Career Spotlight of the Month (June 2020)
Name: Bethany Muir, RVT
Current Job: Owner-operator of Pawdoption Guide, and RVT at Chicopee Hills Animal Hospital
Q & A with Bethany
OAVT: Where did you go to school and what made you decide to take a Veterinary Technology program?
Bethany: I am a 2012 graduate of Northern College in Haileybury, Ontario. Following high school, my career path was altered with the adoption of two sick rescue cats that repeatedly brought me into the vet clinic. Both cats were eventually diagnosed with FIP, one after the other, and this led me to volunteer at a cat hospital. My volunteer experience helped me realize my passion for animals. That’s when I knew I would not be applying to post-secondary schools for fashion design - I would be applying to colleges for their veterinary technology programs.
OAVT: You currently have two jobs. Tell us a bit about them.
Bethany: I am a Registered Veterinary Technician and also operate a small business called Pawdoption Guide. Pawdoption Guide is an adoption service where I connect families with the rescue pet of their dreams by locating, adopting and integrating their rescue pet. My 9 to 5 job is serving as an RVT at Chicopee Hills Animal Hospital, in Kitchener, Ontario.
OAVT: What is a typical day like for you?
Bethany: My day job, as an RVT at a small animal clinic, consists mainly of nutrition consults, lab work, client follow-ups and social media/website management. All the time spent on my small business happens after my toddler is in bed or on my days off. Depending on the day, this consists of video and phone consultations for people inquiring about my pet adoption services, searching rescue databases to find possible pet matches for my clients and following up with clients regarding adoption processes or post-adoption integration of their rescue pet.
OAVT: What made you decide to start Pawdoption Guide? What was your inspiration?
Bethany: I’ve always had the pleasure of having rescue pets in my life. After adopting three of my own and helping a few family members, I realized there is an art to searching for, applying for and integrating a rescue pet into your life. However, the home birth of my son revealed that I had more willpower and resolve than I knew, and that I could do anything I set my mind to. This newfound determination and a kick-in-the-pants from my friend, Maria, encouraged me to dream big and just go for it - what’s the worst that could happen?
OAVT: How does Pawdoption Guide work? Walk us through the process.
Bethany: When someone inquires about my services, I start by doing a complimentary phone or video consultation with them, to get an understanding of their wants and needs. This also helps me clarify how I can help them in the process of finding a rescue pet. Following this, they fill out a questionnaire which gives me a lot of specifics on what they do and do not want in a pet. Then I can start my search and send them “rescue pet matches” to review/apply for or give me feedback on.
I give my clients ample guidance on many things: filling out adoption applications, questions to ask during the foster/rescue interview, meet and greet checklist and tailored integration tips to ensure a smooth transition for their rescue pet.
Following pet adoption, clients are able to contact me via email or phone any time (two weeks, three months or six months depending on the package they’ve chosen) for pet advice.
OAVT: Do you feel like you’re making a difference? How do you feel when you’ve helped a family find the right pet?
Bethany: I have received a lot of praise from people in regards to my mission with Pawdoption Guide. I am always surprised by it! I honestly just want to see the right pets paired with the right families - this seems like a simple concept to me and it naturally has the effect of increasing successful pet adoptions, raising awareness about rescue pets and strengthening the human-animal bond. Selfishly, it feels great to find people the pet of their dreams, and I feel the same joy that I felt when I adopted my own rescue pets!
OAVT: What are your goals for Pawdoption Guide?
Bethany: Two big goals of mine are to get more first-time pet owners considering a rescue pet, and to finish creating an online course on ‘How to Raise Pet-Friendly Kids.’
In the long-term, I’d love to hire a team of RVTs to assist with pet adoptions/rescue pet integration across Ontario and to continue to build great resources for my clients including a database of training videos.
OAVT: Tell us about making the leap to running a business on your own. What advice can you give other RVTs who may have “an idea” and they just don’t know how to turn it into a reality?
Bethany: It most definitely was a leap! I never considered myself an entrepreneur and even now I have a hard time owning that title, however, if you have enough passion you can make something out of nothing! My business did not require much up-front investment which made the leap less scary, but it did require me to have A LOT of confidence in myself and my mission as I was doing something that had never been done before.
I highly recommend seeking out the company of like-minded people or those who are full of inspiration - it’s contagious! Also, make sure to get a blessing from your current employer. This will allow you to ensure there’s no conflict of interest and be guilt-free in the creation of your business.
OAVT: RVTs are passionate people, and every RVT has an area they are most passionate about. What is YOUR passion?
Bethany: Animal behaviour and cytology. Do not underestimate the power of books and how much can be self-taught with ample reading and practice!