Edward James (Ed) Powers III
March 15, 1962 – October 28, 2016
Ed’s kind, gentle and deliberate leadership leaves a legacy of compassion in the animal welfare community. CATalyst Council recognizes his service on our board and his commitment to animal health and welfare with this 2008 interview of Ed by his daughter, Kristen Powers:
The animal cops on TV are heroes to animals — but so are vets, humane educators, volunteer coordinators and others who work in animal welfare. So how do you break into the field?
I interviewed Ed Powers, Petfinder’s vp of strategic planning (and my dad), to find out. He’s been working in animal welfare for 26 years, and has been an animal caregiver, animal cruelty officer, director of humane education and director of operations for the Animal Rescue League of Boston.
This is his advice:
Ed says anyone can begin by volunteering at their local animal shelter or veterinary clinic. “Start out by getting some good hands-on experience with animals,” he says. (You can even sign up in Petfinder’s volunteer database.)
2. Do your homework
While you’re doing this, do some research online, at the library or at your local animal shelter. This way you can get a good feel for what you are doing. Research types of jobs, what they do and what it takes to get there.
Once you feel like you’ve got an idea of what you want to do, make a plan for how you’re going to achieve that. If you’re changing career paths, it helps to know what the career requires and start from there.
4. Take classes
If you want to work in a job that’s more specialized, such as veterinary technician, formal schooling helps. If you’re still in school, take science-based classes like biology. Pursue colleges with good science programs and then begin looking for vet schools or internships, depending on your career path. This can take a lot of work, but if you’re passionate, it will all work out.
5. Don’t forget the people
I asked my dad how he would sum up the requirements for working in animal welfare. He said, “You should have a real interest in or passion for animals, but you also need strong people skills. Helping animals almost always means working with or helping people.”
I’ve grown up being surrounded by animal lovers and shelter people and I know that it is a great way to do your part in the world. Working in animal welfare can be very satisfying, especially when you look into the eyes of an animal that you helped save.
Milestones in Ed’s life may be found here.
Please help celebrate the amazing life lived by this amazing man. Memorial donations be made to the Petfinder Foundation, Paws4Ever Animal Sanctuary, or your local food pantry.