My Day As A Zookeeper

There are many things I love about my company (helloooo sabbatical!), but today exemplified one of the major ones. Each year my entire organization (hundreds of people across North and South America) take the day to do community service. We do community service throughout the year, but this is one day that everyone does it all at once. There were several options – this year I chose the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary. We had a couple different projects that we worked on while we were there – I chose to help out with cleaning some of the cages and enclosures.

Here are a few pictures from the day – all of these are animals that I was in the cages with! This is Gus, a horse whose mother was a horse in Canada that was bread for her urine – apparently the urine of a pregnant mare can be used in some menopause medication. She was constantly kept pregnant and the male foals were sent off to the glue factory. Gus was rescued. He’s a sweet guy who was very happy with his hay.

Gus The Horse
Gus The Horse

This is a Barbados Blackbelly Sheep… there were two in the pen and they were both a little shy, but eventually ate some hay I gave them.

Barbados Blackbelly Sheep
Barbados Blackbelly Sheep

We also helped clean out the wild pig enclosure, where we met Wilbur and Templeton. Seriously, how cute are those names? Great Charlotte’s Web reference, for those of you who didn’t pick up on it.¬†While in there, the pigs sort of kept to themselves, but we did get to see a bunch of peacocks!

Peacock
Peacock
Wilbur
Wilbur

Seriously, it was a really great day and I’m so glad we had the opportunity to go help!

Petapalooza

For those of you who don’t know, I’m involved with the Sacramento Metro Fire Community Emergency Response Team. It’s an amazing program that trains folks in disaster preparedness, but also does a ton of non-disaster related community service. It’s this program that inspired me to become an EMT and that I do a large amount of community service through.

Yesterday I volunteered at the 2013 Petapalooza. It was a really neat event – they had local K9 demonstrations (absolutely amazing dogs!), Splash Dogs competitions, animal adoptions, a petting zoo, live music, and tons of vendors. People could bring their pets out to the park – which originally sounded like a recipe for disaster to me. I was actually really surprised – we treated four people throughout the day for dog bites (some of them from their own pets), while there were hundreds of dogs there. All in all, it was a really fun event – it was neat to see all of the different types of dogs, large and small. There were dogs I had never even seen before!

The K9 demonstration was probably my favorite thing to see – they had several of the different law enforcement agencies there with different breeds of police dogs. They showed how they could clean five foot walls easily (the announcer said that some of the dogs could jump up to twelve feet!) and climb chain link fences (allegedy very difficult since the dog can see through it and would rather attempt to run through than go over). By far the coolest part of the demonstration was the bite suit – they had a couple guys bundled up and showed how quick these dogs can be, as well as how they hang on once they sink their teeth in! They can even “redirect” – basically if the officer has multiple bad guys, the dog will bite, then if given the command will release and go bite someone else.

It was a great day with a great team!