I work within the veterinary industry, and have done for the past six years. I love my job, the good days and the bad. To work in this industry, you have to be passionate about wanting to make a difference in each and every animal’s life. If you didn’t have that passion, you wouldn’t last a week.
We don’t do it for the money, our wages are nothing special. And we don’t do it for the recognition, because we rarely get any. We sit with your animals when they are critically unwell, we hold them, and clean them, and tell them they’re a good boy/girl while we try everything we can to get them through the night, to ease them of any pain.
And when there’s nothing else we can do, we hold them tighter, tell them the pain will be gone soon. We are a shoulder to lean on when it’s time to say goodbye, we shed a tear with you and help remind you of the wonderful memories you’ve made with each other. And then we have to push all that aside and move on to the next patient, because they need us now.
We finish our shifts dehydrated, because we’ve forgotten to drink water, hungry because we’ve missed our meal break, exhausted because we’ve spent 12 hours on our feet and numb from everything that’s happened. I’m hoping this letter opens the eyes of the public.
The amount of times we’ve been made to feel like we’re useless, we don’t care about anything but money, we don’t know what we’re talking about. We can get bitten and scratched by our patients; but none of that compares to the verbal barrage we receive from ill-informed clients.
If you could only see what’s happening behind our closed doors, see that we pour our heart and soul into this job. If you only knew that your angry words were enough to break us. That we go home, not thinking of all the good we’ve achieved, but focusing on the negative comments you’ve thrown at us. Crying to our partners or our own animals because we can’t defend ourselves to you. Maybe then you’d be more understanding when you have to wait to be seen, or when we haven’t been able to do a simple procedure on your healthy animal due to having five emergencies walk through the door, each of them critical.
We’re taught to be strong when faced with difficult clients, to ignore those harsh words. But when is the person pointing the finger held responsible for their actions?
Name withheld at request of writer
Ley’s feet nailed to floor
Sarah Henderson and Sussan Ley’s rapid turnaround from championing live export bans, with their impassioned informed opposition to animal cruelty to now toeing the party line reads as the toetag on the corpse of the Coalition’s future.
When Sussan was offered the smallest ministry carrot, warning bells were ringing that it might be at the cost of her political reputation. Sussan has courageously highlighted the problem of animal welfare and has all the runs on the board for what has become a national issue which is why it must be doubly galling that her feet were politically nailed to the floor when she had earned the chance to cross the chamber. If the Julius Caesar-style political assassination in Canberra or the political slaughter in Wagga failed to convince then this Faust-like episode on live exports is certain evidence that the canary is well and truly dead in the Liberal party mine shaft.