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Old 12-29-2010
HARTinTN HARTinTN is offline
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Default Qualification question

I joined here a long time ago because I want very badly to run a shelter where I am - rural TN. I tried getting my county to start one but they're just not interested. Long story.

After that I found out there was some illegal things going on at the one in the county next to us. It's been a long battle and it's still going on. There's a triple investigation right now. They found 258 counts of animals being euth'd illegally this year alone and they're looking at the county commissioner too because he knew about it and lied. Another long story.

My hope the last couple months has been they'd remove him and I was going to submit a proposal to the county to take it over as a management company. A very good friend of mine is a Director of a shelter in a rural area of KY and that's what she did and she's just done an amazing job. Will see how that all turns out.

In the meantime I found out the shelter an hour from me is looking for a new Director. It's a bigger shelter and one that's also suffered some corruption. I guess middle TN has a lot of that. *sigh* But they had someone take over several years back and made some changes and things really improved. Not sure why he/she is leaving or has been fired - don't know the story at all - but they posted the job.

A girl that runs a rescue in this general area contacted me and told me about the job posting and asked if I'd send in my resume. I checked it out on line but I'm not sure if they'll look at me based on the criteria they posted and my experience. If anyone of you are Directors or in charge of hiring, can you give me your guess as to whether they'd over look it?

They're requiring a BA and 3 years experience in some form of animal care / handling. They also require you obtain / maintain a state euth certificate if you don't have one. I don't and I can get it and keep it with no problem. I also don't have the BA, but I do have 16 years experience in animal care / handling. They also want someone with basic management / accounting experience. I've got 7 years management level accounting and 5 years business management experience. I've spent the last five years speaking at community / county meetings on animal welfare and doing consulting work for rescues and other shelters. My career background, other than the bsn mgmt and acct is in law enforcement so I'm used to the politics that go with working for a county department.

Based on all of that, do you think they'll bother to interview me or just toss my resume in the garbage as soon as they get it?
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Old 12-29-2010
HARTinTN HARTinTN is offline
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As a side note, wanted to mention that although we have problems at some shelters around here, I by no means think it's an indication of Directors or staff at shelters in general. Some of my best friends work in shelters. I'd posted here a while back when the story broke on the abuse and killing that was going on at our shelter and some people seemed really ticked and thought I was trying to cause problems or didn't understand how things are.

I do get it. I don't think I'm in an area of the country that is even remotely close to being 'no-kill'. The sad fact is, because of the people in this area, we have to euth at least some of the animals that come through. But I think there are laws that need to be followed and he shouldn't be allowed to break those laws.

I also don't think the jack *** that's running our shelter is any more a reflection of AC staff in general anymore than I think the local deputy caught breaking whatever law is a reflection of all law enforcement, me and my family included. I understand the immediate need to support those in your career field, believe me. I see news every day of officers / deputies / troopers, etc breaking the law and giving the rest of us bad names. I don't see the jerk here as the average Director. I see him as the bad apple that needs to be tossed out of the barrel because he's giving the rest of you a bad name.

Not sure if that makes sense to everyone, but I just wanted you to all know that I don't want to 'cause problems' for someone trying to do their job the right way. But I don't want him taking advantage of his position and doing some of the things he's been seen doing and getting away with it. It's an ethics thing. I think those of you here are here because you believe in your job and want to do the best you can. It's why you CHOOSE to take a job that's dangerous and under paid. Otherwise you'd have gone to med school and made six figures a year. And that's why I joined this forum and why I've asked your advice and looked to you for guidance / answers when I have questions.
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Old 12-30-2010
DRNEGRIN6 DRNEGRIN6 is offline
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Hart,

I think I might have reviewed your resume in the past. I would hire someone like you if I was a director (I own a veterinary hospital and I review resumes all the time). The only problem that I see is how much of a stickler they are for the BA. I have seen some ACOs/managers hired where they don't even meet the State requirements because "mom" works for the town. I have seen other ACOs that are perfectly qualified for the job and are turned down or fired because they are "too opinionated" for the boss. Unfortunately, it often is a case of politics; who you know is often more important than what you know.

