Compassion Fatigue, Yes It’s Real

Heartfelt and moving article about the personal costs of working with doomed shelter animals


Author’s Note: All of the dogs featured in this blog have been adopted, with the exception of Lizzy, the first photograph.

I read an article awhile ago about compassion fatigue in animal welfare, and though the article was geared toward shelter workers, it struck a chord with me as well.

I often find ways to discount my feelings. I’m an expert at building emotional barriers to distance myself from traumas in my life, of which I’ve had an unfortunate number, but recently, the distance that I thought I was building is starting to cave in on me. As Joe put it, “You’ve been putting all that in the back of your mind and now the back of your mind is full and it’s got nowhere to go.”

Lizzy face

The nightmares started about three months ago. I’ve suffered with night terrors all my life and I go through phases when they are…

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About The Patron Saint of Dogs
Writing The Patron Saint of Dogs is my way of helping to save abused and abandoned dogs and cats in the real world. A portion of every sale will be donated to animal rescue organizations in Canada and around the world. My name is Colleen MacDougall and I was a dog walker and pet sitter for 11 years. Many of the furry characters in this book are reincarnations of wonderful animals I was able to know, love and help, especially Jules, who is Grace's partner-in-crime now, but was my furbaby and the very first person I hope to see in that great off-leash park in dog heaven.

If you like The Patron Saint of Dogs, please share it. All feedback is welcome.

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