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Uploaded:2016-05-27
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Jessi answers the question, "How do I do what you do?" and shares 4 essential things that are needed to do what she does.

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Hi guys, I'm Jessi and we're here at Animal Wonders.

Every time I get and e-mail from an animal enthusiast asking: "How do I do what you do?" I'm overwhelmed by excitement about their future. But I also feel this weight of responsibility to provide them with the reality of what it means to take care of exotic animals.

So I'd like to talk about a few of the realities of doing what I do. (Intro Music). First of, yes, it's a total perk to get to hang out with amazing animals. From this adorable little cutie, to this ridiculously cool gal!

I mean seriously Gaia, you're awesome! But with this awesome perk comes major responsibility. It falls on you to provide a happy and healthy life to whatever animal comes under your care.

And to do this correctly, you need four things:. Education, permits and licensing, funding and vet care. If you rescue animals that you've never worked with before, there's a chance that your good intentions will end badly.

I recommend taking courses at a college or a university. Or better yet, get a degree in zoology, biology, animal care and management, or other animal related field. And gain some hands-on experience working at other animal facilities to hone your skills and learn even more.

These are important, not just for the knowledge and experiences but you will make invaluable connections with your classmates and co-workers so that you can pull your resources as you all advance in the field. I drawn on each of my experiences for the betterment of all of the animals in my care and I can't stress enough how important education is. Number two: permits and licences.

If you're interested in rescuing animals that are not normally kept as pets and you live in the United States, you're most likely going to need a state and/or federal permit to house them. Every states and country are different in their policies so make sure that you know what's required before you start down the path of exotic animal rescue. Number three: funding.

This is a big one. You can have all the time and desire to dedicate you life to animals but if you don't have the funding to buy them nutritious food, build them enclosures and provide for their every need, it's going to end badly. Some animals will live just five or ten years but some animals will live sixty or more, so you'll need a sustainable way to fund your organization.

In my experience, funding is the hardest part of managing your own rescue. So I'd like to share the ways that we've worked out how to fund the care of our animals in hopes that this will help you navigate this aspect as well. We decided the best way to raise sustainable funds was to offer educational presentations to the public, bring them into schools or educational birthday parties for a fee.

We then use the fee to care for the animals. Along with presentations, we're also a 501c3 charitable organization or non-profit so all donations to Animal Wonders are tax deductible. We host an annual fund-raiser, Bowling For Animals, for the local community and we sell merchandise at our presentations and our website.

One of our most popular places for our supporters online is our Patreon page. We're also signed up for Amazon Smile and we have an Amazon Wishlist. Links are below.

I'm sharing all of our fund raising stuff with you because I think it's something that most people don't realize goes hand in hand with caring for animals. I want so badly to give the animals in our care the best life possible. Sometimes, Animals Wonders is their last chance for a happy and healthy home.

The reality is that if there wasn't a good place for these animals to go, some of them would end up being euthanized or released into a foreign environment where they would suffer and die or be passed from house to house, receiving abuse and neglect. I'm really proud of how far we've come since we began our journey in 2007 and I'm so exited to see what the future holds. Improving and expanding the animal enclosures is our top priority right now and I love it.

But let's not forget our last super important thing. Number four: vet care. Vet care is as important as good nutrition, proper enclosure and substrate, knowledge about the animal and sustainable funding.

In fact, all of these things are rolled together in vet care. Every animal you take in will need vet care at some point in their life and it's expensive. So before you decide to open your own animal rescue, remember these four essential things.

It's a lot to take on but if you're passionate about it, it's so worth it. Thanks for watching and if you'd like to go on an adventure with us every week, subscribe to our YouTube channel AnimalWonders Montana. If you have any for me, leave them in the comments below and we'll see you next week.

This is Yucca and she's a eight year-old female and she's been in our care for pretty much her entire life. Bridget, what's the biggest difference that you see between these two? Titus' shell is a lot more bumpy.