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Why is it? (Animal Rescue people)

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
For a person (me) who works in animal welfare and has for almost four years now. Everyday I see hear such horrible things and I am fine. I mean I won't say that things dont get me mad, or that I don't cry at certain times. I would be inhuman not to.

But when I just see an epidsode of Oprah about puppy mills: updated I am bawling my eyes out! I mean really upset. It is that I hold so much in at work? Or that when I am at work I somehow find the strength for the greater cause?

Anyone in the same boat?
post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Breal76 View Post
But when I just see an epidsode of Oprah about puppy mills: updated I am bawling my eyes out! I mean really upset. It is that I hold so much in at work? Or that when I am at work I somehow find the strength for the greater cause?
Yes, I think it is so. At work you must hold on, "be professional", otherwise you wouldnt copy at all with the work.

But looking at Oprah it is allowed to open yourself. To relief the feelings. To undergo what is sometimes called for CATHARSIS.
In plain english: to have the relieving, sound weeping... After it you feel better, someway.
post #3 of 12
I think at the shelter you have to hold it in and act professionally because otherwise the idiots will dump the animal (or worse) but when you aren't dealing with someone and just the story of it it hits deep.

I am like that too, there has only been one time I had to walk away at the shelter. We are no kill but had to euthanise a sick cat and I was fine with going in to say goodbye to her and give her a hug but a woman came in to surrender 4 young and healthy cats because she was getting her children kittens for Christmas and I lost it and had to go for walk and leave someone else to deal with it. I think at some point it all just gets too much.
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss21 View Post
I am like that too, there has only been one time I had to walk away at the shelter. We are no kill but had to euthanise a sick cat and I was fine with going in to say goodbye to her and give her a hug but a woman came in to surrender 4 young and healthy cats because she was getting her children kittens for Christmas and I lost it and had to go for walk and leave someone else to deal with it. I think at some point it all just gets too much.
Sorry, kind-of off topic, but what does your shelter do it that situation? (if you dont want to or can't answer I understand) I couldn't imagine anyone doing that!

I work at a vets office and I'm always there when the animals are put to sleep and at work, I'm fine, but if I think about it later I will start crying. So you are not alone.

Manda
post #5 of 12
It is rare that a cat ever reaches the shelter if it needs to be euthanised as all of our cats spend a week at the vet before coming to the shelter so generally, apart from the executive, we never even hear about them.

This cat was actually adopted and returned when sick so we had some bloodwork done and she was pretty sick and was brought to the vet to be PTS (we don't have any vet facilities at the shelter and cats are always brought out for care except boosters which we have a vet tech do once a week).

We have a committee of 3 directors and they must all sign off on agreeing to the euthanasia once a vet sends us something to say that they recommend euthanising the animal so it isn't a decision we take lightly and only done if the animal can not be helped.

We work through most illnesses and injuries and pretty much always have an animal with a broken bone in the shelter. We have someone waiting for a Fleuk cat at the moment so even they get adopted.
post #6 of 12
If you were talking about the surrender, it depends on the circumstances. She wasn't from our city and we were so full at the time we couldn't help (no matter how happy I would have been to have 4 orange tabbies in the shelter and away from the ) so we gave her directions to her local shelter but it isn't no-kill and ran through the SPCA so she didn't want to go there. But you can only help so many and since we get donations to help in our city, when we are that full we have to put local animals first
post #7 of 12
I think that's perfectly normal. Unfortunately when i used to work at the shelter, i couldn't learn to keep it in like everyone else. All the older ladies said you get used to it, and the manager made a point of you having to not let if affect you. But when i knew an animal was sick, or the next day i'd come in and find my favourite kitty was pts because of anger issues or fiv i'd bawl my eyes out. How can you not? The regulars also made a point of not discussing a pts animal so they wouldn't get upset at work
post #8 of 12
Breal, I'm not in animal rescue but it's because I think I couldn't handle seeing what some animals go through. I wanted to be a vet, but after interviewing one place and volunteering at another for a class project, I found that I didn't have the heart to see dying animals and irresponsible owners. The vet's office in town with good surgical facilities had a lower euthanasia rate than this other clinic, where the vet told me that many animals were euthanized because people didn't want to pay for treatment. (I'd imagine people who were prepared to pay for treatment took their pets to the place where they knew there were good surgical services.) I think I'd spend my days crying and shaking people all day long.
post #9 of 12
I admire you so much for being able to work in animal welfare...
post #10 of 12
Thank you for being so strong to care.

I'm not.

If I worked with animals in such circumstances I'd need medical/emotional care. I'm just not suited for it - as I've come to find out - especially as I've gotten older and unable to handle those emotions like you are experiencing in your job.

I'm trying to participate in whatever help I know I'm able to handle - and am "stretching" myself beyond "me" when ever I can.

Next week I'll be trying to trap a feral queen with two 9-week old kittens, and get her spayed, then bring her back "home". I believe her to be pregnant again.

I've never done anything like this, so I hope I don't cause any injury to her, or to her two kittens who will be left to fend for themselves for one or two days until she can be let loose after her surgery.

So, bless you - and - I hope you continue to find ways to cope - healthily - with your "calling".
post #11 of 12
People who can't deal with their emotions long enough to get through a day don't last in the business of animal welfare. Kudos to those who can.

I've not worked at shelters, but did a stint as a Vet receptionist for 2 years.

I think one of the reasons I survived was the fact that I'd been brought up with a different attitude about animals. We were raised to love them but realize that they are animals and they do not understand all the things we do for them. If you can provide shelter, food and basic shots and Vet care for your pet you are doing ok. For the rest, well you have to define where your limits are... and try not to get wrapped up in guilt.

I think its very important to know what your limits are for caring emotionally fianncially, etc... I'd rather see my pet humanely PTS than suffering long term from a terminal or chronic illness.

I get more fed up with the owners who can't get a grip and redirect their anger, sadness, grief at other people.
post #12 of 12
I have sympathy for those 'who can't get a grip' as you put it because at least they care. The ones that get me are the ones who couldn't care less; the guy who took the cat out of the carrier and threw it at me because 'I can still get $10 for the carrier' or the guy who wants to 'trade in this for a nicer one'.

To me, an animal needs to be loved, you can tell the difference between the ones who came from homes and were not loved - it is not enough to simply provide shots, food and shelter.
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