Category: Compassion Fatigue in Animal Rescue

Dogs Who Fear Men: The Hidden Pains of Women in Rescue

Dogs Who Fear Men: The Hidden Pains of Women in Rescue
I heard a very sad story today, though it is not a unique one. You probably have heard about dogs that fear men. There can be many variations on the theme: Men in hats. Men with beards. Older men. Younger men. White men. Black men. Men in uniforms. Men with glasses. It isn’t that women... Read more »

Not for Staff Only: Compassion Fatigue in Animal Shelter Volunteers

Not for Staff Only: Compassion Fatigue in Animal Shelter Volunteers
“Compassion Fatigue is a state experienced by those helping people or animals in distress; it is an extreme state of tension and preoccupation with the suffering of those being helped to the degree that it can create a secondary traumatic stress for the helper.” ~Dr. Charles Figley, Tulane Traumatology Institute I’ve worked with hurting people for... Read more »

When Passion Comes First: Understanding Burnout, Compassion Fatigue in Animal Welfare

When Passion Comes First: Understanding Burnout, Compassion Fatigue in Animal Welfare
Compassion Fatigue. It is a topic showing up with increased frequency in animal rescue circles and with good reason. After a recent study revealed suicide rates for animal welfare workers to be among the highest in the country, tied with those of police and fire fighters, the mental health of those in this arena has been getting some... Read more »
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Compassion Need Not Fatigue You

Compassion Need Not Fatigue You
There is a difference between being tired, even to the point of exhaustion, and the world-weary state of compassion fatigue. Knowing the difference is one thing. Striking the balance between compassionate caring and trying to address the tidal wave of need that greets everyone who joins a cause, be it animal welfare, child welfare, addressing... Read more »

Shelter Life: On Carrying Names We Will Never Forget

I decided to become a shelter volunteer after coming out of a prolonged period of caregiving in my life which ended in the loss of five much-beloved people and pets in just ten months time. The slate of my life had been nearly wiped clean in the wake of all that death, and the impact of those... Read more »