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How do you deal with your anger?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
This past Saturday I had my first experience with a bad pet owner at the shelter I volenteer at. This guy & his son brought in two cats & when our director asked them "what have we here?" he said "These two want to come visit you permenantly." Well we have like a 2 page waiting list because we are always full, but when the director took one look at them she knew they were at least neglected if not abused. They were both covered in flea bite dermititis, So we took them in. When he was filling out the surrender form we found out that both of the cats (females) had never been fixed because as he "doesn't believe in butchering up cats." Of coarse the director put her 2 cents in quick that it actually prolongs their life. Also one of the two is 13 years old. His reason for bringing in the cats is "moving" (I have to say one of my least favorite reasons). The good thing is that both cats Feline Lukema tests came back negative. Then they got a flea bath & nail trim, needless to say by the end of the day the older one was very stressed out. My director also seem to think there wa a possiblity the 13 year old may be pregnant. Since I'm very new to this whole experience I was just beside myself. I guess I'm wondering how do you deal with your anger at people like him? I'm sure this will not be the last time I see something like this and of coarse this only makes me even more determined to volenteer there, knowing how much those kitties need me, but what do I do to take care of my emotions? because if there is one thing I know it's that unless I take care of myself I'm no good to anyone else. Any suggestions would be great.
post #2 of 9
When you work within any sort of capacity of rescue, you have to learn to shut-down sometimes. It doesn't mean you stop caring, it simply means that for self-preservation, you learn to make a difference in the animal's life once it comes into your care, and help to try and cancel out the negative aspects the animal may have lived through.

Two years ago at Halloween, I got a call from the sherrif's department about an abused black cat. He was not expected to survive his injuries. I will not even go into what some sick sum of a twitch did to this poor cat. While Spook was with us, I tended him, loved him pampered him and coddled him. He died in my arms, but he died knowing love. He was only 2 years old.

If you let your anger guide you, it will eventually consume you. Anger and hatred are bitter pills to carry around and they eventually make you cynical and your soul dark. You look to better the situation, you campaign to change the laws making stiffer sentences for animal abusers, you write letters, you can even keep a journal with pictures- as pictures say more then words can. But you try not to let the anger get the best of you, because if it does, you lose the best part of yourself, you lose the part that cares.
post #3 of 9
Wow Hissy what great advice. You really put it in a way that spoke to me. Thank-you for your answer to this post it really was a wake up to me. You are so right.
post #4 of 9

You definitely need to switch off your emotions. This is one of the hardest things to do. I've gotten angry at so many people who mistreat their animals. And I've had to learnt he hard way that some people are beyond hope.

Focus your energy in making a difference to the lives of the animals who come to the shelter. Anger will only be wasted energy.

post #5 of 9
I agree. You will lose your effectiveness if you are "eaten up" with emotions. This was a horrible way to treat these animals, and that makes your heart break and would make anyone angry. My sympathy is with you, but you are too valuable for the shelter to lose because you get burned out.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. I think it was really hard because it was the first time I had actually come face to face with someone like this. I've heard some of the terrible stories of the kitties in our shelter, but never actually had to talk to the person who abused them. I am feeling better about the whole thing and glad that they are at our shelter (the only no-kill in Milwuakee).
post #7 of 9
I agree with what's been said. It's really really hard, but I find situations or comments that irritate me all the time, and the only way you can have any effect is to work it more into the conversation, rather than getting angry. Good luck and keep up the great work.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
I just wanted to send an update on the two cats that were brought in. I saw them again this weekend & they both look better. Their flea bite dermititis is gone, now there is just a little healing remaining. However, the vet has told us that they are both pregnant. However, the one the guy said was like 13 the vet thinks is more like 8. At any rate they both look much better & they seem to have settled in pretty well.
post #9 of 9
I'm so glad they're doing well. It's a shame they're pregnant, but kittens are easier to place than adults.
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