Human at the Humane Society
Hair falling from her ponytail, Lindsey Depaola pushes it away as she glances up at me. After working the first four hours of her eight-hour shift, Lindsey can be found in the break room on her hour lunch break eagerly tearing the paper back from her Jimmy John’s Sandwich. As the aroma of lunchmeat fills the otherwise stark white room we begin to chat.
Delving into her childhood, I ask if she had any pets growing up, to which she replied, “Oh tons, dogs and rats.” She admits that her love for stray animals got her into quite a bit of trouble with her parents as a child when she would take in the “occasional cat that would come into the backyard.” As time went on, and she accumulated more and more strays, her parents suggested she volunteer for a local animal shelter. Although reluctant at first she says, “In high school I actually started volunteering and found out that I liked it” That in turn is what motivated her to apply for her current position as an adoption counselor at the Nevada Humane Society, which she says “is actually a really great fit”
Walking through the doors of the humane society, you instantly feel a hectic energy about the place. The sound of fast paced footsteps is almost muted by the nonstop meows and barks that emulate from kennels and cages. When asked about a typical day at the humane society as an adoption counselor Lindsey goes on to tell me “We open at eleven every single day. We have customers coming in for not only adoptions,” but because “we give out free pet food” Other daily responsibilities she attends to include taking care of the smaller animals, birds, and occasionally bottle feeding kittens.
While many people would glamorize a job where it appears you get to play with puppies and kittens all day, it has its draining moments as well. Lindsey admits that “having to deny people” is one of the hardest parts of her job but that if you know “its not the right fit” you just have to say no. The nonstop activity that happens inside the humane society is most rewarding to her when she finds a really good family and gets to see them walk out the door with “their new little life”
From reluctantly volunteering in high school, to now working at the humane society, Lindsey’s face lights up when talking about her future line of work. In a few years she hopes to go into law enforcement and work in the canine unit where she will use what she has learned from the humane society to understand her canine partner’s “behavior and training” and hopefully have a leg up on the competition.