Professions that involve caring for others can present emotionally challenging and traumatic situations that may have negative effects on a worker’s mental health. This is also true for workers in the animal protection sector, particularly for those who participate in animal surrenders and removals, and witness both human and animal suffering. Changes are needed to mitigate and prevent these negative effects.
To explore the challenges experienced by animal protection and welfare workers and better understand the changes that need to be made, we interviewed 11 individuals who work in the animal protection and welfare sector and have experience with the surrender and/or removal of animals. We found that the participants experienced many challenges that affected their mental health.
We recommend that trauma-informed practices be implemented in the animal protection and welfare sector in order to manage and prevent job-related stress and trauma. We suggest that trauma-informed practices will help to develop both individual and organizational resilience, and result in a more compassionate experience for both workers and animal guardians.
Twelve people who accessed Vancouver Humane Society programs shared their experiences of working with private veterinarians during COVID-19. At a time when everyone was experiencing stress, the pandemic made the stress of low-income pet guardians even more acute. This article highlights recommendations for action by animal and veterinary service providers that will lead to a better experience for all: the animal, the guardian and the service provider.
A partnership with Dalhousie University, Vancouver Humane Society conducted interviews with 12 participants of the McVitie Fund during COVID-19 to better understand the people who are being supported by the program.