Career with animals
If you are fond of animals, you can turn your passion into a rewarding career. Not everyone would be interested in being a veterinarian but there are other career options which do give you a chance to work closely with animals. Read on…
FOND OF FISH?
How about making a living by nurturing fish? Ashish Bagla, eminent aquarist, says, "To be in the aquarium business one must enjoy working with aquatic life. One has to acquire skills for breeding fish and also learn about setting up of aquariums. Ideally one must apprentice under an expert.”
What it takes
To be in this field one has to be aware of the technicalities of “installing aquarium lighting, fish food, cleaning tanks, filters, air pumps and also provide maintenance services to clients,” adds Bagla who has designed regular and exotic tanks for homes, schools, offices and public places.
Central Fisheries institute (Mumbai and Goa) also conducts workshops and offer various related There is good scope today in aquarium business as people are aware of the therapeutic benefits of installing beautiful and soothing fish tanks at home and offices; it is also considered a good-luck charm.
Other options: There are other options like going for a bachelor's or a master’s degree in Fish Farming (BSc in Fishery Sciences) or Zoology. Aquaculture is the cultivation of aquatic organisms under controlled conditions; the primary form of aquaculture is Fish Farming or Pisciculture. Fishes are grown or cultivated for human consumption or for industrial and medicinal purposes. One can work in various fields of research, fish genetics, biotechnology and so on.
An animal activist has a heart for suffering animals and realizes that animals are as important as human beings. "A person who wishes to be an animal activist must be a vegetarian, should not use leather or any other animal products as it would defeat the very purpose of the fight for animals if the defenders themselves abuse them. Once you decide you want to work for welfare of animals, you can approach an organisation working in that field," says Anuradha Sawhney of PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. There are challenges as India is a huge country and animal abuse is rampant.
What it takes
Knowledgeable about animals is a must. “If a person wants to join PETA, they must have a good knowledge about animal rights and also the different laws that protect animals in India. There are full-time career options available for youngsters to work as campaigners on specific issues," adds Sawhney. Most of the job options are usually with the local shelters, rescue groups and animal welfare organizations.
With dog salons the latest trend, grooming dogs is another career options. To enter this profession one should be fearless of dogs. "Pet grooming is not as glamorous as some people think it is. One has to give dogs haircuts, baths, detangling treatments, flea and tick control baths, medicated baths, ear cleaning, teeth brushing and nail clipping," says Urmila Dabholkar of Tailwaggers pet salon. Unfortunately there is no formal training school for dog grooming in India, but one can refer books and internet, or work and learn to transform their passion for dogs into services. Different breeds have specific grooming requirements based on their coats, which can be done only at a professional salon. The money is good but all depends a lot on how much time and effort you put into the salon," adds Urmila.
If you are fond of dogs, dog training can be an enriching experience for you. Dog training career can entail you helping people make their dog friends behave, training the dogs for special assistance especially for helping the physically challenged, training a bomb or drug sniffing dog. All of these help enrich lives and can be immensely satisfying."It helps if a person has lateral thinking and good problem-solving skills. Today's dog training methods are reward-based and fun for dog and the owner," say Shirin and Junaid Merchant, founder of Canines Can Care.
What it takes
"One needs to learn about different facets of animal behavior. How to have fun whilst training a dog, basic pet obedience training, dog tricks, nuances of setting up a dog training business and using the right training equipment. You need a lot of hands on experience," says Shirin, an associate of world-renowned animal behaviorist and trainer John Rogerson. Shirin has been working in the field of canine behavior and training for eleven years and is responsible for pioneering canine behavior counselling in India. This profession comes with flexibility of time, with monetary benefits of around Rs 10,000 per month.
CANINE BEHAVIOR COUNSELLOR
The pet behavior counselor advises owners whose pets have developed inappropriate behavior. This is different from standard obedience training offered by dog trainers. A canine behavior counselor needs ample of patience and must be aware of pet psychology. "The problems range from dominance, housetraining, aggression, destruction and compulsive behaviours," says Shirin who is also a canine behavior specialist. To become a pet behavior counselor, you will need an academic knowledge, theory of behavior and solutions to problems, practical handling skills and experience, and empathy and an ability to communicate effectively.
Courses: Canines Can Care" conducts dog training courses (in Mumbai and Lonavala) behavioral advice for problem dogs, holds agility training sessions, runs courses on canine behavior and is involved in pioneering many more dog related activities all over the country.
· Canine training course
· Canine behavior Foundation course