Compassion Fatigue

A place to share rescue-related issues, vent, get advice, and debrief on the challenges of the work!

Re: Compassion Fatigue

Postby Amie » Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:29 pm

XDogs wrote:Since I am not active in rescue, I don't exactly feel like I fit into the new forum, so I wish you luck and peace of mind from this end of the forum.


Please don't feel excluded from the new section - we all have valid experiences!
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Re: Compassion Fatigue

Postby Mooresmajestic » Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:46 pm

Can anyone send me some contact information? We are considering having one of these seminars at my work. I was reading about it here and mentioned it to the bosses and they are interested in having one. While we don't work in a shelter, working in a low cost spay/neuter clinic is really stressful. This sounds like something that we could benefit from.
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Re: Compassion Fatigue

Postby Amie » Sun May 01, 2011 7:00 am

Others might recommend the guy I saw, but I wouldn't. I'd contact the ASPCA or HSUS and see if they have resources in that area.
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Re: Compassion Fatigue

Postby TrainTrax » Fri May 20, 2011 2:17 pm

I read this thread A LOT. Like a ridiculous amount. But I run a rescue and work in a dog daycare facility, so it fits in.

I've just been feeling....blah...lately. Like I really don't care. It takes me a couple of days to get back to fosters and I rarely call back the 20-30 people calling me each DAY to surrender their pit bulls.

When I first started volunteering for another rescue I was all for it. I took the stress and ran with it. That rescue eventually fell apart and I stepped up to put it back together. I did a damn good job at it and LOVED it. That was when I realized that rescue was something I loooooooved and was good at. It's hard to find something that you're good at and love doing. Then I started my own rescue with a friend of mine. Things went great for a looooong time. My friend eventually got like her dream job (she is the manager at the dog daycare facility, while I am the assistant manager) and was not able to do quite as much with rescue anymore. So, it kind of all fell on me.

The past month or so, I've just felt like I'm drowning and I'm not, I know that. We don't have many dogs in our care, not nearly as many as other rescues. It's just suddenly kind of overwhelming. Sudden medical issues happening with dogs, digging into my own thinly lined pockets for food and whatnot. And while all this is happening, I still get the dozens of phone calls, email and facebook messages about dogs in need. I've actually debated just shutting my personal facebook page and rescue page, but that will do no good. And I think a lot of why I'm feeling this way is that I am quite literally the only pit bull specific rescue (with the exception of one rescue who a lot of pitties). I feel like if I quit rescue then I'm turning my back on the dogs that are just like Honey. Dogs that need someone in their corner. Basically, if I'm not there, who will be?

And I know adoptions are down everywhere but dogs are NOT moving here. Absolutely are not. With the huge mess that happened at Miami Dade, everyone rushed in and saved 300+ dogs who had been potentially infected with distemper or parvo. I just don't understand why I can't get my perfectly healthy, wonderful dogs adopted but everyone rushes in for the sick ones without knowing what they are getting themselves into. And I am by NO means saying those dogs didn't deserve to be saved. But where have these willing people been for the past 6 months. I'm just shocked by the dogs that I have sitting in foster homes. I use petfinder, adoptapet, word of mouth, facebook and the always taboo craigslist as a last resort. Yet, nothing.

I dunno, I'm like bleh the past few weeks. Like I've seen the worst people can do to dogs, yet there isn't really a lot of reassurance of the good people can do, ya know? There is no balance to the good and bad.

I just rambled pretty incoherently but I figured this would be the place to do it lol
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Re: Compassion Fatigue

Postby ilovetyson » Fri May 20, 2011 3:13 pm

awww It sounds like your getting overwhelmed just by everything in general! Do you do a lot of events and things out in the public eye? Maybe travel to another county and do some events to get your rescue's name out there in a different area ..

Every rescue is hurting right now. Even the all breed one I foster for. So many good dogs, and they just aren't moving!

Can you do some type of Fundraisers to help raise the funds you need for the medically needy dogs?
I wish there was more I could do or suggest, But I am sure you have tried a lot of it :(

*hugs*
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Re: Compassion Fatigue

Postby TrainTrax » Fri May 20, 2011 4:57 pm

ilovetyson wrote:awww It sounds like your getting overwhelmed just by everything in general! Do you do a lot of events and things out in the public eye? Maybe travel to another county and do some events to get your rescue's name out there in a different area ..

Every rescue is hurting right now. Even the all breed one I foster for. So many good dogs, and they just aren't moving!

Can you do some type of Fundraisers to help raise the funds you need for the medically needy dogs?
I wish there was more I could do or suggest, But I am sure you have tried a lot of it :(

*hugs*


We do as many events as we can but we have to be careful about events. Quite a few of the larger events are in the Miami area, so that rules us out. And the other events are at parks/dog parks where pit bulls are not allowed.

And there is just a lot at once. We've been doing well at getting our name out there, that's how I got most of my fosters. My roommate is best friends with the animal services directors daughter, so we've been getting help from them. And none of our dogs are really medically needy. Two of them have mange but it's treated with ivermectin at basically no cost to me. But last week one of the fosters broke her nail and had to have it removed. In that same week, one of my fosters ate a sock and had to be taken to the vet. Thankfully he pooped it out whole without an issue. Its like all of these things along with the ongoing expense of food, mange treatment and whatever the foster might need is a lot. We also can't legally fundraise in Palm Beach County because we aren't a 501c3.

Just bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh. I wouldn't trade what I do for the world but I'll be damned if I didn't wish it was easier lol
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Re: Compassion Fatigue

Postby ilovetyson » Fri May 20, 2011 6:43 pm

aww that sucks about all the events and such.. I didn't even think about it being that strict around there. :( (I knew in miami yes, But not outside it) And I Know what you mean about everything happening at once! It sucks, But you will make it through this tough time! :) And if I hear of anyone interested in a pittie down there, I will shoot them your way! :)

everyone here on PBF is here for u when needed! :) Even if it is just to vent! hahaha :cheers: Have a drink and relax for the night! :)
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Re: Compassion Fatigue

Postby ilovetyson » Mon May 23, 2011 1:08 pm

Just wanted to share this video for people that are doing rescues, and wonder sometimes if they can continue. This really re-energized me.. Makes me want to keep trying. Makes me resee why I foster, and try to help the animals. If we don't .. no one will..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... sKKMV1RRN0
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Compassion Fatigue

Postby Stormi » Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:15 pm

Somedays, I think trainers could use a support group like this, too.
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Re: Compassion Fatigue

Postby Amie » Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:27 pm

Feel free to participate, Stormi! While shelter workers do have unique needs, Compassion Fatigue is something that all of us who work with experience at some time or another - it's about witnessing trauma's second hand, be they the animals in a shelter, or the animals of our training clients!
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