As far as the 6 figure salary, it depends on whether you follow your heart or your pocket book. Medical doctors make 6 figures but vets. usually don't for a long time in their lives. They have to pay out their vet. school bills and once that's paid, they have to pay off their practice bills if they buy a hospital. We are in debt for a good portion of our lives. We do it also for the reason that we care for the animals. I could have moved into a very wealthy neighborhood to work but I did not feel comfortable in that area. I grew up in low to middle class areas and that is where I chose to set up my practice. Many clients come to me because my prices are affordable, but that also means that I don't make as much money as most of my colleagues. Money was never my motivation. It is, in part, why I chose to go into ACO work. I enjoy it and love helping other ACOs in the field. I see it as a mutual aid thing; they help me learn more about the law, I teach them about determining how injured an animal is and what to do in the field to get them to the vet. without hurting them any further than necessary.

I wish you luck in your interview. I see it this way; you seem to have the dream and goal to achieve the "perfect" (or near perfect) shelter that will help many animals in your area. I had the same dream when it came to the purchase of my hospital. There have been ups and downs but those who really care will be successful since they will not let anyone or anything stop them. If not at this shelter, maybe another opportunity will open up. You have to think that there is a place where you will fit in and feel comfortable. It took the third practice that I worked at after graduating vet. school before I felt like a fit in. That is the practice that I eventually purchased from my old boss. You will find the right place for yourself in the future.
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Old 12-30-2010
HARTinTN HARTinTN is offline
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Originally Posted by DRNEGRIN6 View Post
Hart,

I think I might have reviewed your resume in the past. I would hire someone like you if I was a director (I own a veterinary hospital and I review resumes all the time). The only problem that I see is how much of a stickler they are for the BA. I have seen some ACOs/managers hired where they don't even meet the State requirements because "mom" works for the town. I have seen other ACOs that are perfectly qualified for the job and are turned down or fired because they are "too opinionated" for the boss. Unfortunately, it often is a case of politics; who you know is often more important than what you know.

As far as the 6 figure salary, it depends on whether you follow your heart or your pocket book. Medical doctors make 6 figures but vets. usually don't for a long time in their lives. They have to pay out their vet. school bills and once that's paid, they have to pay off their practice bills if they buy a hospital. We are in debt for a good portion of our lives. We do it also for the reason that we care for the animals. I could have moved into a very wealthy neighborhood to work but I did not feel comfortable in that area. I grew up in low to middle class areas and that is where I chose to set up my practice. Many clients come to me because my prices are affordable, but that also means that I don't make as much money as most of my colleagues. Money was never my motivation. It is, in part, why I chose to go into ACO work. I enjoy it and love helping other ACOs in the field. I see it as a mutual aid thing; they help me learn more about the law, I teach them about determining how injured an animal is and what to do in the field to get them to the vet. without hurting them any further than necessary.

I wish you luck in your interview. I see it this way; you seem to have the dream and goal to achieve the "perfect" (or near perfect) shelter that will help many animals in your area. I had the same dream when it came to the purchase of my hospital. There have been ups and downs but those who really care will be successful since they will not let anyone or anything stop them. If not at this shelter, maybe another opportunity will open up. You have to think that there is a place where you will fit in and feel comfortable. It took the third practice that I worked at after graduating vet. school before I felt like a fit in. That is the practice that I eventually purchased from my old boss. You will find the right place for yourself in the future.
Thanks for your input! You sound like the vet I used to use. He was wonderful. We'd brought in a sick foster once and were torn on whether or not to do the surgery needed to save him and know we'd lose a good bit of money, as the adoption fee would never come close to covering it, or just let him go. When we discussed the financial concerns with him he totally understood. Said he prefers to work in a practice with 'real people' for clients and has found they are more willing to do what it takes for their pets. I have so much respect for him as a vet. He's what I'd always thought I wanted to be if I could have gotten into vet school. The money doesn't matter. I've been broke all my life because what I have goes to help the animals. We manage. We're certainly not suffering but we'll never travel around the world either. It's a fair trade off to us.

This area is definitely a very strong good ol boys network. I interviewed in October for a position with my county's sheriff's office. The Director told me I was the only applicant that was qualified, by far. No one else had any law enforcement experience at all, let alone NCIC which is what they needed desperately. I was pretty much told I had the job but the county told him they wanted at least two applicants paperwork turned in. When a week went by and I didn't hear from him I called. He said he took in the paperwork and the county basically told him his opinion was nice but they were hiring Sally Jane Smith, someone who's application was immediately thrown in the garbage when he got it. In other words, when they placed the ad for the position they knew who they were hiring. I wasn't surprised. I'd been shocked that they even called me for an interview.

