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Breakfest-burrito t1_iw6rwbg wrote

Incredibly generous but I don't understand why bath items and vitamins? Are these people broke? Or was this like part of a wish list? I would be hella confused if got a stick of deodorant and some raisins as a show of appreciation.


CuileannDhu t1_iw6xacm wrote

It's a self-care pack. Healthy snacks, vitamins, and personal care items don't seem amiss.


emleeeee t1_iw95wyb wrote

As a shelter manager, yes, we are hella broke


Breakfest-burrito t1_iw966ku wrote

Oh dang, I genuinely had no idea! I figured you were paid just as well as any other job. Granted, most people have to work multiple jobs just to get by, but I didn't think shelter workers were specifically underpaid


emleeeee t1_iw98c7e wrote

Yep, most shelters are nonprofits or government funded. The jobs don’t require a ton of technical training that you could get from a university or trade program, but still require a lot of specialized skills. So most of the jobs are minimum wage/entry level.

So for example I am a manager at a shelter that does 3000+ adoptions a year, am euthanasia certified, have my med clerk license, work 50-60 hours a week and am often on call. I have experience with dangerous behavioral animals and have been attacked by horribly aggressive dogs. I have deescalation training for verbally and physically abusive people (and use it on a weekly basis). I have 10+ years experience. I make $25/hr with bare min benefits in an area where min wage is $18


Breakfest-burrito t1_iw993mn wrote

Why do you do it then?


emleeeee t1_ixott6k wrote

The nice answer is bc we love animals, which we do. The less nice, more honest answer is that those of us who are good at it become addicted to it. It takes a certain type of person to be good enough to take care of broken animals, skilled enough to get a wounded/broken animal to trust you. When you figure that out, you’re stuck bc not everyone can do it, and you care so much it hurts. And then you’re hooked.

The only thing that makes me ever seriously consider quitting is the horrible people who do these terrible things to the animals, or scream at me or threaten my staff. That’s what really hurts at the end of the day.


emptyjuicebox t1_iw99fgg wrote

I worked over 60 hours a week, had one of the higher paying rates, pulled OT constantly AND having to do overnight shifts. I still couldn't afford renting on my own (lived with family) and lived paycheck to paycheck.

Starting rate was around $14 (depending on department, barely above minimum wage where I'm from) and the amount of work and responsibility is INSANE. Staff retention is awful because why would people want to deal with the stress (keeping animals alive, not screwing up medications, missing signs of contagious diseases, rushing out to animals hit by cars, abuse cases, etc) for such little money when they could work in something else for less stress and more money. Increasing salaries to retain qualified people (lol) is impossible, because shelters are usually charities or operate on a government budget- fighting tooth and nail to even get basic items. People don't donate to charities to pay people, they want it to go to the animals. They don't realize the overhead it takes to run a shelter to keep the animals there.
So shelters operate with minimum or slightly above minimum wages, only attracting people who are not qualified, or are only staying for 1 or 2 months until they go back to school (takes WEEKS to train). People who stay either are stuck there for other reasons, or truly love the job (and get taken advantage of for it).