Emotional stages of animal volunteering.
October 19, 2006 5:21 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a blog post about four stages of animal shelter volunteers.

I thought I saw it on MetaFilter recently, but my GoogleFu is failing me. It talked about the four stages people in the animal shelter volunteer business go through from excitement through burnout. I believe it's a fairly recent blog article, but it may be an older one that was referenced more recently on a shelter worker blog. It looked like it could be applicable to a lot of volunteer work. General comments about working as an animal shelter volunteer would also be helpful, as my wife is considering doing so.
posted by BrotherCaine to Pets & Animals (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Best answer: Good lord, that's a depressing article.

However, since you asked for general comments about working as a volunteer, I can tell some generic thoughts from my experience doing such:

The place I volunteered at did *not* have the volunteers working intake or doing any of the actual medical care of the critters. Our job was to help take the dogs out for pee/poo/play time and answer some questions for people coming in looking to adopt (basically doing a pre-interview with them). Beyond that, paid staff took care of everything else. They did a very good job of ensuring the paid staff handled all of the tough issues there.

Also, volunteers were not assigned a certain day or hour or anything. It was a 'come and go as you please' kind of ordeal. They did have a pretty long classroom session for training and a semi-tough acceptance policy, but it was pretty obvious towards the end why that was there.

It's up to your wife to decide what she's up for and to find a place that is suited to her volunteering desires.

That said, I didn't volunteer there for long, but that was primarily because the hours of operation conflicted with my work life (at the time) and I began to focus on some other things in life. However, when I moved out of my NO FUCKING ANIMALS!!! apt. complex and it came time for me to adopt my dog, I went straight back there to get her.
posted by Ufez Jones at 7:21 PM on October 19, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks Ufez, that helps.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:27 PM on October 19, 2006

Response by poster: My wife found a volunteer job as a "dog and cat socializer" at an animal rescue place, which basically means she just visits and does little things to take care of them.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:21 AM on June 24, 2007

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