Rescue Journal

the rescue trench of relentlessness.

Carol  ·  Oct. 14, 2017

i always feel minimized, marginalized, brushed aside when whining about how hard rescue is and the dreaded "compassionate fatigue" comes into play.
my compassion is not fatigued, trust me it is in full flight and blossoming which is why some days i just feel so sad for all of the needless suffering around me.
why on earth wouldn't i be sad when day after day animals facing hardship and death are placed in my path?
in the past few weeks...4 horses, 1 goat, 3 pigs, 6 cats, 4 dogs, 1 cow..and i don't even see our inbox anymore..erin has been dealing with way more than that.

of course i feel sad, and of course i get tired, frustrated and angry sometimes too. i put my entire life on the line to help a couple of hundred animals every year. and for every one we say yes to...10 or more sad souls are no.

and its hard to hear over and over how much they are loved because i really don't understand it. if they are so greatly loved..why are they in such heart wrenching trouble? why is no one fighting for them, standing up for them..why is the answer to give up on them and cut them loose and hope for the best in this not so nice world?

animals die all the time..sometimes they are killed kindly sometimes they die in horror, alone and afraid.
mo and i were at the auction house last week to look at a couple of horses that were picked up as strays. next to them was a pen full of emaciated cows, crowding around to be near us, one bawling over and over..terrified...please someone help me.
it was awful. i can still see her face, i can still hear what she was saying. and mo can too.
luckily the horses were picked up by another rescue because we really did not have any more room, i was trying to figure out how i could take them on and pay for their board myself.
but those sick and skinny cows went to slaughter, that crying desperate one is silent and dead now and i did not lift one finger to help her.

so please don't insult me and wipe away the pain i sometimes feel with cliches like compassion fatique. if my leg was broken, i obviously would feel pain. if my heart and soul takes a beating, of course i will hurt in many ways. if one of our much loved animals dies, yes i will shed tears and i will grieve for every animal that we turn away for lack of funds or lack of space. but it is that very compassion that thrives so well inside me that isn't the least bit tired... like the energiser bunny it just goes and goes, banging the drum of compassion over and over no matter how much it hurts, no matter how long it takes to be there day after day, year after year for at least some of the lucky ones.

burn out isn't in my make up and neither is giving up. i am not going to sit compassionately fatigued, amongst sad and broken laurels crying my poor little eyes out. i will bitch and i will cry, and sometimes i will roar with pent up raging fire, and i will plug along, getting it done the best that i can. because my compassion is not exhausted, it is alive and well..some days i am just sad or mad and it oozes out.



Love the reference to Bullshit Fatigue. I'm sure you are all way too familiar with that "syndrome'.

Here's an interesting webinar from the Fur-bearer Defenders' blog, if anyone feels they want to delve into the topic of compassion fatigue. I found it very timely and useful, as are all the blogs/Defender Radio segments:


For the record, I read your response and it wasnt rude, it was pointed and honest and did not warrant such a response. Also, you are not alone in this, everyone hates me too. We save the ones we can and it simply has to be enough. No compassion fatigue here, but definitely bullshit fatigue.