AN animal lover tasked with tackling animal cruelty has pledged to give animals a voice and bring cruel pet owners to justice.
Kim Greaves has begun work as a fully-trained and qualified RSPCA inspector patrolling the county after receiving her City & Guilds qualification at a ceremony held at the animal welfare charity’s head office in West Sussex.
Inspector Greaves has worked for the charity for more than 30 years and was an animal welfare officer in South Yorkshire before embarking on the 12-month inspector training course.
She said she had taken on the challenge because “I wanted to give animals a voice, to educate people and, where necessary, bring the people who disregard the law and abuse animals to justice”.
She added: “It will be nice to receive the accolade for completing a case file in full, from start to finish, as in my previous role as an animal welfare officer this was an aspect of the job description I couldn’t do.
“Now, with the additional training I have received, I am looking forward to that.
“I have worked in various roles within the society for 33 years, and feel this role is the pinnacle for me.
“I just want to go out there and educate owners — especially with reptiles, as I do feel strongly that we need to do more in this field.”
Looking after animals is not just a day job — Inspector Greaves goes home at the end of a busy shift to a menagerie of her own including two dogs, five cats, two rabbits, six corn snakes, three royal pythons, a bearded dragon and two leopard geckos.
Looking back on the training course, which involved seven months in the classroom and tackling practical assessments alongside 15 peers, she said: “It was the hardest thing I have ever done.
“I didn't realise how much I cherish my home, friends, family and my pets - seven months away from home is a very long time! Having said that, you get the opportunity to do things you would never be able to do and the friendships you make along the way are extremely special.
“The trainers work really hard to make sure you have the support you need and are always only a phone call away.”
Twenty-five new recruits embark on the same training course in November after being chosen from more than 4,000 applicants.
The RSPCA has 287 full-time uniformed inspectors — each one covering, on average, an area of 172 square miles.