Animal care taker wanted
You’ll be caring for 1,000 creatures of 18 species. Providing food and water for one end. Mucking out, pooper scooping, hosing down, mopping, litterbox scooping for the other end.
All animals come complete with built in weaponry, horns, hooves, fangs and claws, which they can -- and will -- use when they are annoyed at you (because breakfast is late, they don’t care for the flavor, you stopped patting, or they just feel grumpy).
This is hard physical labor, 1,800 of cat litter a week and tons of other stuff, feed comes in 50 and 100 pound bags. And the animals don’t walk over to the barn to get their own food and hay.
It’s dirty work, 400+ pounds of poop to clean up every day. And some of the critters even find it amusing to poop on the floor, just for fun.
You’ll be working in the rain, sleet, snow, and blistering sun, all day, every day.
If you like challenges and something unexpected every day, you’ll have the opportunity to chase emus on the loose, corral cows who weigh ten times as much as you, handle feral cats by the dozens, learn to give shots while avoiding horns, emergency fence repair, and all kinds of creative stuff.
If you want to join our team you must fit in well with us. The human and the non-human animals.
You must be seriously dedicated, mature enough to make on the spot decisions, flexible enough to be here when you are needed and care enough to show up on time, every day, no excuses.
You must be mature and stoic enough to wash out the fang holes, dress the wound and keep on working; to pick yourself up from the mud puddle you were butted into, shake off and keep on going.
Our animals are not permitted to be neglected because you are tired, stayed up too late, have a headache, want to go shopping, just don’t feel great today or you don’t want to spend the day in the freezing sleet and blasting wind.
You must be compassionate and loving, but emotionally strong. We are caring for animals who have no other place in the world to go. Many of them are elderly, seriously handicapped, terminal hospice patients or have fatal diseases. You will see the friends you’ve come to love die. Your lifespan is probably longer than any of these animals. We euthanize only in extreme conditions, most of our friends die here at home, in our arms. Some animals will spend 10 or 20 years with us, others come only for their last few months of care. They come to us, because they have nowhere else to go, because anywhere else they would have been killed. We allow them to live out their lives as happily and with as much love as possible. We must love them, and then let go. And it can be hard, very hard. We’re not ashamed to cry, but we know we have to get up and keep on going, because another creature is waiting for us around the corner.
Why do we do this? Because we care. For each and every individual. We want to give them the best life possible for the longest time possible. We want to see the world change. We want to see animals treated fairly and justly and with dignity and respect. Every one. Every species.
If you see yourself fitting in with us, being able to seriously dedicate yourself to this work, come and spend a day working with us and see what’s it really all about. We’re a team, a family. We must work together with caring and compassion and fairness.
To set up an interview, call 540-854-0870 extension 8 or e-mail Kerry@RikkisRefuge.org. You’ll arrive early and be ready to work by 8 am and work throughout the day with us until at least 5 pm. You’ll see all the animal areas, try your hand at the chores and find out if you’re really cut out for this type of work.
If you discover it’s not for you, that’s ok, we know this isn’t for everybody. Most people can’t make it throug their first hour. Fewer still throug a whole first day. If this is your place you’ll be thrilled everyday. If it's not, we would rather you say, "Gee thanks, but this isn’t me", than struggle on unhappy.