I am sure that a great many of you who are attached to social media are assaulted daily by things that bother or offend you. I see many animal and human cruelty items come past my news feed or my Facebook page and I have gotten to the point where I have to go past most of them and not look.
I feel helpless to remedy these situations and what I try to do never seems to be enough. As part of the pet rescue and the “no kill” movement here in our county and town, I know what we are doing to try to alleviate the problems of homelessness and overpopulation in the dog and cat numbers is positive, but, as individuals and small organizations, I think we all sometimes feel as if we are totally alone.
This feeling of occasional hopelessness that can often manifest itself in grief, rage or just irritability has a name. It is called “compassion fatigue,” and it affects first responders, social workers, teachers, charity workers and any other people who care enough to try to help make this world a better place ... and face it, that’s most of us!
Those of us who are caring for homeless animals on a daily basis, arranging for foster pet care, sponsoring spay and neuter clinics, transporting foundlings to out-of-town temporary homes, taking sick or elderly critters to the vet, and adopting out to what we hope and pray will be just the right family (only to have the animal come back because it didn’t work out) sometimes just want to pull out our hair, or just sit down and cry because we feel so inefficient and unsuccessful!
And sometimes, those of us who volunteer and work with the other hardworking rescues in Tehachapi and Kern County end up snapping at the people we rely on to help our efforts, just because we’ve had one of those days or in through the door comes another litter of sick little kittens and we need another foster!
We hope none of you have been victims of our exasperation, our occasional despair, or any rudeness that leaks out through our frequent exhaustion! We really are a good bunch of ol’ gals and a few good men, too. We appreciate your participation and your efforts when we call for help! We all need to remember that we are making a difference — we have to stick together!
Ann Carroll is with Have A Heart Humane Society.