

“The ferrets are my favorite. They’re so friendly and cute!” Olivia shared, and the others nodded in agreement. Olivia added that coming to HSU helped her to better understand bunnies and “why it’s important to be careful when handling them because they’re so sensitive and fragile.” Nixon said the thing he learned most is that “ferrets are very stinky.” As for Zoey, she enjoyed cuddling with and reading to the cats in Kitty City. Looking hopeful, Lizzy shared, “Now that I’ve spent some time here, I really do think I want to work with animals in the future. They are all so special. I want to help the Humane Society take care of them one day.”

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