Do you want to know a secret? It was my childhood dream too.
|Me (with big sister) aged five - already passionate about animals!|
I staged campaigns and petitions through my school on all manner of animal related issues, including veal crates and battery eggs.
At six, I held a protest in office of my then headmistress, to convince her to make a wildlife conservation area in a wooded patch at the edge of our playing fields.
After much wrangling, she agreed. I didn’t do myself any favours with my schoolmates though. Most rather fancied the idea of a tennis court to be honest.
One summer I even lied about my age to volunteer at an RSPCA branch near Cardiff. (I am not proud of the fact I fibbed...well maybe a little).
I loved it - walking the animals, feeding and brushing them, even cleaning up dog poo. I would call my mum in tears most days begging to be able to bring home the dogs and cats I had been looking after.
Indeed I became so attached to one cat - who I named ‘Dribble Cat’ - that I still have a picture of her in a photo album. Mind you, this was about 17 years ago now, so I would guess Dribble Cat is enjoying fish pie in the sky by now.
But I didn’t start my career working for the RSPCA. Like many people I speak to, I just didn’t know how.
So I became a journalist instead. Which given my auspicious start as the editor of Kinky Mag - is hardly surprising really.
A decade later, I had done my post grad in news journalism, worked as a regional reporter, food critic, theatre and art reviewer and even a health and science reporter.
It was great – although stressful – and yet I had become a little disillusioned with my line of work.
I would occasionally hear people say how much they ‘loved’ their jobs. I liked mine, (a lot of the time anyway), but ‘love’ your job? Surely it wasn’t possible for normal people like me to love their jobs?
Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the travel and excitement that come with my job, but I felt I wanted something more...I wanted to do something that mattered. Something I really cared about.
That was when I saw the advert. Suddenly I realised I would combine journalism with animal welfare by working as a press officer for the RSPCA. I had never even thought of that. WOW.
I found out I had got the job on my 26th birthday and now, here I am four years later.
Its not all going to TV studios and hugging fluffy kittens and lovely bunnies though.
I have watched endless hours of horrible footage; heard harrowing stories from those on the ground; visited countless farms, animal centres, hospitals and branches; watched dozens of castrations and operations; seen the terrible affects of cruelty on vulnerable animal and humans through schemes like Pet Retreat...and yet...
...I can honestly say I do love my job (most days!) and I feel like I do something worthwhile.
I sometimes wonder how I have come so far from the 11 year-old girl sitting in her room writing impassioned articles about puppy farming...to the 30 year-old sitting in an office writing impassioned articles about puppy farms!
But of course, sometimes coming right back to where you started is a pretty amazing place to be.
To find out more about working or volunteering for the RSPCA, why not visit: http://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved