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What areas of animal behavior are best suited to someone with a physical disability?

I want to pursue a career as an animal behaviorist but I have a spinal condition that may prevent me from qualifying for veterinary school. I want to adapt as I do in all things. What would be a good area to move into.

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Nida’s Answer

Hello Chantay,

Have you had a chance to discuss your career aspirations with your Guidance Counselor? They can be an invaluable resource in helping you explore careers that align with your love for animals and don't involve physical requirements. The field of animal care is broad and always in need of passionate individuals like yourself.

A quick Google search can reveal a myriad of disciplines you could consider. From animal rehabilitation and psychology to cruelty investigation, pathology, conservation, wildlife biology, and zoology, the possibilities are endless.

Most of these paths will likely have a foundation in Science. So, start by exploring universities that offer diverse programs in these areas and understand their prerequisites. Remember to make the most of the resources at your school to guide you in this process.

Find what truly ignites your passion and pursue it. Wishing you all the best on this exciting journey.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice, Nida. Chantay
Thank you comment icon Hi Nida! Thank you for leaving this advice. Although this may not be the case for this student, many do not have access to a guidance counselor and use CareerVillage to close that gap. I would recommend giving advice from your own experiences rather than pointing to a different resource. Gurpreet Lally, Admin
Thank you comment icon thanks Gurpreet. I can understand and empathize that not all students have a Guidance Counselor. My advice from my experience is to utilize resources available to help whether it be a guidance counselor or other resource. Sometimes there is more support out there than one realizes. Relying soley on a Q&A forum can be limiting. Nida Lopez
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Jacob’s Answer

It's wonderful to hear about your passion for animal behavior and your determination to adapt to your physical condition. There are several areas within animal behavior that can be well-suited for individuals with physical disabilities. Here are some options to consider:

1. **Animal Training and Enrichment:** Working as an animal trainer or enrichment specialist allows you to focus on improving the lives of animals in captivity. You can create engaging environments and activities for animals in zoos, aquariums, or animal sanctuaries.

2. **Animal Welfare and Advocacy:** Advocating for the welfare of animals through research, policy development, or education is a meaningful path. You can work with organizations that promote animal rights and conservation efforts.

3. **Animal Behavior Consultation:** Offer behavior consultation services to pet owners dealing with behavioral issues in their animals. This can be done in a one-on-one setting and often doesn't require extensive physical activity.

4. **Research and Education:** Pursue a career in research or teaching. You can contribute to our understanding of animal behavior through academic roles, writing, and public speaking.

5. **Therapy Animals:** Consider working with therapy animals to provide emotional support and therapy to people in need. This might involve less physical strain and more interaction with animals and people.

6. **Assistive Technology and Accessibility Advocacy:** If you have an interest in technology, you could explore how assistive technology can be developed or adapted to help individuals with physical disabilities interact with and care for animals more effectively.

Remember that your unique perspective and determination can be valuable assets in any of these areas. It's essential to research and network within your chosen field to find the best fit for your skills and interests. Pursue your passion, adapt as needed, and make a positive impact in the world of animal behavior.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for giving me advice. Chantay
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Alice’s Answer

There are still lots of ways to work with animals other than being a veterinarian. If you are interested in animal behavior you can look into taking animal behavior courses and psychology courses. This can take into being an animal trainer or doing a research project with animal behavior. You could also work with teaching other about animal behavior. Hope this helps!
Thank you comment icon Alice, thank you! Chantay
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Chantay,

The role of a trainer who trains trainers is an exciting one! Imagine yourself imparting knowledge on animal psychology and behavior to eager learners in a college setting. For this, you'll need a Bachelor of Education or a Diploma, similar to the educational requirements for studying animal behavior psychology. Don't be disheartened if you can't pursue a career as a veterinarian due to certain disabilities. I did a quick Google search and found out that this is often the case. But remember, there are many paths to success and your passion for animals can be fulfilled in so many other ways!

All the best in your journey,
James.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Chantay
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