Dec 26TH

Helping learners and animals find their happily ever after

Moulton College student Katy Dickson talks here about the real-world experience her course has provided. 

At the age of 20, Katy had been between various jobs from sales assistant to elderly care assistant, before she finally decided to pursue her dream of working with animals by studying Animal Management at Moulton College.

Although working as a carer had given me satisfaction by helping those who were not necessarily able to help themselves, for me nothing beats the feeling of supporting animals that may need help and affection yet cannot ask for it. Helping and taking care of animals has always been defining part of my character growing up. However, it was not until early in 2018 that I decided I needed to take a leap in the right direction, overcome the anxiety that was holding me back, and pursue something I am passionate about. That was when I applied for the Animal Management course at Moulton College.

As part of the Animal Management course at Moulton College, I was aware that I would have to undertake a role within the industry to gain work experience which counts towards passing the course. This was something I was very keen to begin; however, I did not know what possibilities would be available. I was fortunate enough to be accepted by Hamerton Zoo and Brook Farm Animal Sanctuary to work alongside their teams and learn the ropes of animal welfare. 

At Hamerton Zoo I was given the opportunity to work with a variety of unusual species that I may never work with again. However, nothing was more astounding to me than volunteering at Brook Farm Animal Sanctuary and knowing I was really making a difference to these underprivileged pets and farm animals.

Brook Farm Animal Sanctuary is an animal sanctuary that relies entirely on public donations to continue their excellent work, helping our furry friends who cannot help themselves. Their kindness ranges from providing food and shelter to providing veterinary care that can be life-changing for these unlucky creatures. There’s nothing more soul-affirming than to look around and know you’re exactly where you’re meant to be. I’d never truly felt that until I drove through the gates at Brook Farm Sanctuary and was greeted by a parade of eager purring four-legged friends.

As I walked around the farm, I was enlightened by the stories of how each of the animal residents arrived at the haven that is Brook Farm. The stories ranged from Turkey’s escaping being Christmas dinner to a guinea pig whose mother, unfortunately, did not make it through the birth of her and her siblings and so they needed rehoming. What was heart-warming to hear is that every animal had a name and every animal had a character. Fangs, the feisty and very greedy cat, Tess, the farm dog who likes to have a good nose as to what’s going on and most endearing a sheep that believes it is a cow! To me, this showed that every animal was thought about as part of the family, with a name to define them, they were no longer just an outcast. 

At Brook Farm Animal Sanctuary, it’s not only the animals that make you feel positive about being there but also the other volunteers. So far, during my time there I have engaged with fellow Moulton College students, other animal lovers and families that came to give kindness to the resident animals from bringing their used Halloween pumpkins for the pigs to walking a dog that was waiting to be rehomed. Small things like donating pumpkins may not be considered by everyone; instead, they are just discarded when they could go to feeding animals in need. 

Both Hamerton Zoo and Brook Farm Animal Sanctuary have shown me that every animal is an individual who deserves our help when needed. They have opened my eyes to what it is like to work in the animal industry and how different sectors vary from each other. The animals at the Zoo will always have money coming in as it is a money-making industry however at the sanctuary the food that comes in relies on the public and what they can offer to support these animals. Demonstrating the importance of acknowledging the variation within the animal industry, something I may have not genuinely released without having been given these work experience opportunities as a result of being a student at Moulton College.

So far, I have loved every minute of working at Hamerton Zoo and Brook Farm Animal Sanctuary and can say that they have both had a positive impact on me as they have both demonstrated the care that is given to ensure the welfare of all animals no matter how big or small the job is.

Without taking the steps that I did to join Moulton College, I more than likely would not have had the confidence to go out and work within the animal industry and for that I am grateful. Also, as I am only in the second term of my first year, I know there are many more exciting and life-changing experiences to come my way, and I’m looking forward to it.

To find out more about animal welfare courses at Moulton College click here or request a prospectus. Applications are now open for classes starting in September 2019.