Posted 2 February 2011
I’ve now returned to Harper Adams for my final year but I’ve brought so much with me including a new outlook and great respect for the people who work towards improved animal welfare each day.
A monthly special featuring a current student from Harper Adams.
Final year student, Paula Middleton, has found a new outlook on life thanks to her placement year with the RSPCA.
Paula, 21, is studying Animal Behaviour and Welfare at Harper Adams in Shropshire and has been working with rescue cats at a fostering centre. She is also an ambassador at the University College and a course representative.
She now hopes to use her experience to encourage other people to become involved with animal welfare and volunteering for the RSPCA.
Paula, from Bracebridge Heath, Lincoln, said: “When I first started working with the cats I had no idea what it would be like but soon found that caring for them and finding them new homes was very rewarding work.
“I met a lot of people during my placement – vets, animal collection officers, branch members, volunteers and all of the people who often donate and visit the animals.
“They’ve been fantastic in taking the time to talk to me, answer my questions and teach me about their side of the work.”
Paula was able to attend the RSPCA AGM and spent a few days at her local vets to understand the other side of working with the animals.
She added: “I’ve now returned to Harper Adams for my final year and have brought so much with me, including a new outlook and great respect for the people who work towards improved animal welfare each day. It’s not always easy work and can sometimes be upsetting, but it’s worth it.
“If volunteering with the RSPCA is something you would like to do, then I’d really recommend it. I’ve had a fantastic placement and have plenty of stories and experiences to share.
"I came to Harper because I fell in love with it on an open day and it just felt right for me. The course offers more hands on experience with farm and companion animals than other places do and the placement year was an exciting prospect that turned into something fantastic.
"The knowledge I have gained has already proved to be a great asset to me."