Dogs Trust

Angela celebrates milestone anniversary!

Angela at Dogs Trust Shoreham celebrates 20 years alongside a Collie.

Angela Barnett, aged 67, shows two decades of doggy-devotion after reaching her 20th year working with Dogs Trust Shoreham.

Angela had wanted to work with animals for all her life, and finally achieved her goal in her forties. She first volunteered as a Volunteer Canine Assistant, before applying for a Canine Carer role. Since then, she has taken on the role of Receptionist/Re-homer.

As a salute to her service, the staff at our Centre have named a dog ‘China’ – the recognised emblem for passing an anniversary of twenty years. It appears that China’s naming was steeped in good luck, as it wasn’t long before she was sought after by her Special Someone! Due to go home next week, Angela and all the staff at the centre have everything crossed for the adorable Collie (Angela’s favourite breed).

Angela says that one of the things she loves the most about her job is finding a home for long-term residents. Read on to find out all about Angela’s experience and get an insight into what 20 years of working at Dogs Trust is like…

What were you doing before you started working at Dogs Trust?

“I left school at 15 and then worked mostly in retail. I had many jobs – I worked in a shoe shop, clothing store, and even worked in the police force for a short period. For a while I was working as a Claim’s Assistant for Bupa. Once Bupa closed their store I was made redundant and so had the summer off. This is when I started volunteering as a dog walker at Dogs Trust. During my time as a volunteer I was offered a job in kennels, so have been working there ever since!”

Have you always wanted to work with animals?

“Yes, actually I did. Ever since I left school I had been trying to get a job working with animals, but the opportunity never came about. But I finally achieved my dream when in my 40’s!”

What was your role when you first started at Dogs Trust Shoreham?

“In my first five years I was a Canine Carer, and during the first year I also took on a secondary role as a Re-Homer. As the years went by I predominantly worked as a ‘Re-homer’ and only occasionally worked in kennels.”

Talk us through your journey…

“Around 15 years ago, the centre had a big re-build, at which point I left and re-homed one of our ‘difficult’ Collie’s who I had known for a few years (and loved).  I also did some child-minding work but was asked to come back once the re-build was finished, so came back part-time in Reception and got back into Rehoming.”

Have there been any significant changes to the centre throughout your time?

“The re-build was a big change, the public used to have access to all outside areas and see all the different blocks (whereas now it’s just rehoming block). We personally showed the public around the blocks to see the dogs when they were looking. It’s always been busy, but the number’s in staff have increased. We also have more varied roles now. I think having the extra staff and specific roles has helped the dogs a lot, as we can now do lots of one-to-one training with the dogs to help them become ready for the home environment.”

What has been the highlight in your 20 years?

“Doing a job that I absolutely loved above all my other jobs as working with animals was always my dream. Also, giving a home to Mank the Collie after he spent eight-years in kennels.”

Tell us more about Mank…

“Before my circumstances allowed for me to adopt Mank, I built up such a good bond with him while volunteering. I initially started walking him during volunteering hours but then continued taking him out and spending time with him during my lunch breaks and days off – I even had him visit my house. Eventually I was able to take him home and it made me feel great to have given him a loving home for the last 6 years of his life.”

What do you love most about your job?

“The dogs! As I have always loved ALL animals since I was a little girl. But also, it’s the satisfaction of finding a home for long-term residents.”

Which part of the job do you find the most challenging?

“Trying to rehome some of our long-term residents is also a challenge… but it does make it feel all the more rewarding.”

Where do you see yourself in five years (career wise)?

“Hopefully retired with a couple of Border Collies!”

Angela has undoubtedly shown great dedication throughout her many years working at Dogs Trust Shoreham, and we can’t thank her enough for all that she has done!