Monday, 30 May 2016

Meet the Manager!


Hello, I am Sue Dobbs, I still remember clearly the day 18 years ago when I retrieved the weekly news paper “The Recorder” from the bin after throwing it away because I had  an uncanny feeling that there was a job in it for me.  I initially dismissed the feeling as my children were both very young & I wasn’t actively seeking work but eventually decided to take a look.  Imagine my surprise when I saw the advert for Cats Protection Adoption Centre Manager.  As I read the advert my surprise changed to excitement, the job could have been tailor made for me, and I believed I had the right combination of animal care and management experience to make a success of the job.

My father had always had a passion for animals which he had passed to me; I grew up on small holding and helped care for a variety of small & large animals, birds of prey & reptiles.  After finishing school I started working for the family business managing our farm shop which sold animal feed, equipment etc.  I continued in college part time & attained an intermediate diploma in animal welfare.  I heard that my application was successful in March 1998, this was another memorable day. Sadly there had been a fire at the centre overnight due to an electric fault and one cat had passed away and anther had suffered smoke inhalation.  The HR team telephoned me to let me know that I had the position and could I please go the centre to see if I could offer any assistance, this was my initiation into a role which has seen happy & sad times, highs & lows, great strides made and set backs but most importantly of all helped rehome over 24,000 cats and kittens.

I find it hard to believe that I have been working for Cats Protection for almost 18 years; I think I am very fortunate to be able to say that I love my job today as much as I did then.  My role is very varied and no two days are the same.  My typical day would start with briefing the team on which areas they are working in, bringing them up to date with relevant information for the day & arranging for cats to be transported to the vets for routine operations such as dentals.  I would then walk around to check all the cats in the centre for any signs of illness and arrange for them to see the vet and move to isolation if necessary.  Responding to emails and phone call is next on the agenda, followed by dealing with correspondence and receiving any good delivered on the financial data base, signing off invoices and forwarding to accounts for payment.  I would then check for any empty pens in homing and arrange for ready to home cats to move up and book new cats to come in off our waiting list. 

Depending on the day of the week my next job would be to do the ordering, prepare / assist the vet with the vet run, rotas, dealing with staff AL requests, performance management, logging income on to spread sheets, banking, & general admin. As well my day to day routine duties I plan & organise open days at the centre, and other events such as the Catathon Guinness World record attempt, fire walk and glass walks.  I also work with the media to promote the work we through news articles, radio & TV interviews and have been involved with several work groups with National Cat Centre to help develop new concepts and ideas.  At this point I have to say that I have a great team and the success of the centre wouldn’t be possible without everyone’s hard work and commitment.

I consider it a privilege to be the manager of Bridgend Adoption Centre and on a personal level my love for my job as well as the support of family and friends helped me during the difficult time in 2011 when I was diagnosed with bowel cancer and gave me the focus and determination I needed to return to work very quickly. 

Purrs for now!