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Harnessing Welfare Assessment Tools To Move From Compassion Fatigue To Compassion Satisfaction In Animal Caretakers

October 5th, 10:50AM EST

41st Annual AZVT Conference

The Human Animal Bond (HAB) is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is influenced by factors that are essential to the health and well-being of both; these include emotional, psychological, and physical interactions of people, animals, and their environment. While the HAB, as described above, should provide a sense of pleasure, it is not the only tool available for achieving compassion satisfaction. In zoological medicine there are increasing conversations around the development of in-depth welfare assessments for individual animals. The Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare, which are defined as freedom from hunger and thirst; freedom from discomfort; freedom from pain, injury, and disease; freedom to express normal and natural behavior; and freedom from fear and distress, can be used to evaluate animal welfare. This assessment tool increases awareness for welfare, which can shed light on opportunities to grow and improve animals’ quality of life. But the animals are not the only factor in the equation; the humans caring for the animals must also be considered. Assessing and investing in the human caretaker’s welfare can provide hidden clues to preventing and minimizing compassion fatigue. Though more research is needed, specifically within the field of veterinary medicine, common factors that contribute to fatigue across industries include working long hours, struggling to put the caretaker’s needs first, and exposure to suffering, thus possibly lowering a person’s quality of life. Developing a process to evaluate and improve the welfare of the human caretakers should receive the same attention as animal welfare assessment.



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Past Events

Methods for Maintaining Meaning for Managers

May 17th, 7PM EST
Zoological Association of America Webinar

Methods for Maintaining Meaning for Animal Care Staff

April 19th, 7PM EST
Zoological Association of America Webinar

Mental Health:
Caring for Those That Care for our Animals

April 7th, 4PM EST
AZA Mid-Year Conference (Safety Summit)

Supporting Your Mental Well-Being

September 14th, 1PM-3PM EST
AZA Annual Virtual Conference (Volunteer Management Committee Meeting)  

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