Animal Cruelty Investigator
As Senior Director of Field Investigations and Response for the ASPCA, Tim Rickey is kind of like a superhero for animals. When animals are in trouble, the ASPCA sends Tim and his team to rescue them from danger and help make sure justice is served. ASPCA Kids talked to Tim to find out what it’s like to be an animal cruelty investigator.
What do you do every day in your job?
I have the greatest job ever! Our team rescues animals from abusive and disaster situations.
How did you get your job, and what kind of training did you need? What did you do before you joined the ASPCA?
I started working for the ASPCA in January 2010. Before that I ran the Missouri Animal Cruelty Task Force. I trained at the National Animal Cruelty Investigations School at the University of Missouri as an animal cruelty and equine cruelty investigator.
How did you get involved in helping animals?
I have always been very passionate about animals, and I started working at a Humane Society when I was 16. I went on to an 11-year career in animal control, where I became very involved in cruelty investigations.
What's the best part of your job?
The best part of this job is knowing that every day we are able to help animals. It is very rewarding to know that when my team arrives to a property where animals have been abused, the animals will be safe.
What's one of the hardest parts of your job?
It can be very sad to see animals being abused.
What achievement in your job are you most proud of?
In 2009 I worked with the FBI, USDA and Missouri Highway Patrol on a dog fighting case. We were able to rescue 500 dogs and save thousands more from ever having to participate in this barbaric form of animal cruelty.
Do you have any pets of your own? What are their names?
I have four dogs—Tank, Cowboy, Hopper and Tuff—two cats—Tommy and Yoda—and three horses—Dixie, Bucky and Gypsy. They are all wonderful companions and were all rescued from abusive homes.
Do you have any advice for kids who want to follow in your footsteps? What can kids do now to help animals?
Always take care of your pets. If you see an animal being abused, report it to the police or your local animal shelter.