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From  Issue
21 April 2002
Dealing With Burnout 7 Tips from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

By Faith Maloney - Best Friends Magazine writer
Source E Breakstone - queeniefound@hotmail.com

If you're flooded with calls to rescue animals, stop answering the phone and let your voicemail or answering machine pick it up. If you have a spouse, friend, or family member who can field the calls for you for a time, ask for their help. Give them a tip sheet on how to respond to various situations. If you can't get help, return calls when you feel most able to deal effectively with the problem.

It helps to be able to tell the person about options and possible solutions for the animal they are calling about, whether it's a stray, a feral or a companion animal. If possible, provide them with literature on how to find homes for homeless animals.

Keep positive reinforcement in your life. Look to all the stories of animals that were helped. (That's how Best Friends magazine began!)

Seek out friends and other animal people when you feel overwhelmed. You can support each other emotionally. Online forums and chat rooms can provide help, too.

Recognize that you did not create the problem. All too often, we compulsively try to take on the responsibility for a situation we did not originate. Your part in the situation is to offer people help, advise, and some of the tools they'll need to extricate themselves from their problem.

Strive for balance in your life. Go and see a movie, take up a hobby, or explore the great outdoors. When we take care of ourselves, we get to live another day to help the animals.

Remember that most people love their companion animals and would never abandon them, and that there are lots of people who, like you, take in strays and work to rescue animals. You are not alone.

Go on to Dreams, Reality, and Burger King
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