Turning a Love of Animals into a Dream Job - Penn-Mar

Turning a Love of Animals into a Dream Job

Posted on July 12, 2018

Danielle Stultz has landed a dream job. The old adage “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” happily applies to the 24-year-old Hampstead, Maryland native, whose deep, abiding love of animals led her to a position at Reistertown Pet Resort and Spa (RPRS) in northern Baltimore County, this past April.

Danielle came to Penn-Mar’s Day Program specifically for employment training. She enrolled in the nonprofit’s Community Employment (CE) program, and then transferred to Penn-Mar’s Community Learning Services in order to garner valuable, inclusive community experiences that included volunteering with Our Daily Bread in Baltimore and Meals on Wheels, visiting local farms and animal sanctuaries, gardening, as well as educational and recreational activities.

It was through Penn-Mar’s CE program’s Exploration and Discovery process that Danielle’s love of animals prompted the CE team to seek out potential customized employment opportunities in the animal care industry. A cold call to the award-winning, three-generation-owned Reistertown Pet Resort and Spa’s Human Resource office opened the door to a job in which Danielle is surrounded by lovable pooches and a staff that has taken a shine to her.

“Danielle loves her job and is a very fast learner. She always has a huge smile on her face when I visit,” said Lila Barchey, Penn-Mar Employment Support Coordinator, who stops in twice a month for job support, but is looking to phase it to once a month, since Danielle is mastering her role and working so independently. “My visits with Danielle tend to be very short. She is busy and just wants to get back to her dogs.”

For 20 hours a week, Monday through Friday, Danielle helps with the dogs that are boarded or in daycare. She walks them regularly, takes them out for playtime and shows them a lot of love. The staff, said Lila, get along with her so well and have said that she fits their family perfectly.

“Things have been great with Danielle,” said Amanda Wiland, RPRS’s Kennel Manager. “She is a pleasant addition to our staff, and I’ve been very pleased with the support that she has here from Penn-Mar.”

Summers and holidays are RPRS’s busiest times, when kids are out of school. With her ultimate dream job of becoming a veterinarian technician, staying busy on the job and at home, with three cats, one dog, two ferrets and a rabbit, suits Danielle, who has always had pets, just fine.

Summing up her experience at RPRS in the few short months she’s been there so far, Danielle said: “It’s been just great. I’m learning as I’m going.”

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