That said, the county the shelter is in is sitting in a much larger county. It's giving me some hope that I may have a shot. Guess we'll see what happens. I keep trying to not get my hopes up because I don't want the let down later on. But it's tough. I've just wanted this so bad for so long!!

ETA: We did have the surgery done on the dog at the vet. He had found hard plastic that he'd eaten and it caused an obstruction. $300 later he was patched up, but he turned out to be unadoptable for temperament reasons. His unpredictable aggression even after several months of hard core work left us with no option but to have him euthanized anyway. Sometimes life sucks.

Last edited by HARTinTN; 12-30-2010 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 12-30-2010
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caffiend42 caffiend42 is offline
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If you don't apply, you definitely won't get the job! Just keep banging on the door, also ask questions, get feedback, worry about the politics later. Just get the foot in the door first, and THEN rock the boat.
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Old 12-30-2010
HARTinTN HARTinTN is offline
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If you don't apply, you definitely won't get the job! Just keep banging on the door, also ask questions, get feedback, worry about the politics later. Just get the foot in the door first, and THEN rock the boat.
LOL. Definitely applying. Figured the worst they can do is laugh that some goofy red head with no BA applied for the job and throw the app in the trash. I've lived through much worse than that.

Was thinking about it this morning. When I moved here this shelter had an over 90% euth rate. I know it's high in the south. I think I've got a pretty realistic view of things here. But over 90% is crazy. They didn't work with rescues and if you worked with one of the two people they approved to pull from there you had all kinds of fees you'd find out about later. You couldn't use your vet, had to use theirs and they charged a ton of extra fees for vetting. You couldn't pick up the dog / cat and take it to their vet, you had to use their 'transport' person and pay them. You couldn't have anyone else pick the dog / cat up from the vet for you. If you couldln't get it yourself you had to use their boarder and pay for that. It all seemed kind of scammish to me.

Then the new Director came in and things started getting better. Still had a good way to go to make it what I'd like to see, but to each their own. I didn't much of it. Everyone runs things their own way and I figured this was his / her way to run things. This morning it occurred me to that maybe the problems is the county? Maybe they can't keep a Director on staff and things aren't getting better because the county is making it impossible for them to do their job?? That kind of made me a bit sick. I've played the politics game before in law enforcement. I can play it again but man I hope that's not the case. I'd be really ticked off if they're wanting someone with all this experience and education and then treat them like a know nothing moron and keep them from doing a good job. I'd be frustrated beyond belief. Ugh!
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Old 12-30-2010
hasbeenaco hasbeenaco is offline
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Originally Posted by HARTinTN View Post
Maybe they can't keep a Director on staff and things aren't getting better because the county is making it impossible for them to do their job?? That kind of made me a bit sick. I've played the politics game before in law enforcement. I can play it again but man I hope that's not the case. I'd be really ticked off if they're wanting someone with all this experience and education and then treat them like a know nothing moron and keep them from doing a good job. I'd be frustrated beyond belief. Ugh!
I does happen. Often.
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Old 12-30-2010
HARTinTN HARTinTN is offline
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I does happen. Often.
I'm sure. And I'll never understand why. If you're a micro-manager and think no one else on the planet is capable of running anything but you, wny not hire some brainless moron that knows nothing, pay them federal minimum wage and have them do it your way? Why bother looking for someone that has knowledge and experience and can do an incredible job and then tie their hands?? Just don't get people like that. And you're right. Happens all the time.
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Old 12-30-2010
acofred acofred is offline
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I'm sure. And I'll never understand why. If you're a micro-manager and think no one else on the planet is capable of running anything but you, wny not hire some brainless moron that knows nothing, pay them federal minimum wage and have them do it your way? Why bother looking for someone that has knowledge and experience and can do an incredible job and then tie their hands?? Just don't get people like that. And you're right. Happens all the time.
Don't get me started again...
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Old 12-30-2010
1xOscar88 1xOscar88 is offline
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I've seen shady politics, corruption, and good ole boys clubs happen way too often, unfortunately.
I found that many times my application has been intercepted by an automated system that disqualifies me for something as simple as not posessing a drivers license from that particular state. (To which I would easily obtain once I actually MOVED to that state.)

Either way... My opinion... APPLY AND TRY FOR IT ANYHOW!!! "Nothing ventured, nothing gained"! They might be able to substitute your years of experience for the degree.

If you were able to go to the state and get your Euth. cert beforehand, it might help.
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