Kennel & Cattery Operator

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Kennel Hand /Animal Care Attendant

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Practical or MechanicalSkill Level 1Skill Level 2Skill Level 3

Boarding Kennel or Cattery Operators manage the operations of establishments which offer temporary boarding for dogs and cats. FutureGrowthModerateKennel managers are responsible for the daily operations of the kennel and care of the animals kept under their supervision. They must oversee the dogs (and sometime other animals) kept in their kennels to ensure that they are cared for properly.

ANZSCO ID: 149911

Alternative names: Boarding Kennel/Cattery Manager; Kennel/Cattery Supervisor;

Specialisations:

Knowledge, skills and attributes

To be successful in this role, you’ll generally need the following skills and qualities:

  • Compassion: Kennel managers must be kind and caring when dealing with animals and their owners.

  • Interpersonal skills: Kennel managers must interact with owners as they drop off and pick up their pets and maintain a positive relationship with kennel staff.

  • Physical stamina: People in this role may need to be on their feet for long hours at a time or may need to crawl, bend, and lift to work with the animals.

  • Trustworthiness: Kennel managers must demonstrate that they can be trusted to care for for other peoples' animals.

At work
(Source: Pet Guide)

Duties & Tasks

 

  • Coordinating and overseeing operations for kennels that house dogs (and sometimes other animals)

  • Hiring, training, and supervising other kennel workers

  • Creating work schedules

  • Developing and enforcing kennel policies and procedures

  • Scheduling boarding appointments

  • Ensuring cages, runs, and the overall facility is cleaned on a regular basis

  • Ensuring the animals are groomed, fed, exercised, and generally cared for

  • Monitoring the behaviour of boarded animals

  • Directs and oversees reservation.

  • Organises the feeding, bathing and grooming of animals at their facility.

  • Detects illnesses and injuries and arranges appropriate treatment.

  • Plans and supervises animal activities.

  • Assesses and reviews customer satisfaction.

  • Oversees accounting and purchasing activities.

  • Ensures compliance with appropriate legislation.

In boarding kennels that operate as a part of a veterinary clinic, the kennel manager may be responsible for helping handle animals for procedures performed by the vet during their stay. Some kennels also may offer dog training services while dogs are being boarded, so managers may be involved with performing or supervising training activities.

Working conditions

​Kennel managers can work in a variety of settings including boarding kennels, show dog breeding facilities, veterinary clinics, animal rescue facilities, and doggie daycares. A kennel manager may work for an established kennel or open their own facility.

As with any animal-related career, there is potential for injury while working with animals that have been brought into unfamiliar surroundings. Kennel workers must use caution when administering medication, feeding, and exercising boarded dogs to minimize the risk of bites or scratches.

Kennel managers may be required to work irregular hours that can include evenings and weekends. They must also be available when “on call” for emergencies that might arise after hours or on holidays, and fill in when employees call in sick or must miss work. The kennel manager has the ultimate responsibility for making sure all duties are completed each day.


Education and training/entrance requirements

​You can work as a Boarding Kennel or Cattery Operator without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. Some workers have a certificate III or IV. No degree or formal training is usually required to secure a position as a kennel manager. However, most successful applicants have a solid background working with animals professionally before they advance to the position of kennel manager.

Useful prior experience may include work as a veterinary technician, dog show handler, dog groomer, dog walker, or dog trainer. Taking a job as a kennel assistant and working up to a management role is also a frequent pathway to achieving a management position.



Did You Know?

In Australia, around 40% of households own a pet, including at least one dog and there are an estimated 3.75 million dogs in the country as a whole. Pet-care is valued at AUD 4.62 billion annually, over half of which is spent on dogs.

It seems that this is a ‘recession proof’ industry and animal lovers worldwide are taking on more pets – some reasons being that people are having children later and the proven benefit to stress levels and health an animal can bring.

And when owners go away, these growing numbers of furry friends need somewhere special to go.

The 'kennel' and the 'dog hotel'

Akuna Pet Resort
Akuna Pet Resorts
(Source: Australian Dog Lover)


There is now a marked distinction between a humble ‘kennel’ and its glitzier cousin, the ‘dog hotel’. Kennels traditionally have partially open pens, with partition walls and mesh doors and are fairly stark in decor.

As sensitivity has grown about the stress such noisy and exposed environments can cause the family pet, the ‘dog hotel’ has come into its own.

Offering single rooms with solid walls and catering to smaller number of animals, this ‘home from home’ can also provide a whole range of services to ensure the dogs’ stay is as comfortable as possible.

A resident of a ‘dog hotel’ or ‘boutique boarding kennel’ can expect anything from luxury grooming, outdoor agility areas, in-door gyms, in-house training, on-line pet-watch and chauffeur collection and delivery.

Even the most standard kennel is having to adopt some of these features to remain in competition.

(Source: Businesses for Sale)

Kennel Cattery Operator

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