9. Compassion fatigue is real.
Compassion fatigue (think emotional stress and burnout) can happen to all shelter staff, even volunteers. If you notice any signs or symptoms of compassion fatigue, itís okay to take a break and regroup. You are much more valuable to the shelter and animals when you are at your best.
10. You will be sad every time you leave the shelter.
This is an inevitable fact. There will be animals you did not have a chance to work with, socialize, walk, etc. But, tomorrow/next week/next month is a new opportunity to make a difference and extend your compassion to the animals. The good news is that there are many caring people like you, and many will volunteer to pick up where you leave off when it is time to go home!
If you have ever been or currently are a volunteer at an animal shelter, thank you for all you do. If you are considering volunteering with a shelter, get out there and get started! In fact, TAILS has a great resource page to help you find the best fit for volunteering. Volunteers make all the difference in the world to shelter animals!
Have some more tips for shelter volunteers? Tell us in the comments!