Working For The Scottish Animal Charity The SSPCA
Keeping an eye on all of Scotland’s animals and birds is a huge task involving an amazing team of people, both paid employees and unpaid volunteers. And while we sometimes have to deal with some of the saddest sights imaginable, it can also be the most satisfying and rewarding work in the world.
There are few feelings better than seeing an abused cat or dog you have rescued re-homed with a loving family; or when you release a wild bird or animal back into their habitat after treatment for disease or injury.
And every year we deal with thousands of those animals in every corner and island of Scotland. It is a sad fact that animal neglect and cruelty continues and while it does, our efforts to care for the victims and educate the people in our prevention work, will need a steady stream of new committed and highly trained people coming into the team.
When you think of the SSPCA, you probably think of our Inspectors and Rescue Officers; the people in the field who respond to reports and calls from the public, or who undertake preventative inspections.
To join that team you will need a minimum of five standard grades, one of which must be English, together with a qualification in animal husbandry or animal science.
A full driving license (preferably clean!) is essential.
Because all of our field staff spend some time working with schools, promoting the care of animals as well as the SSPCA itself, you will also be required to join the Disclosure Scotland PVG Scheme.
While we prefer our officers to have a farming or veterinary background, we will consider other backgrounds where there has been extensive experience working with animals.
Training is ongoing for inspectors and officers with the expectation that, after three years experience, all inspectors will hold an SVQ3 in Animal Welfare.
Caring for the rescued animals demands a high level of skill based in our animal rescue and re-homing centres. In addition to our many veterinary surgeons who may be recruited directly from veterinary school or may join us after some years in practice, we also need clinical support staff.
For a Veterinary Nurse, full qualification means registration with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and there are several different ways to begin this journey.
Typically the Veterinary Nurse will hold a minimum of a L3 qualification in Veterinary Nursing, but many are now entering the profession with a degree in Veterinary Nursing.
Work based training will involve finding a job in working in animal care that will also give you the opportunity to study for L2 C&G Diploma for Veterinary Care Assistants, L2 Central Qualifications for Veterinary Nursing Assistance/Diploma in Animal Nursing, or the ABC Certificate for Animal Nursing Assistants.
Depending on level of skills and experience, the work for these staff will encompass assisting in surgery, administering drugs, post treatment care and recovery, and generally helping our animals to get ready for a new life.
It’s not always a happy ending, death is a part of life and sometimes euthanasia is the kindest option for an animal in severe pain or beyond our help. In that case clinical staff may be directly involved in the humane relief that we sometimes have to offer.
Thankfully, that sadness is balanced by the many thousand of re-homings and releases back to the wild of the many, many patients that we, at the SSPCA, treat every year.