Playing with animals all day
Throughout my career in veterinary medicine I have often been told that I am so lucky that I get to ‘play with animals all day.’ To me this analogy is like saying the police have the best job because they get to ‘drive around in a car all day.’ Obviously, the job is much more involved than that one action.
In reality, people working in veterinary medicine do not ‘play with animals all day.’ At a facility like SNAP—where our focus is keeping prices affordable by keeping service volume high and working efficiently—the work can be grueling. On a typical twelve-hour working day, the team at SNAP responds to 200-300 email messages, 300-400 voicemail messages, and 50-100 live calls; performs intake, surgery and discharge on 40-50 surgery patients; and provides wellness services and client education for an additional 30-40 wellness patients. The day starts early at 7:00 am and ends when all the pets have been discharged to their owners and the entire facility has been cleaned and made ready for the next day.
The patients bark, hiss, scratch, and bite. There are continuous potty accidents to clean up in order to keep the patients clean and comfortable. The days are long, and the work is physically and mentally demanding. The amazing part is that the work is equally satisfying! SNAP team members directly impact the lives of the people and pets we serve, and they receive the satisfaction of knowing they have made a difference for the community.
And—full disclosure—there is an aspect of ‘playing with animals all day’ because throughout all this work, we do get to touch, pet, comfort, kiss, hug, and talk to all the animals in our care every day. Thanks to the support from animal advocates, we have the energy to get up and do it all again tomorrow!
Dr. Mary Kate Lawler, Executive Director and Surgeon
Spay-Neuter Assistance Program