The Career Clusters in a pet rescue

The Career Clusters in a pet rescue
If you love all animals great and small, working in a pet rescue could be perfect – learn all about what it’s like and the different roles you might find.

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Pet rescues serve an important purpose in helping animals in need. They act as a safety net for pets who may have faced challenges or tough situations. The main goal of a pet rescue is to find loving and caring homes for animals that have been abandoned, abused, or are unable to stay in their previous homes for various reasons.

These rescues work tirelessly to provide shelter, food, and medical care for these pets. They also work on behavioural rehabilitation, especially for animals that may have faced trauma. Many rescues also provide education and community outreach to inform people about animal welfare and care.

While every pet rescue is different, there are some common themes you can expect:

  1. A love of animals – you’ll need to be willing to care for and work with all kinds of animals, from guinea pigs to horses.
  2. Education and advocacy – pet rescues are often passionate about educating the public about proper pet care and advocating for animal rights.
  3. You’ll need to be emotionally resilient – while you’ll get to experience lots of positive moments, the work can sometimes be challenging too.

Provide care and shelter to pets in need

People who work or volunteer at pet rescues need to be passionate about animals and must devote their time and energy to making sure each pet finds the right home, no matter what their role is.

Key tasks

  • Provide shelter and safe environment for animals
  • Offer food, water, and basic medical care
  • Assess and address behavioural and emotional needs
  • Facilitate adoption process and interviews with potential owners
  • Organise and promote adoption events and fundraisers
  • Coordinate with veterinarians for health check-ups and treatments
  • Keep accurate records of each animal’s history and progress
  • Engage in community outreach and education about pet care
  • Clean and maintain facilities for a safe and hygienic environment
  • Offer support and care to newly adopted pets and owners

You can find pet rescues in the arts and recreation services and agriculture, forestry, and fishing industries

Pet rescues are usually found in the arts and recreation services and agriculture, forestry, and fishing industries. Certain pet rescues might like to focus on one particular kind of animal, such as dogs or cats, while others might tend to more specialised species such as pocket pets, farm animals, or reptiles.

You can expect varied hours and on-site work

Varied hours Work on-site  |  Jobs more common in metro areas  |  Strong job growth

While pet rescue facilities may have specific hours they are open to the public, usually between 9 and 5, they often need people to care for the animals 24/7. The exact hours you work will depend on your role in the organisation.

On-site work is traditionally more common in pet rescues, but if you choose to foster animals you can work from your own home. Some administrative, IT, and marketing tasks may also be done remotely.

Pet rescues can be found in both metro and rural areas, but they tend to be more prevalent in metro areas, as cities often have a higher demand for pet adoption services. While there may be fewer pet rescues in rural areas, they still play a crucial role in helping animals in need, particularly due to limited resources or access to veterinary care.

The Career Clusters you’ll find in a pet rescue

People from all Clusters are needed for a pet rescue to run successfully, but Linkers, Informers, and Guardians are typically the most common Clusters. In many roles, you might find yourself performing tasks across multiple Clusters.


Makers in a pet rescue are responsible for keeping the facilities and equipment in tip-top condition, as well as ensuring they are clean and hygienic for both the animals and other workers. Some pet rescues offer adoption services online, so they need people to transport pets across the country.

  • Maintenance Technicians
  • Cleaners
  • Animal Drivers

Linkers help to connect a pet rescue’s services to the community. They might do this by running outreach programs and events, helping potential adopters find the perfect pet, promoting the pet rescue online and through other methods, creating partnerships with corporate businesses and other organisations, and fostering a community of people to advocate for animal welfare.

  • Community Outreach Officers
  • Adoption Agents
  • Partnerships Managers
  • Marketing Managers

Coordinators handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes work at a rescue, whether it’s managing budgets, resource allocation, and funding, facilitating communication between other workers and volunteers, performing important administrative tasks, or developing new strategies to increase the pet rescue’s reach and impact.

  • Directors
  • Project Managers
  • Administrative Assistants

Informers provide expert knowledge and guidance on all things related to pets and animals, whether it’s recognising problematic behaviours in animals or advising on the best nutritional options for a particular pet. They can also provide help and guidance to potential adopters or those who may need to rehome their pet. Others might use their skills to help train animals so they know basic commands, while some Informers use their knowledge to advocate for the rights and protection of animals.

  • Animal Behaviour Specialist
  • Animal Trainers
  • Animal Advocates

Innovators help to design and run a pet rescue’s website (if they have one), ensuring they are both functional and beautiful, while others are responsible for designing branding elements such as logos. They may also help to develop new programs and apps to help potential adopters engage with the rescue and streamline the adoption process.

  • Web Designers
  • Software Developers
  • Graphic Designers

Guardians are responsible for ensuring the welfare and health of animals that are in the pet rescue’s care, performing regular checkups, helping with complex medical care, and ensuring that the environment they are kept in is enriching and safe (for both pets and owners). Others might take animals into their own homes and care for them temporarily while they are waiting to be adopted.

  • Foster Carers
  • Veterinarians
  • Animal Welfare Specialists

How do we expect working in a pet rescue to change in the future?

Working in a pet rescue is likely to see some changes in the future, reflecting broader trends in animal welfare and society.

Pet rescues have already begun to adopt new technologies for tasks like record-keeping, adoption processes, and online outreach. This includes things like the use of websites and social media, which is only going to become more widespread. Adoption methods may also evolve, possibly including virtual adoption events, online meet-and-greets, or home visits conducted by video call.

There is also a growing emphasis on educating the community about responsible pet ownership and preventative measures to reduce the number of pets in need of rescue.

Closer partnerships with veterinary professionals and animal behaviour experts will likely become more common, leading to better overall care for the animals. Many workers in pet rescues may also receive more specialised training in areas like animal behaviour, rehabilitation, and medical care, enhancing the level of care provided to rescued animals without the need for external intervention.