Whether student, intern or volunteer there are a few basic tidbits of info that you will all need to know. Here is a little about the day to day and what to expect around here.
LICENSING: Cat Tales, Inc. is licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), under the ANIMAL Welfare Act, as a Class C exhibitor (All zoos are given that classification.) Cat Tales Wildlife Center is also licensed by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife as a rehabilitation center for native species. Cat Tales Wildlife Academy is licensed by the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board of Washington State. CATTALES is a non-profit 501c3 corporation and a Washington State charitable corporation.
FACILITIES: Cat Tales Wildlife Center is open to the public four to six days a week, 52 weeks a year. Our Administrative office is located in our main building on site, a.k.a. Base, which also houses Food Prep, Chart Room with student/staff break room amenities (fridge/freezer, microwave, hot/cold water dispenser, coffee maker, toaster oven), and Gift Shop Nature Center. **Our office workspace may vary in arrangement as we find the configuration that best suits our current and future needs. Parking is available on site. Bus route does not currently go as far as Cat Tales. **Due to COVID-19 we have evolved and adapted changes to our normal daily operations to ensure safety for animals and guests without compromising guest experience. Adherence to our Covid policies, especially when on site, is necessary for the health and safety of the animals, staff and guests.
1.) Uniform / What to Wear: We will provide staff shirt(s) for you with the request that you clean them regularly so that you look your best when you are here, representing Cat Tales. Pants should be khaki or similar hued (aka – zookeeper uniform colors) and comfortable enough for all day wear for the tasks you will be doing. Short are permitted when your work does not involve direct animal care or proximity, and must be tasteful in length, similar color/style as traditional zookeeper uniform is preferred. Shoes should be close toed, and comfortable enough for all day wear with plenty of walking, standing and working, including water exposure. Coats/jackets should avoid solid black in color as it is harder for the animals to perceive black and the result could be you looking like a floating head and hands. Avoid fur or faux fur trimming on shoes or clothing.
2.) Lunch/Breaks: Please bring your lunch/snack and know you will have access to fridge, microwave, hot water and toaster oven to prepare your food if needed. Given the day’s schedule and where you will be working you may be advised to bring your food with you to eat as time permits in your designated location/task. Often our days get quite busy and it is YOUR responsibility to check with your KIC about taking a lunch break if they haven’t already made that time available. “Lunchtime” may vary from one day to the next depending on tasks, staffing, weather and more. We suggest protein packed foods to help power you through the day, and HYDRATE by drinking water regularly. Water cooler is provided for you to refill your reusable water bottles throughout the day.
3.) First Aid / Illness: We provide sunscreen, aspirin, band aids and standard other first aid kit items for your use as needed during the day. Please notify your KIC if you have an injury, are experiencing issues such as heat related light headed, or other health concern that we should be aware of as it relates to your day at Cat Tales. If you feel sick please notify your KIC before your next working day ASAP and keep them updated. We hate to be short staffed but we hate sharing sickness more, so please stay home if you are truly ill. We do not provide Workers Comp or other on the job injury coverage. You are responsible for your own insurance coverage for injuries or illness.
4.) There are a number of variables that may affect our day to day operations schedule, which may delay our response time to text, phone or email. Our crew of students, interns and volunteers need to be self-starters and able to continue productive work as tasked when we are unavailable or delayed in meeting you. You will be cross trained to assist with Ticket booth and Gift Shop operations, grounds light duty maintenance and guest relations/Tour Guide, Food Prep tasks, and more. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. There are never dumb questions and we prefer you ask than guess or sit around doing nothing not knowing what to do. When interacting with guests, if you don’t know the answer DON’T MAKE IT UP! It’s ok to not know, and you can direct the guests to someone that may be able to answer, or you can contact us for the answer, but don’t fake it and make it up. Much of what guests see and hear will find it’s way to Social Media and online reviews. Professionalism and accurate information are important.
5.) Depending on your role you may have limited interaction with our animal care staff, who have their own tasks and duties to attend to each day and need to be allowed to focus on such for the safety of the humans and the animals at the facility. If you need assistance or have questions please direct them to management or the KIC that day. (KIC – Head Keeper in Charge for a particular day or days of the week.)
6.) Your work will depend on what your role here is. Students will be presented with tasks related both to animal care and to guests services, while many volunteers will have tasks focused on guest services more than animal related, both with supervision and direction from KIC and upper management.
7.) Attitude & maturity matter! We want someone who is happy to be here, willing to follow our protocols and procedures in a manner consistent with our mission statement, and who truly cares about what we do. We also want someone who is honest and we can trust to follow rules, given the work environment ranges from carnivores to cash registers.
Time Commitment will vary depending on your role – student, intern, or volunteer.
This Experience Is Ideal for Someone Who Is:
• Dependable — more reliable than spontaneous
• Philanthropic – eager to learn the additional ins and outs of the world of nonprofits
• Adaptable/flexible — enjoys doing work that requires frequent shifts in direction
• Detail-oriented – able to focus on the details of work, and how they affect the bigger picture
Welcome, and please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions, concerns, ideas and feedback.