Growing up Everlyn Omollo wanted to be a veterinarian because she loved animals and wanted to take care of them.
Years late,r although she never pursued her dream job for lack of school fees, Omollo is still living her dream, she is the only female dog handler at SGA security company in Nairobi.
The mother of two has been in this field dominated by males for over 15 years and at the age of 45 she is not thinking of quitting her job anytime soon.
After starting at home for six years, she decided to look for employment as a security guard.
She worked as a guard for two years but her love for animals pulled her to the dog section.
“I joined the dog section because of my interest in dealing with the dogs. It’s here that I was trained by my male colleagues on how to handle the dogs,” Omollo says.
She started with handling puppies and after five years moved to dogs.
Her typical day starts at 7 am when she checks if the standby dogs are all present and in good health.
“I will then check on the dogs that are sick. I need to document their status so that we know if we should call in a vet and just continue to monitor them,” she adds.
Omollo and her team then clean the Kennels as they wait for dogs on the night shifts to arrive.
“When the dogs are brought back from the night assignment, I need to be at the entrance to check if all are ok. If there is any dog that has developed health issues over-night it will be easier for me to see,” adds Omollo.
Although the journey has been fun, challenges have also been a part of it.
She says time is of the essence in her job and every minute counts.
“My job involves time, and in a security firm time is important, you have to wake up early, mostly you work around the clock. So, most of the time you don’t even have free time with family, you cannot travel upcountry because your off days are few,” she adds.
Omollo says she has tried to train other women to join her in the field of handling dogs but it has proven diffucult.
“Many have tried to join but along the way, they lose interest in the job and walk away,” she observes.
In the time she has been handling the dogs, Omollo says she has never been attacked by the animals.
However, it has happened to some of the colleagues and according to Omollo how you react to the incident is what matters most.