In July the East Kootenay Branch of the BC SPCA brought aboard Christy King as their new manager. King had already planned to move to Cranbrook from her home in Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast as her boyfriend found work here a couple months before this position became available.
“I was looking for a way to come out and this position was posted and it was sort of a perfect way to move out here, so I’m glad the timing worked out,” King said.
King did three years of general study at the University of Victoria and then completed a veterinary assistant’s program through a private college, receiving her diploma. She worked part time at veterinary clinics both while she was completing her diploma program and while she was at the BC SPCA Sunshine Coast branch, where she worked for four years.
“I’ve always loved animals,” King, who currently owns three cats and a dog, SPCA alumni, said from the desk of her new office.
“And when I was in university I started taking a lot of environmental studies and looking into sort of how animals play into that and realized that’s sort of where my passion was. Every paper I would have I was tying animals in in some way and I was just longing for that sort of hands on work, so that’s why I did the veterinary assistant’s program.”
She said her biggest responsibility at the SPCA is to ensure that all animals at the branch and in their foster homes are well taken care of.
“As you can imagine, veterinary costs can be really expensive for us, so sort of prioritizing that sort of thing and fundraising is a big part of the job; getting out there and raising donations and holding events and that sort of thing is a big portion which I’m getting into. That’s the new part for me — I have a lot of experience with animal health and that sort of thing, so the fundraising aspect is a different role for me.”
As well as three full-time staff members and some casual employees, the East Kootenay branch also utilizes the help of volunteers. King said that they are working to revamp their volunteer program and are currently low on numbers, but the office sees a steady stream of people through it daily.
King has hit the ground running with her new position and is kept quite busy throughout the week. Their branch has a program that gives people vouchers to have their pets spayed and neutered and the day before this interview they had a line up out the door, with people looking to get their vouchers, keeping King’s staff busy throughout the afternoon.
They also currently have 35 kittens in foster care and are in serious need of formula for them. King said she wouldn’t be doing her job if she didn’t bring this up in the interview and recommended that readers who are keen to help out can pick up a formula called KMR for around $20 which will go a long way to helping the kittens.
While the job does come with some highs and lows, as all positions that involve working with animals do, King said she loves the job because it makes her feel as though she’s making a difference.
“Some days are hard and you’re cursing the world and [saying] ‘why is this happening?’ but you still go home and say to yourself ‘I did the best that I could,’ and you can think of the small situation where you’ve helped an animal.”