Animal caretakers work to ensure the comfort and well-being of animals at shelters, rescue leagues and pet stores. They are healers, humanitarians and contributors who create a healthy, clean and safe environment for both the animals and the public.
They attend to the animals’ basic needs, such as feeding, exercising, cleaning living areas, and providing companionship. They also assess each animal’s temperament and screen potential adopters to ensure the best possible placements for their new homes. Experienced caretakers may help veterinarians to vaccinate, examine, or euthanize animals.
Some parts of the job may be physically and emotionally taxing, such as treating abused or injured animals who may scratch or bite. Caretakers need to be calm, compassionate, and have the physical stamina and strength to work long hours on their feet and move or lift 25 pounds or more in potentially stressful situations.
Entry-level animal caretakers typically learn their skills through on-the-job training or an apprenticeship, and can take workshops through organizations like the Humane Society. Jobs for this role are expected to grow 22% by 2029.