The Animal Care Team is the backbone of Asheville Humane Society. From feeding, cleaning, and monitoring, to bonding, playing, and walking, our Animal Care Team members are essential to keeping our organization afloat. Every Monday we will be highlighting a team member who has shown exceptional care and dedication to the animals in our care and our mission.
Animal Care Team Member
Heather has been working for Asheville Humane Society since October 2021. Below, she reflects on her time working as an Animal Care Team Member and the importance of advocating for animals.
What does it mean to you to work in animal care?
Working in Animal Care is truly my dream job. I have always loved animals, and getting to be on the front lines with vulnerable animals who need our care is something really special. We work with them day in and day out and get to know their personalities and preferences. We monitor them for anything concerning medically or behaviorally. Because we spend so much time with them, we’re often the first line of defense in noticing these little changes.
What are some of the most rewarding aspects of your job?
I love being able to make an animal happier. When I see a cat who loves the bed I gave them or a dog really enjoying a particular toy I picked out, it makes my day. I love seeing a shy animal come out of their shell, or a nervous animal starting to feel safe. And of course, seeing an animal find their forever home is the best feeling!
What are some of the biggest challenges?
It’s always hard to see an animal come in scared or hurt. It’s also hard when the shelter fills up and there’s less time to give to each animal individually. It’s definitely a mentally tough but rewarding job!
Have you had an impactful moment that you would like to share?
I remember the first “feral” cat who I started forming a bond with. His name was Butter Bear and every day he would show a little more interest in me. Over a couple months time, he trusted me enough to give him his first pet and he absolutely loved it. He was then able to be adopted out shortly after! I know how much my own pets mean to me, so helping animals on the path to their own families keeps me coming back.
Why do you feel so passionately about animals?
I feel like animals are such a positive impact on our lives and we owe it to them to advocate for them and do what we can to give them the best lives that they can have. Our animals are there for us on our worst days and love us through the hardest moments.
What do you want other people to know about your job?
Animal Care is not just petting puppies and kittens! There’s a lot of dishes, laundry, and poop. It takes a LOT of work to keep the shelter running and Animal Care is really the backbone of a lot of that!
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Judith is a dog I’ve been working with since January and she’s such a loving girl. We’ve gone hiking together and she was a great companion! She’s got plenty of energy but also LOVES pets and cuddles. She needs a home!