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I am moving soon, and around the time I move I will turn 16. I want to find work in animal rescue, to help with my ultimate goal of owning a large shelter, and having a lot of land with all rescued animals. I emailed some shelters, rescues, humane socities ect around where I'm going to be working to see if I could have a shot at volunteering or finding a job there. Heres one reply that made me smile! It totally made my morning.

"Dear Chelsea:

You are a proactive, determined young lady with lofty goals! I wish you well in life and great success in opening or managing a shelter; however, I am about 20 minutes north of Atlanta. If I were in Augusta and large enough to hire help, I'd hire you sight unseen because I believe every word you say and because you are passionate about animals. Do not ever lose that passion. It will sustain you when rescue makes you feel like you can't give another ounce of energy, when you've seen one too many good animals euthanized, when nothing but hopelessness surrounds you. Your passion for animals will never let you down.

I'd like to suggest a couple of things though. First, set a goal of getting into college. Right now, keep your grade point average up so you can get into a college, then work your way through if you have to, apply for grants - some animal organizations have scholarships and grants, Georgia has the Hope Scholarship Program, go online this year and start looking for and applying for grants and scholarships. Your junior year is an excellent time to start planning your future. You will need that degree. In another day and age, a high school diploma was sufficient, now, not so. You need a college education. You will need all the money you can make to start a rescue until you get donations coming in and any number of degrees could aide you in your work. A business degree would be good, agriculture including animal husbandry, biology, pre-med, vet tech or veterinarian are outstanding choices.

My second suggestion regards your job search. Go to zipcode.com and find the zip codes for Jackson, Augusta (Georgia and SC) and the surrounding areas and look for a job by zip code. You probably found me on petfinder.com, also try www.spotsociety.org. Look for work at area vets, PetSmart, Pet Supermarket, and consider working anywhere for money, a fast food place, Wal-Mart, waitress, and then volunteer with animals. Volunteering also looks very good on a college application. Post your job search to Craigslist.com and believe it or not to CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com. You may not have experience, but you have something just as important, desire. You communicate very well, you might consider a career in journalism, communications or the arts and look for work with animal movies, videos, magazines, etc. Trust me, based on my own experience ( I am a small one person rescue operating out of her home - I am employed as a paralegal) you will need that solid income to start your own rescue and to get hired as a shelter manager, you will need a degree.

Good luck to you young lady. I am proud that you wrote to me. I will be delighted to share your post with other rescues WITH YOUR PARENTS' PERMISSION. You are a minor so I will need you to have your parents write to me with THEIR permission for me to post your job search to other rescues - who will then share it across the internet. Networking this way is a great way to find work, whether paid or volunteer.

Finally, please, please, please use caution when corresponding on the internet and if ANYBODY (and I do mean anybody) tries to solicit personal information from you (address, photo, social security number, phone number) tell your parents immediately, if they are not around, tell me, tell a trusted adult aunt or uncle, tell a trusted teacher, tell some adult and provide them with all the information. If someone is interested in hiring your or obtaining more information about you for a job, you get them to write to you snail mail on their company or rescue letterhead before you send them a resume or ask them to mail you an application. Check them out through references. You cannot be too careful and I do not want to read about you being abducted or worse - and it can and does happen, hundreds of times a year to young ladies just like you and even to young men and boys.

God Bless You! And I DO want to read about you in 10 years making remarkable strides for the furtherance of animal health, welfare, causes and "rights".

Deborah xxxx

xxx xxxxx xxxxxx

xxxxxxx, GA xxxxxx

xxx-xxx-xxxx"
 

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That is a wonderful letter you got, Chelsea, and I admire you also for your lofty goals! Go for it all the way!
 

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what a great response. After talking to you for some time, Chels, I know that every word she said about your motivation and your love for animals (and all that jazz) is true!
I hope you find a great opportunity to work with animals after your move.
 
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