Like Animals? Get a job.

When I was a kid, the desire to work with animals was answered with one counsel….go to vet school. Thanks to Animal Planet, “Animal Cop” is now an alternative often mentioned. There are plenty of good reasons neither job is for everyone with a desire to work with animals.

Vet school requires a high school diploma or GED, 4 year college degree, then a grueling acceptance process and 4 more years of medical school as a minimum. Many graduates go on to internships, Board Certifications and additional PhDs. Each year of school can cost over $30,000.00 and a first year veterinarian can expect to make a little more than that as a salary working for an established practice or in a laboratory or government office. Establishing a practice may lead to a bigger salary but also adds more debt and risk. Even if you can afford it, the course of study still may not be appealing; Physical chemistry, anatomy and surgery. Many students who wish to work with animals want to train or rescue them, not cut them open and do experiments on their blood chemicals.

As for the animal cops, perhaps a low-paying government job at the bottom of the law-enforcement pecking order where you might get shot, will probably get bitten, and will definitely have to witness – and clean up – all manner of human and animal devastation is not your dream.

So … what else is there?

We picked some links to programs we like, good discussions, educational opportunities, and local programs in the Washington, DC area. Googling any of these terms will connect you with many similar programs in any area.