A kennel attendant is a position designed for an individual to maintain the needs of various types of animals and the cleanliness of their living space. A kennel attendant will typically earn minimum wage and be expected to work full-time hours and offer flexible availability as shifts can vary
Kennel attendants typically work in veterinary hospitals, animal rescue centres, pet shops, animal lodgings or in some cases even zoos. A pet-shop kennel attendant position will normally be oriented around smaller animals such as dogs, cats, birds, guinea pigs, rabbits and hamsters while all other facilities can expand into larger animals including horses, cows and other livestock as well as large exotic animals,
Each employer sets its own educational requirements for its kennel-attendant position. The Alberta Learning Information Service's occupational profile states that the educational requirement for a kennel attendant may differ, but typically includes at least a high-school diploma for some but not all kennel attendant positions. Some employers require applicants to have college-level courses in veterinary or zoology program. Requirements can be as specific as a certain biological science or bylaw enforcement class and can also be as general as a simple continuing education program.
Attendants are responsible for feeding the animals and stocking animal supplies, removing litter and uneaten food, collecting and disposing of faeces, disinfecting the area and replenishing the cleared materials. Other required duties may include transporting the animals to a separate area, then carrying out specialised bathing, grooming and exercise routines. In some facilities an attendant will be expected to assist in the administration of euthanasia or the breeding and birthing process as well as other simple procedures. The attendant is responsible for recording and filing his completed work.
The potential of employment advancement depends on the amount of hiring facilities in a given area, but a kennel attendant can acts as a gateway position to other animal related careers either within or outside of an attendant's employment facility. The position of kennel attendant offers hands-on experience, which contributes to a better understanding of the needs and behaviour of animals.
The collected knowledge of a skilled kennel attendant can lead to a supervisory or management position and can also be applied to the endeavour of opening a business relating to the work of an attendant. A kennel attendant may also find herself tending to clerical responsibilities such as answering phones or filing paperwork, so the position can also indirectly supply experience for a future administrative position.
Individuals seeking first time employment within the kennel attendant field should consider that the job will often include a constant odour of animal waste and require a subjective attitude towards certain practices such as euthanasia. Also, a potential kennel attendant should be prepared to deal with an array of temperaments and behaviours.