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Spotlight on: Timothy Walker, Animal Caretaker Training Graduate

Growing up in foster care in Rhode Island, Timothy Walker says he always observed the loving, compassionate relationship between people and their pets, and wondered if he would ever be able to share such a bond with an animal. As a student in Crossroads’ Animal Caretaker Training course, not only did Timothy get to experience this bond for himself, he also gained valuable skills and knowledge to help him find a career caring for animals.

Timothy came to Crossroads when despite all his best efforts, he was faced with multiple personal and professional setbacks and was unable to make ends meet. “I knew nothing of Crossroads until I had an unfortunate situation,” he said. “It’s not easy to have to keep starting over.”

In order to help him start over one last, successful time, Crossroads was able to offer Timothy a room in our Housing Tower. When he learned about the Animal Caretaker Training program, he was anxious to enroll and begin learning new job skills in an area that interested him.

During his training, Timothy worked as an intern at the Exeter Animal Shelter, where he practiced what he learned at Crossroads, developed an even greater love for animals, and learned that they had something to offer him, too.

“It made me feel good to know that someone was looking forward to seeing me,” he said. “Whenever I left, I couldn’t wait to come back the next day. I got learning experience, and at the same time it gave me a boost to my self-esteem.”

By the end of his internship, Timothy knew the animals in the shelter by name, and how to work with each of their unique temperaments. On a regular basis, he cared for terrified kittens, an older dog with eye problems and hearing loss, and animals with incurable diseases.

“It was quite challenging,” he said. “I had to remember to never get to the point of being aggressive and always be patient.”

Now that Timothy’s internship is over and he has successfully completed Crossroads’ Animal Caretaker Training, he plans to continue volunteering at the Exeter Animal Shelter while he searches for a job in the animal care field. 

He is still living at Crossroads, but with his training completed and his passion for animals kindled, Timothy is one large step closer to achieving his dream – having his own residence where he can entertain friends. He is also interested in writing an autobiography to share his experience.

“When I move on to bigger and better things, I want to leave behind that I appreciate what I was able to do here,” he said of his time at Crossroads. “I am determined to do something positive with my life.” We certainly think he is already having a positive impact on the community and those around him.

Crossroads is pleased to congratulate Timothy and the rest of the Animal Caretaker Training program students and graduates on their successes!

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