So Deb, what made you decide to leave your management role to work at the RSPCA?
I have an animal background, so I’m a qualified veterinary nurse and I’ve done some zoo keeping. All of my life I remember wanting to work with animals, especially being in the animal police.
What’s the process for applying for this kind of work?
Usually they advertise on the [RSPCA] website or through Seek, and the process starts there.
So they do like you to have some sort of animal background, and they will teach everything else.
Because I had my animal background, I got an interview, and then there was a process of background checks, they’ve got to do that because we become a special constable and things like that.
I just went through a series of interviews, a series of background checks, making sure that you’re going to be able to handle yourself out there because we do deal with some [people from] lower socio-economic [backgrounds], we do deal with a lot of that, so we need to know what we’re doing.
What might a typical day as an RSPCA inspector involve?
That’s one of the wonderful things about this job, I can go out every day and it’s something different.
A typical day would be starting off and working out what areas I’ve got to go to. My day could involve educating the public, seizing animals, rescuing animals, brief work, to prosecutions in court. It’s quite diverse.
What part of your job do you enjoy the most?
I love to speak for the ones that can’t talk themselves. So I love to take an animal out of a horrific circumstance, I find that very rewarding.
Which part do you find most challenging?
Most challenging would be some of the rescues that I’ve come across, so they can get into some really awkward places, down drains and things like that.
And if mother nature’s playing a part in it, you’ve got some heavy rains coming that night, you’ve got some time frames to get that animal out of that drain or wherever the animal might be, before the water comes pouring in and that animal drowns.
What kind of skills or attributes do you need to be good at the job?
An animal background. You can be taught the investigative [skills] ... but I don’t believe you can be taught animal empathy, you either have it or you don’t.
Do you have any advice for readers dreaming of a career in animal welfare?
Absolutely, if it’s something they’ve always wanted to do, it’s a dream, ... hold on to that dream, keep working towards it.