Ashley Arseneau, Horse and Livestock Liaison at Animal Rescue League of Boston
had every intention of becoming a Humane Law Enforcement Officer upon
graduation and applied to many of the SPCA's, including the
Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA),
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and
the Animal Rescue League of Boston. I was hired in June of 2005 as a
shelter agent for the Animal Rescue League of Boston's Dedham Branch,
just to get my foot in the door, so to speak.
The Animal Rescue
League has many different departments: Search and Rescue, Humane
Education, Behavior, Law Enforcement, Veterinary Services, and
Sheltering. Each staff member is cross-trained under the direction of
the department managers. If you are looking to go the route of Humane
Law Enforcement, I would highly recommend getting in touch with the Law
Enforcement Departments of each respective organization to find out
what their requirements are. Each organization is different. A good
contact would be our Director of Law Enforcement who can be reached at email@example.com.
are many different routes you can choose when working with non-profits
and SPCA's. My experience as a shelter agent has allowed me to be
deployed to many of the disaster area's nationally through the Animal
Rescue League. I have responded to assist with search and rescue
operations and disaster animal sheltering during Hurricane Katrina, as
well as Hurricane Gustav. I have also been cross-trained to perform
technical rescues such as: high angle rescue, cat in tree rescue (with
harness and rigging), swift water rescue, ice rescue, large animal
technical rescue, and small animal rescue.
Due to my livestock
and horse experience, I was promoted to the position of livestock
liaison for the Animal Rescue League. I work with our law enforcement
department to take in neglected and abused horses who have been seized.
We implement a very strict six month re-feeding process to bring these
horses back both mentally and physically from severe starvation and
emaciation. Sadly, if called for, we do make the decision to euthanize
if a horse is behaviorally too dangerous to work with, or medically
unfit for adoption. Once the horses are brought through the recovery
process, they then go up for adoption.
Aside from the duties as
the livestock liaison, I also work as a Shelter Agent and Adoption
Counselor for the dog and cat shelter. This includes cleaning,
vaccinating, behavior evaluations, euthanasia, adoptions, and
counseling, for all dogs, cats and various small animals. When needed,
I am on call for the Search and Rescue Department.
Due to my
work through the Animal Rescue League, I was also asked to serve as the
Sheltering Team Leader for the State of Massachusetts Animal Response
Team. For more information please see http://smartma.org/
work we do is very emotional, and can at times be very stressful, but
if you are able to see "the big picture" of it all, it is also
extremely rewarding. The people you work with tend to become a second
family due to the trauma of the ups and downs you face every day with
very person who walks through the shelter doors. Though the pay is
really minimal, both because it is in the animal field, and it is
working for a non-profit, the pay off is that you love every moment you
are working, and are happy to be there. Shelter agents average between
$10-$13 an hour depending on experience.
I would be more than happy to answer any questions you have. Please feel free to check out our website at www.arlboston.org. I hope I was able to give you some more insight into the animal welfare field.
Horse and Livestock Liaison
Shelter Agent & Adoption Counselor
ANIMAL RESCUE LEAGUE OF BOSTON
781-326-0729 (Dedham Branch)
State of MA Animal Response Team
Co-Chair Shelter Operations