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"I love my job, but I need a place to put those little things that cause breakdowns and burnout."
August 27, 2006 1:26 PM   Subscribe

"Ever since I got certified to perform euthanasias I have been having crazy dreams where basically I'm just killing everything. I don't really know how to deal with it." Tales of your Local Animal Shelter. Of particular interest is the four phases of rescue.
posted by hindmost (14 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
There is so much stupid drama going on with volunteers and it's really weighing down heavily on us (the staff)... I see them doing stupid things, or trying to tell me how to do my job, or pointing out problems and not offering to help or tattling and it's difficult and just weighs you down and then you feel really resentful.

Screw her. I'm a former animal shelter volunteer, and it was difficult, and emotionally draining, but I did my best and I did it for free. I wasn't looking for a pat on the back, but to see her spew venom about volunteers paragraph after paragraph pisses me off.
posted by amro at 1:37 PM on August 27, 2006


Then there are the "save 'em all" volunteers who we have had a great deal of trouble with. Sometimes, a dog just isn't safe. Please. Take our word for it. They should know that kennel behavior can be radically different as soon as you go in the kennel or take the dog out. It's hard when you know a dog isn't safe, and euthanasia is the best option but you're having to fight for it and they dog just languishes unneccesarily in a kennel.

A-fucking-men. I encounter people like this all the time, and they really don't seem to understand how much more harm than good they ultimately do. Or the "no-kill" advocates who don't seem to understand that many no-kill shelters either turn away dogs they know aren't placeable (thereby passing the dirty work onto someone else), or just warehouse dogs on a permanent basis (which is hardly humane), but all that seems to matter is that the dogs aren't put to sleep, quality of life is totally secondary to quantity of life to thse people.

And the "Four Phases of Rescue" is so accurate.
posted by biscotti at 1:52 PM on August 27, 2006


Those "four phases" -- optimism, depression, rage, and maturity -- seem like they're applicable to almost anyone who tries to make a difference in the world. Good post.
posted by xthlc at 2:49 PM on August 27, 2006


'Four Phases of Rescue' seems to be applicable across a number of fields and endeavors.
posted by mmdei at 2:51 PM on August 27, 2006


I admit I killed my dog. I felt pretty terrible about it at the time. I have no idea what it must be like to have to kill these creatures every week. Particularly when many of them are gentle creatures, and unlike my dog never bit anyone. No matter what country you live in these animals are livestock. At least in some countries they have the decency to admit it and devour the surplus. In the west just kill them and throw them in a landfill. I wonder if the whole pet culture is more morally repugnant than the meat culture.
posted by humanfont at 3:29 PM on August 27, 2006


Screw her. I'm a former animal shelter volunteer, and it was difficult, and emotionally draining, but I did my best and I did it for free. I wasn't looking for a pat on the back, but to see her spew venom about volunteers paragraph after paragraph pisses me off.

Yeah, it'd be much better for her and volunteers if she just kept it all bottled up inside instead of ranting on her own blog.
posted by mendel at 4:37 PM on August 27, 2006


I've been stuck in phase three for years, but that's IAff. for you.
posted by The White Hat at 4:38 PM on August 27, 2006


Yeah, it'd be much better for her and volunteers if she just kept it all bottled up inside instead of ranting on her own blog.

She's entitled to rant. And I'm entitled to think she's a jerk. Posting to a blog is not the only alternative to keeping her feelings bottled up.
posted by amro at 4:48 PM on August 27, 2006


I was all looking forward to this, then it turned out to be a one blog post. Shame. It is a good topic, and there are some good resources out there.
posted by QIbHom at 5:31 PM on August 27, 2006


My aunt works in a humane shelter in Alaska. She loves her job - doesn't much like the people who bring the animals in, but she loves the animals.

I try to do my part - both of my (indoor-only) cats were given a trip to the vet as a 1st birthday present. Happy Birthday - no more gonads! (They do have claws, though. Taking out the claws is just plain mean.)
posted by caution live frogs at 8:36 PM on August 27, 2006


I'm getting a 504 error. Are we hitting blogspot too hard?
posted by squirrel at 9:28 PM on August 27, 2006


I got the same error visiting my own blog and I can guarantee you it ain't because of overwhelming traffic (sigh). Blogger must be hosed up somewhere, though their main page is fine.
posted by nanojath at 9:35 PM on August 27, 2006


Take a look at what i killed today for a simple and respectful document of euthanized animals. And read this poem by Philip Levine.
posted by PaleFire at 8:36 AM on August 28, 2006


"I have been having crazy dreams where basically I'm just killing everything."
Welcome to the club.
...oh, in a bad way, she means.

I've pretty much made it a point to only get pets from shelters and publically assert the shitheadedness of those who don't. We had to euthanize our dog after he was hit by a car and it pretty much wrecked me for a while. I don't know that I could kill an innocent animal (delicious animals aside). But the alternative is obviously worse. Maybe it's that whole 'choice' and 'will' thing. I do respect people who do it, they are ultimately making the lot of all animals better.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:51 PM on August 28, 2006


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