When I'm not cleaning dog nose prints off my trifocals, I'm also working on a series of memoir essays and sharing photography and waxing philosophic over at Small Graces. Not in animal welfare, nor anywhere else. Empathy Burnout and Compassion Fatigue Among Animal Rescuers A valuable essay by Kasia Galazka is a must read because the work is never done . For animal care professionals, this constant stress and worry is known as compassion fatigue. I jumped in the deep end as a shelter volunteer a while back and now I'm a pet sitter with quite a cast of canine characters in my life on a daily basis. I just have to stop falling in love with the dogs. Jennifer Blough is a psychotherapist, certified compassion fatigue specialist, certified pet loss grief recovery specialist, and the owner of Deepwater Counseling in southeast Michigan. UF Health is a collaboration of the University of Florida Health Science Center, Shands hospitals and other health care entities. Unlike physicians for humans, or psychologists or counselors, people in the animal care field, specifically in shelters and rescues, can be caring for up to 500 animals a day in some cases. May notice your usual high productivity is now low, or you are frequently late to work, or accident prone. “This crisis is depleting,” she said. ", ~Dr. In other words, they may be required to euthanize the same animals for whom they have also been providing care and protection. And be sure to follow me on Facebook for lots of great additional info you won't get here. If you feel like you care so much that it hurts, you may be struggling with compassion fatigue. Their essential lack of power, as studies on internal vs. external locus of control would suggest, could mean that for some volunteers (particularly the seasoned folks who are privy to the inner workings of the shelter), the experience of stress may even be higher. This asynchronous course begins on September 28, 2020. “Those things don’t fix compassion fatigue.”. post comments, or And while that point of view does have validity, it risks suggesting that shelter life is either/or...you can either suck it up and deal or maybe you should leave. The ads on this site allow us to raise the necessary funds to continue helping cats in need. You may start abusing alcohol, food, drugs (or doing other destructive behavior) to suppress your feelings. One thing is certain. The national average suicide average for American workers is 1.5 per 1 million. This is the highest suicide rate among American workers; a rate shared only by firefighters and police officers. Absolutely not. Your email address will not be published. You may feel cynical, or numb, or hardened, like nothing phases you. Their inner dialogue often goes something like this: Well, it's a shelter. I mean, I guess I should have expected this. The following list describes some common symptoms: Jennifer Blough is a psychotherapist, certified compassion fatigue specialist, certified pet loss grief recovery specialist, and the owner of Deepwater Counseling in southeast Michigan. If you can't deal with the realities, maybe you shouldn't be here.". Crafted by the, All Pet Foods are Not Created Equal and That Includes Raw », A First-Time Dog Foster's Story of Love, Letting Go and the Questions In Between », Rescue Dog Discovers Couches, Promptly Loses Mind », Did You Know Dinner, Formula and Flavor are Pet Food Packaging Code Words? Veterinarians and animal shelter workers alike struggle with increased risk of emotional numbness, strained interpersonal relationships, anxiety, sleep disorders, and health problems. In animal welfare, we need each other. Appendix B - Compassion Satisfaction and Fatigue (CSF) Test (57 KB). Compassion Fatigue in the Animal-Care Community is a must-read for animal shelter employees, volunteers, and board members veterinarians, and veterinary practice and veterinary hospital staffs wildlife rehabilitators breed-rescue or equine-rescue volunteers. eBooks. In addition to counseling individuals and couples, she presents compassion fatigue workshops to local animal welfare organizations. Your email address will not be published. Chapter 5 - The Animal-Shelter Environment (54 KB), Download We asked Vanessa to explain compassion fatigue, the signs to watch out for plus tips for the management and prevention of compassion fatigue in your staff and volunteers. After all, when people are in trouble, so are their animals. Want To Know The Signs Of Compassion Fatigue? The healthier we are, the more able we are to do to ethical, good work for the long haul. Ya’ll made a hash of the election don’t ya know. In this ground-breaking book, two prominent leaders in the field examination the causes of compassion fatigue and offer help to those who suffer from it. Regardless of whether our roles carry an official status or are 'merely' voluntary, we all need the opportunity to cultivate our resilience, and we need permission to sit, supported, as we contemplate the actions of our fellow humans, for good or for ill, as we each find our way to answering the essential question of how much we can bear.