Travel to Australia

Coming from the Netherlands to help out with pets
by Kristine Schueltepz

I decided a while back that I would travel to Australia to do some backpacking, and I thought it would be best that I do some work while I was over there to make either some money or find a way to save myself some money. I found a great place in Brisbane that would give me free accommodation if I helped out with their animal business. This animal business was specifically set up to help autistic people find a pet, so it was a great job for me to and stay for free in Brisbane. I wasn't the only backpacker there, as there was also a backpacker from Germany who was doing exactly the same thing as I was doing.

The owner of the place one day had to go away for 2 months so it was up to me and the German backpacker to essentially run things. And it was a demanding job! Each morning we had to make sure we were up at 4.30am in order to get into the proper routine before the place opened. We would awake, go and feed all the animals which would probably take us around 90 minutes. There were lots of animals to feed. The place had dogs, cats, mice, rats, fish and even a few snakes which I think scared my friend the German backpacker! After we fed all the animals we would then have to do some cleaning of their pens. It would really depend on the day if we had to clean out some or all of the pens, as there were days when they wouldn't need any cleaning at all, and other days when they would need lots. After we cleaned them we had to make sure the shopfront was looking nice and clean. We then would set up everything for the customers and do our last checks, and then it was time to open.

It was a great rewarding job seeing all the people come in and their faces light up when they saw the animals. You would find so many different people with their autistic friends encouraging them to make a choice which usually was the hardest part. They wanted to take every single animal home, and sometimes I wish they would! During the day we would have to take it in turns to top up all the animals water and check their food. We would also have to check for any urgent cleaning which may be needed. It was always a case of having to work out a proper schedule so that we both got a fair slice at doing all the jobs. On the owners return, they were extremely pleased at the job we had done and said that they couldn't have hoped for better carers!

It's a great feeling doing some work on the other side of the world. If you ever get the opportunity then you should definitely give it a go, and find yourself working with animals if you love them. Getting the free accommodation was a bonus, and I'm sure you will find that too! Have a look around online to see what you can find and it's almost certain you will find something right up your alley!