Animal rescue and rehabilitation personnel assess the extent of animal injuries, stabilize the physical condition of animals and manage veterinary field hospitals. Those interested in a career in this field can enroll in a certificate or veterinary technology associate's degree program. Online courses and programs are available.
One to two week-long certificate training programs are typically offered by university veterinary medicine, biomedicine and agricultural science departments and are geared towards public safety, physical therapy and veterinary medicine professionals wanting to continue their education. Direct experience is gained through rescue techniques, practice with real animals and relevant equipment.
Over a 2-year span, associate's students learn about veterinary health management and nursing principles, animal diseases and pathology, diagnostics, microbiology, sterilization and oncology. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma.
Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Training Certificate
Certificate students learn about a variety of medical approaches for injury treatment, including holistic methods. Curriculum covers large animal handling and restraints, tranquilizers, animal anatomy, farm incident management and disaster response. Other common program topics include:
- Animal behavior and diseases
- Emergency euthanasia
- First aid
- Liability issues
Associate of Science in Veterinary Technology
Associate's curricula are designed to prepare students for eventual careers in laboratory settings, with classes that discuss:
- Anatomy and physiology
Graduates are qualified for a number of industry positions, including those in animal recovery and restoration. Some popular job titles are:
- Emergency medical technician
- Police officer
- Veterinarian or veterinary assistant
- Animal physical therapist
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for animal care/service workers (which includes animal control) and veterinary technologists and technicians is predicted to grow at rates of 11% and 19%, respectively, over 2014-2024. Animal control workers earned a mean salary of $35,330 and vet techs earned $33,280 as of May 2015.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
All states require registration, certification or licensure for veterinary technicians and technologists. Requirements vary, but many states employ the Veterinary Technician National Examination, administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards.
In summary, professionals working frequently or occasionally with animals can pursue a certificate in animal rescue and rehabilitation to assist them in their careers, while students interested in a career as a vet tech can pursue an associate's degree in veterinary technology. Veterinary techs are required to be registered and/or licensed.