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Compassion fatigue

Compassion fatigue is real, and the stress of animal welfare work can negatively affect morale and job performance and ultimately lead to high staff turnover. Here you'll find resources to help you support your team and strengthen your compassion resilience.

  • Got compassion fatigue?

    Before coming to The HSUS over five years ago, I spent about 11 years working in two different shelters in Washington state, where I live. I wore about fifty different hats, managing volunteer programs, foster care, outreach and education programs, and doing just about every shelter task there is, from intakes to adoptions, and from cleaning cages to euthanasia. Being a “shelter person” wasn’t just a job for me; it was my identity. It was hard, it was often frustrating and even heartbreaking, but it was all I wanted to do.

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Most recent Tools and Resources > Compassion fatigue

  • Training/Event

    Humane Kansas shelter/rescue tour

    kittens in a shelter

    Training for shelter, rescue, volunteers and personnel on compassion fatigue and working with volunteers

    The Humane State Program is excited to present a free week of training opportunities for shelter, rescue, volunteers, and personnel on compassion fatigue and working with volunteers. Lunch and coffee will be provided and prizes will be raffled. Join us!

    For Kansas updates, visit the HSUS Kansas Facebook page.

    Earn continuing education credits

    We have applied for 7 Certified Animal Welfare Administrator continuing education credits.

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  • Magazine Article

    Handle with care

    Compassion fatigue expert offers advice for animal welfare workers

    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.

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  • Magazine Article

    The high cost of caring

    How can we combat drug and alcohol abuse in the animal welfare field?

    Those who work in caring fields are especially susceptible to alcohol and substance abuse, and the animal welfare field, where emotions can run high and staffers often put animals’ well-being before their own, is no exception. How can you recognize and combat flawed coping strategies in your co-workers—and how can you take better care of yourself?

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