Mike Keiley, Noble Family Animal Care and Adoption Center Director, the MSPCA at Nevins Farm
October 1, 2011

1. What is your typical day at the shelter?  

Generally it starts with kennel work with the dogs cleaning, feeding and walking.  From there it usually consists of a staff meeting to discuss the animals and then off to do more kennel work before we open.  The rest of my day is a balance between keeping up on voicemails, emails, meetings with program heads, working with donors and helping at the front counter on busy days.  It is a lot of juggling of time to apply yourself to the most important things that need to be done that day and game planning for the future.  At the end of the day, I usually help finish up kennel work and closing the building down so everyone can get home.

2. How long have you been with the MSPCA?

15 years as a staff member and 6 months as a volunteer.                                                   

3. Do you need any special training or schooling to do what you do?

Ideally a degree would be helpful.  I would recommend a good background in both animal science and non-profit management.  I had the background in animal science and had to learn the business side of it on my own, so I think either a business degree or a degree in non-profit management would be crucial.

4. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A veterinarian.

5. What is the best part about your job?

I still absolutely always love doing dog adoptions.  Even though it is not the main focus of my job, I do stay active in dog adoptions for my own mental health.  When things are tough, nothing makes you feel more rewarded than helping to complete a family by adding a dog to a home.

6. What is your least favorite part about your job? 

Obviously, euthanasia is the hardest, and more specifically making the decision for euthanasia.  It is so emotional and a hard thing to do, but knowing that you are making those decisions with a caring and loving staff with the ultimate goal of ending suffering due to major overpopulation helps you stay grounded as to why you are making those decisions.

7. Do you have any pets at home?  

Yes!  Four cats all from the shelter!

8. What is your favorite animal, if you had to choose just one? 

Sea Turtles I think they are incredibly interesting where they have existed since the time of dinosaurs and have managed to evolve throughout time to adapt to the modern world.  I also feel for their current plight and many species are being pushed towards extinction by the actions of man.  I would hate to see this ancient species end because of our actions.  So, be good to your turtles!

9. What advice do you give to kids wanting a career in animal shelter work?

Volunteer first and get a sense of what working in a shelter is like.  Make sure you like working with people as much as you like working with animals because most of this job is working with people to affect change for animals, and if you do not work on your customer service and people skills, you will not be as effective as you could be for animals.

10. If all the animals found homes, what different career path might you take?

I would work in the conservation field, specifically with marine animals like sea turtles, whales, etc.  I have always enjoyed working with marine animals.

11. What’s your favorite book?

Lord of the Rings Trilogy

12. Red Sox or Yankees?

Do I even need to answer this one?  Sox of course!