This week there was an event in the Tampa area involving a Boxer, her pups, and a two year old child that did not end well for all involved. I am not going to go into all the specific details because this event is not what I want to discuss. I follow many animal rescues, shelters and their caregivers. I see the many animals that need our help. To be clear, I do not directly work with a rescue or shelter although I have rescued two Boxers. I do not know what it is to do this first hand and I am in constant awe of the people who give all their free time to help these animals.
There are periods of time I try not to dwell on the links on Facebook, but in the one mentioned above the video started playing automatically and I watched and read the events that played out. Who knows why some things touch us more deeply than others but this one got me. And it made me think. Do we know when to step away for a bit so we can care for ourselves?
"Compassion Fatigue" is a real thing and it's not just about those who sacrifice and care for their fellow human beings. It also effects animal care givers.
“Compassion fatigue is an occupational hazard of our work with animals, whether you are an animal control officer or kennel attendant in a small town or an internationally recognized veterinarian. Our work requires that we compassionately and effectively respond to the constant demand to be helping to those who are suffering and in need.“ - Jessica Dolce
So I'm wondering. What do you do when you become overwhelmed? Do you unplug so you can take some time to care and reward yourself for all that you do? Because you should. Only when we are at our best can we give our best to others.
Read more about Compassion Fatigue here: The Fatal Epidemic of Animal Care Workers that No One is Talking About
Links You Need to See
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