A day in the life of an Animal Caretaker

The morning of an ACT starts off with the most important job of all, waking up and letting out the royalty of the clinic, Zuri our clinic cat. Every morning she impatiently waits for her breakfast, never leaving your side until she is fed. Once she is satisfied with her breakfast, she roams free around the clinic ready to greet customers and grace everyone with her sassiness. Though she is free to walk around the clinic she is a little bit difficult for us ACT’s to find on Tuesdays and Fridays when she knows she needs her feet cleaned.

In the mornings the ACT assists the hospital nurse with their morning TPRs (temperature, pulse and respiration) on the hospital patients who have stayed overnight. We help the nurses by restraining the animals comfortably ensuring the animal and the nurses are safe whilst the patient is being checked over. Once the assessment is completed The TPR and other observations are recorded. The hospital patients are then ready to be taken out on their morning walks and weighed. They are then showered with pats and cuddles and then put back in their runs/cages. We then help the nurses prepare their breakfasts.

The main role of an ACT is being in charge of the cat boarding. When all the hospital patients are done, the ACT goes out into cat boarding to greet all the cats.  The cats are let out of their condos one by one receiving loads of cuddles and pats. Whilst the cat is out for a wonder, their condos are then cleaned, litter are replaced, their food is prepared, and medication is given when instructed. Their toileting, eating and behaviour is recorded and monitored throughout their stay, making sure the cat is well and comfortable. This process is repeated later in the day when the evening ACT does cat boarding.

Some days the clinic receives wildlife brought in by members of the public who they have found injured, sick or alone. The most common wildlife that comes through our clinic are possums and birds, but every day is different. On rare occasions, we have had turtles and ducklings in as well. It is the ACT’s job to give all the wildlife water and the correct food. Giving them cages with perches, boxes and blankets to hide in and provide them with active warming. This is done for them to be ready to be checked over by a vet and assessed.

There are a few jobs an ACT does multiple times throughout the day such as helping the nurses with restraint or distracting the patients with pats and treats whilst being assessed. We are asked to help restrain for all kinds of things, such as catheter placements, nail trims and anal glands.  The ACT does a lot of cleaning throughout the clinic making sure the work environment is safe and hygienic. The hospital runs and cages are also cleaned multiple times throughout the day and hospital trolleys are stocked.

At the end of the day once all the surgeries and consults are completed the ACT cleans the theatre and the treatment tables. Once everything is cleaned, restocked and packed up, The ACT does another check at cat boarding before leaving the clinic making sure they are ok. The ACT and the late treatment nurse then shut down the clinic ready for the next busy day full of furry cute patients.

Written by Eboni Sheridan, Animal Caretaker

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