Tuesday, June 22, 2010

'Compassion fatigue'

With such a sad reality of homeless pets in Montreal, and nation wide, many people feel helpless. In this field of work we are faced with neglect, abuse, death, and defeat on a daily basis. There is just such an immense number of animals needing help, and not enough resources. Which leaves us knowing as many as we help.. there will always be many more un-helped. Especially when public icons like Maria Carrie tweets a picture of her new puppy 'da baby' born to her female Jack Russle 'Chacha' that she bred beacuse, as she said to Barbara Walters; "I want my dogs to have puppies, they're going to be cute" (See article here). It is people like this, that make me want to give up and spend the day in bed.. instead of waking up at 6am everyday to get a start of the long day ahead (that will probably end at 2am and then start all over).

People ask us, what can we do to help? The answer is simple; if everyone adopted instead of going to a breeder (any pure-bred you wish to purchase can be found in rescues/shelters) and sterilized their pets (instead of waiting for their 'kitten' to have a litter before realizing its time for the 'kitten' to be spayed).. this sad reality would be a thing of the past. Shelters would be empty, dare i say.. us rescuer could go on vacation, take time off (what ever that feels like)? The steps to solve this problem are there, we just need to spread the word and actively get our co-workers, neighbours, family members educated.

Conveniently, after reading the article about Mariah Carey breeding her dog to have cute puppies, and realizing as hard as i work and as little sleep as i get, this problem will never end. I then came across this article "Animal welfare workers cope with compassion fatigue".. dealing with such huge and hopeless issues on a daily basis is hard. Many of us quickly feel extremely overwhelmed with the reality, as it really is an overwhelming problem. This article probably relates to a lot of us who work in this field and feel the same way.

Take care,

1 comment:

  1. There are days when I wonder how people that run rescues and shelters manage every day. We are fostering a dog right now and it has been a huge challenge for us to mix the personalities of our other dogs with the new comer. There are days I wonder if we should be doing this and then I think of the options and see her sleeping like she is now and it does help me manage to get through the day.

    All I can say is you are doing a great job and thank you for doing it ;)