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Why Do Animal Shelter Workers Burn Out?

Why Do Animal Shelter Workers Burn Out?
Psychology Today
By Hal Herzog, PhD Animals and Us
Published: May 4, 2017

Being “Called” To Help Animals
Both women were deeply committed to the welfare of animals. But why did Becky flourish in an emotionally challenging occupation in which dogs and cats are routinely put to death while Fran became an emotional wreck?

Kira Schabram of the the University of Washington and Sally Maitlis of the University of Oxford have investigated the challenges faced by animal shelter workers. Their results were recently published in the Academy of Management Journal. Dr. Schabram, the lead author, was particularly well-suited for the project. She told me she has felt called to improve the lives of animals since she was a child. As a teenager, she started volunteering at her local animal shelter, and she spent several years as a full-time shelter worker. In 2015 she was named the Volunteer of the Year by the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

 

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