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Careers Week 2021: Animal Care Assistant

Mandy Caithness

Mandy is an animal care assistant at our Caithness and Sutherland Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Balmore.

Here's what she says about her career journey:

"I always wanted to work with animals but originally I wanted to be a vet.

"I volunteered some Saturdays at Balmore as and when I could get out to the centre from the age of 14. When I turned 16 I had to stop volunteering as I started work part time in a supermarket and I was still at high school.

"At the age of 18 I left school for Oatridge Agricultural College to study animal care. To get in to the vet profession I needed good marks in the five Highers I took but, unfortunately, I found them quite difficult and didn't do very well.

"I did manage to get into college with the standard grades I had though, thankfully! I was at Oatridge College for three years and studied an NC, HNC and HND in animal care and business management.

"I absolutely loved my time there and working with lots of animals from small animals to horses and livestock. Any work experience I had to do I would do with the Scottish SPCA at Balmore or lambing while back home.

"Once I'd finished my course I had to think about what I wanted to do next and it was then I decided I wanted to work with the Scottish SPCA in the centre full time.

"Unfortunately, when I got back home I had to find other work, as there were no vacancies at Balmore and at that time they weren't looking for staff.

"I spent three years working with British Telecom as a call analyst before a full time post came up for an animal care assistant. As soon as I knew about the vacancy, I applied straight away, without any hesitation and in December 2006 I got offered the job. I took it straight away and have never looked back."

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If anyone is concerned about an animal, please do not hesitate to contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.

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