Non-human animal rescue workers experience significant amounts of psychological distress. A recent paper by Dr Raegan Murphy and Shaunagh Daly highlights these important issues.
To better understand the psychological effects on humans of working with distressed non-human animals, we set out to understand the professional quality of life experienced by this group of workers.
Measures included compassion satisfaction, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress. An online survey-based cross-sectional correlational design was employed to survey 340 animal rescue workers. The survey consisted of items assessing demographic information (gender, age, geographic location), type of work performed (single or multiple caring roles), exposure to euthanasia, in-home fostering of animals, and whether the work was salaried or voluntary. The results of the present study may prove useful for both animal rescue organizations and animal rescue workers who may be experiencing distress as a result of their work. Recommendations for future research include a focus on the effects of exposure to euthanasia and the home fostering of rescue animals.
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Dr Raegan Murphy