When Jennifer Blough first felt compassion fatigue, she had never heard the term. She was a lifelong animal advocate—she became a vegetarian at a young age, followed her grandmother to animal rights protests and got a job as an animal control officer—but she had never heard anyone mention the issue. So when she burned out from her job in 2012, she had no idea what was wrong with her.
Here's the scene at a typical community rabies clinic: Pet owners lined up on a sidewalk, dogs barking and pulling on their leashes, cats petrified in their carriers. The animals get their vaccines—and the community gets a valuable public service that helps keep a virus at bay. But for many, the whole thing can feel chaotic, slow-moving and stressful.