Sharing is Caring: Animal Care Monday

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.

Meet Sarah

Animal Care Team Member

Sarah has worked with Asheville Humane Society since 2021. She makes everyone feel welcome and brings the team together with her personality and a good laugh when they need it the most. We are so thankful to have Sarah on our team.
What does it mean to you to work in animal care?

Working in animal care to me is one of the best jobs you can possibly have. It means getting up in the morning and going to work, not so much for yourself, but for the animals in your care. I can’t imagine getting up and dragging myself into an office to stare at a computer screen for 8 hours and then go home and do it all over again. Here I look into the faces of animals that have been tossed aside or neglected and I try to help them understand that they’ll never be anything less than someone’s very best friend for the rest of their lives.

What are some of the best parts of your job?

The best parts of my job are coming in every morning, sleepy, and tired of waking up early, then seeing my close friends and coworkers. It jump starts my day and reminds me how lucky I am to have coworkers that I consider to be some of my very best friends. Another wonderful part is spending each day with the animals in my section. Sometimes they’re in need of a little extra love and I try to bring that with me every day. They love the baby talk and having someone just sit with them for a little while usually brings them a little more peace.

What are some of the hardest parts of your job?

There’s a couple hard parts. Of course not being able to help an animal, possibly due to a serious illness, maybe due to severe behavioral issues, but the hardest part to me is running low on compassion. Sometimes you spread as much love as you have and it just depletes you of energy. I still come in and do the very best I can but I can see that it’s not enough sometimes, but I just can’t mentally afford any more. Thankfully a nice weekend usually puts me back in the game, but until then it’s very hard to do this job with the same gusto that I usually put into it.

Have you had a moment that has really stuck out to you as a reason you keep coming back? Or, why do you keep coming back? 

We had a dog named Jack last year. He came in absolutely petrified and covered head to toe in hundreds of ticks. He would flatten himself to the ground and wouldn’t move. He happened to get put in my section and immediately my heart broke for him. He cowered in the back of his kennel and looked like he’d been living in the woods for weeks if not months. So I sat with him and offered him some cheese. Every day I’d come by with a cheese stick and feed him until he slowly came out of the kennel and even let me pet him. He got a bath and lots of brushies, and he dropped all those ticks. As he came out of his shell more and more he reminded me of my dog and I was absolutely in love with him. I would have adopted him if I had space, but he found himself a wonderful home and I think about him almost every day. I made a difference in his life, and that’s what brings me back every day.

Why do you feel so passionately about animals? 

Unfortunately animals can’t talk. Humans have a bad habit of assuming that creatures that cannot communicate effectively have less value to this world. Everything that is on this earth has a purpose. Maybe it’s inconvenient to us, but they’re not alive to be convenient. They have just as much right to live as we do and it’s important to me that someone is out there fighting to remind people of that.

What do you want the public to know about your job? 

 I want the public to know that life in an animal shelter is not fun. We become overloaded in the summer and our employees are stretched thin. It’s so hard to continue to provide the best quality of care to a couple hundred extra dogs and cats. Spay and neuter your animals. It increases their life span and quality of life. They don’t care. I promise. I’ve spent 6 years in animal care, including an animal hospital. This is the most devoted, caring, and hardworking group of people I’ve ever gotten to work with. Without these people returning every day to ensure each animal gets the attention and care it deserves, this shelter would surely not be able to run at such an effective level. I’m very grateful for my animal care team.