Meet Kathi Bassett – Wayside’s longest consecutive employee! She has worked in every department, and is now transferring to become a veterinary assistant. She sat down with us and answered ten questions about shelter life, animal welfare, and her time helping thousands of animals find homes.

1. How long have you been at Wayside Waifs?

“It’s going to be nineteen years in October.”

2. What made you decide to work in animal welfare?

“I’ve always loved animals and happened to hear about Wayside from a friend.”

3. What has been your favorite department to work in, and why?

“My favorite department is admissions. We are helping animals, but we are also educating the public.”

4. Do you have animals personally, and if so, how many?

“I have several Waifs. Three dogs and three cats.”

5. How do you work in animal welfare and not get compassion fatigue?

“It’s important to take a break. Often time people feel overwhelmed and then guilty. It’s easy to let animal welfare consume you. Finding a healthy balance can be difficult, but important for longevity.”

6. How do you feel about euthanasia? 

“Euthanasia can be difficult for many people. I have learned that it can be very emotional and sometimes as a shelter worker, it makes you feel like you have failed in some way. Offering end of life compassion is a very important responsibility. It isn’t always something shelter workers like speak about, but I’m grateful to be apart of a team that makes every moment count.”

7. What made you choose shelter work instead of private practice?

“Shelter work was always my number one choice. Giving animals a new beginning is the most rewarding thing.”

8. What does your new position entail?

“Becoming a veterinary assistant will allow me to learn more about the medical side of the shelter. I never want to stop learning.”

9. What was the old shelter like?

“The old Wayside was very different. We are extremely lucky to have and to be able to offer the things we do. There once was a time that many things were very limited. Growth is always an amazing thing.”

10. Do you have any advice for people who want to pursue a career in animal welfare?

“My advice would be to remember that taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of the animals. Always have an open mind and heart. Through our love and determination, we are changing the world each day.”

Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication Kathi! We love having you on Team Wayside, and the animals benefit from your care so much.

Consider visiting us during our adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: Noon-8pm
  • Wednesday: Noon-8pm
  • Thursday: Noon-8pm
  • Friday: Noon-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-5pm
  • Sunday: 10am-5pm

Written by Teryn J.