The Association of Shelter Veterinarians recognizes that shelter veterinarians often work long hours with less than adequate resources for the care we are asked to or want to provide. We are a dedicated and driven group, with a strong sense of mission and passion. The Association believes that Hippocrates advice“primum non nocere” “above all, do no harm” should extend beyond our patients – to include ourselves and each other. We all struggle to find balance and cope with work related stresses sometimes; it is essential that we learn to recognize in ourselves and our colleagues the signs of feeling overwhelmed. We need to take the time to care for ourselves and one another.
Shelter veterinarians commonly experience issues such as chemical dependence, compassion fatigue, domestic violence, anger management, stress, profession burnout, eating disorders, depression, anxiety disorders, emotional withdrawal and suicide. These are problems that occur throughout the profession and for which active education and assistance are available. Our work is a marathon, not a sprint, and therefore we need to pace ourselves in order to stay physically, mentally and professionally healthy.
The Association of Shelter Veterinarians cares about each of its members as an individual as well as a veterinarian, and encourages reaching out for further information and help if needed:
AVMA Wellness Resources
Not One More Vet (NOMV)
Jessica Dolce - Compassion Fatigue Resources
If you are in crisis and have thoughts of harming yourself, immediately go to your nearest emergency room, call 911 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.