Working with Animals

The animal care industry is diverse and ever changing. There are many opportunities to work with animals. Directly as an animal care assistant or indirectly within such industries as dog toy manufacture. There are many areas to suit different skills such as training, behaviour, Veterinary, Nursing, Reception work. We have been pleased to have shared the journey with many people over the years, both volunteers and employees who have gone on to become; Vets, Dog trainers/ behaviourists, animal artist, Dog walker and even someone who is launching an wildlife education centre. Many have gone on to further education in animal care, behaviour and nursing. 

Am I old enough?

We are not able to have under 14 year olds volunteering or working for us. 


We try to work with work experience placements for anyone from the age of 14 years upwards. There are a number of different types of volunteering;

Placement (generally for a minimum of a week to build work experience) The placement can be a block placement with the days running consecutively or can be one day a week over an extended period. 

Duke of Edinburgh; Generally a minimum of an hour a week for an extended period. You need to be able to manage your own record keeping and get the books signed off on each volunteering occasion. 

Regular rescue volunteering; This would be for over 18s who would like to support the rescue dogs. This is generally a regular commitment of anything from an hour a week upwards. 

Fostering; We do work with fosterers, see the RSPCA Westmorland branch page for more information. Fosters generally handle dogs that have significant behavioural or medical needs. Dogs that are ready for re-homing, generally re-home more quickly from the kennels. Fosters need to be able to foster for a minimum of two weeks and up to three months. 

All volunteering requires a health and safety induction and support in the early days to ensure your safety and the safety of the pets in our care. This includes the need to complete forms and training material depending on which type of volunteering you would like to do. 


If you are older than 14 years old, we are happy to have a chat about what you hope to do. We always like to meet volunteers before they start to help prepare and manage expectations. We are a busy workplace and safety is important to us. The safety of our people and our animals. For this reason we need to be sure that you are able to follow instructions and are able to ask for clarity if you don't understand. You need to be old enough to conduct yourself in a professional manner and be able to communicate issues clearly. Sometimes having a job (even if not initially in the animal care sector) can help to build these skills. 

Working at Milnthorpe Kennels and Cattery 

From time to time we do have job vacancies. In the past, a large proportion of our employees have come from those who have volunteered with us first. 

Are you interested in animal behaviour, training and psychology? 

Do want a job that makes a difference to animals?

Your CV needs to show it. 



  • Work in accordance with Milnthorpe Kennels and Cattery policies and procedures to support the animals, our clients and our legal obligations
  • Daily care, feeding, cleanliness and exercise.
  • Observe, monitor and record all aspects of animal care.
  • Communicate clearly and factually when issues arise.
  • Work in the best interest of the animals to achieve successful rehoming
  • Cooperate with the team to achieve the group aims
  • Working with clients to understand their needs and communicate them clearly to the team
  • Working with computers, phones, till, card machine
  • Maintaining good relations with customers, suppliers, partner organisations, volunteers and all who come into contact with us. 
  • Care and upkeep of the all work areas including the shop, kitchens, gardens, fields, car park etc.


Positive and enthusiastic attitude


Conscientious and Reliable


Good Communication Skills

High level of physical fitness

Suitable clothing for all weather work

Good animal handling and behaviour awareness

Qualifications to level 2 in animal care or above or a willingness to qualify


Human first aid and additional health and safety qualifications

Animal first aid

Animal training qualifications