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Compassion Fatigue 

You’re Not Alone.

Compassion fatigue among our nation’s shelter staff is common and getting worse. How could it not? People working in animal shelters are working harder than ever because there is not enough staff. Owner surrenders are increasing, and pets are staying longer. Families are getting squeezed out of their homes due to higher rent and cost of living, leaving them unable to find affordable housing where they can take their pets. Shelter staff must witness these agonizing “surrenders” day after day. They walk pets into their facility, away from their crying owners, as the pets knowingly pull back toward their families. Overcrowded organizations face excessive criticism simply because they must make impossible decisions as they take every pet that comes through the door. Shelters and their hardworking staff are doing everything they can to make a difference, including searching for foster homes and providing resources to keep pets with their families.

Compassion fatigue is not a new term to the animal welfare industry. Many staff and volunteers had the hopeless feeling that it can bring along with depression, sadness and even anger. It can be brought on by the very nature of the animal welfare industry, stressful workplace, lack of resources, or long hours. Sound familiar? If it does you are not alone. Learn more about compassion fatigue and find resources below.

Take a free self-assessment for burnout, compassion fatigue, and compassion satisfaction: The Professional Quality of Life (proQOL) Measure


BPF Workshops

BPF offers quarterly Compassion Fatigue and Burnout training sessions for public and private animal shelters. If your organization qualifies, please contact us at

Email: info@bissellpetfoundation.org

Training & Educators

Compassion in Balance:
Online Courses + Coaching

Jessica Dolce, MS
Certified Compassion Fatigue Educator


Rekindle LLC

Julie Squires
Certified Compassion Fatigue Educator & Specialist



Jordan benShea, Executive Director

National Resources

Mental Health America

Niya McCray-Brown 

Our affiliate directory can be found at arc.mhanational.org/find-affiliate
You can use this directory to learn more about our affiliates nationwide and their areas of focus. Each of them has a webpage and contact information, so if you identify an affiliate that you would like to work with, you can absolutely contact them directly.

Take a free mental health screening – Hosted by our friends at Mental Health America  screening.mhanational.org/screening-tools


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

(800) 662-4357


Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

(212) 870-3400


Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

Call or text 988