Hello! My name is Justine and I just finished my internship with Critter Care. It’s a very bittersweet farewell since I am utterly and completely in love with my animals. I came into this experience prepared to work hard and to endure long hours. I knew that even when the To Do List was complete and evening clean was finished, that even more work lay ahead. Some days I would start my day at 5:30 and wouldn’t finish until well past midnight. That being said, I knew every bit that I did contribute to the well-being of my animals and understanding this helped me get through the particularly long days that never seemed to quit.
It definitely helped knowing that a hard work ethic was valued and time management was key during my stay at Critter Care. SO it came to my surprise how much hands on time that we actually had with the babies! Oh. My. Gosh. Seeing your babies grow from little nuggets into giant gorillas (specifically in reference to my raccoons and skunks) falls nothing short of remarkable. Everything is worth it when you see those dark eyes stare up at you slightly crossed from the approaching milk coma, or the first time your baby discovers the delights of sliding down into a pool of water, or when they greet you in the morning after they recognize who’s at the door.
I had so much fun here at Critter Care! I ended up extending my stay so that I could spend more time with my animals, which lead to experiencing several of their releases. I released my skunks and squirrels, and will just miss out on the coyote releases. One litter of raccoons will be ready for release soon while my baby litter (also small gorillas) will stick around Critter Care for a little longer.
As my animals grew I appreciated the knowledge I gained from the supervisors. I learned during the examination after admissions, nutritional diet changes as an animal ages, how to wean my animals, what different behaviors and sounds of animals means, vaccinations and injections, etc. Some of the information is given to you as you go, some information you learn when you start asking questions, some things you learn by asking for more experiences. I appreciated the time the supervisors gave to me in aiding my curiosity.
Overall if you are flexible and keep chugging forward with a positive attitude, Critter Care will be an awesome experience no matter what is thrown your way. After caring for 43 animals (19 raccoons, 8 skunks, 5 squirrels, and 11 coyotes) I found out how exhausting, and equally rewarding, all the hard work can be. It also helps to completely forget how you usually track time and to prepare to gage where you are at in the week based on if it’s your laundry day or shower day, or to gage time in relevance to your days off. Time goes by sooooo fast and soooooo slowly all at once. Don’t forget to laugh, dance, and feed yourself. Every moment that you can spare, enrich the heck out of your babies. Also, never trust a fart. HAVE FUN!!!