VANCOUVER, BC , June 25, 2021 / CNW / – A new report developed by the Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) aims to bring animal services into the fairness conversation to improve outcomes for animals, their caretakers and animal service workers.
People from all walks of life enjoy companionship and the mental health benefits of animals, but those at risk — those living in poverty or systemic discrimination, who are often more at risk of dealing with past trauma — may face obstacles in caring for their pets. The report, titled “Helping People and Animals Together,” features interviews with people who have had negative experiences accessing animal services such as animal rescue, shelter or settlement.
One of the participants in the report was a domestic violence survivor who tried to surrender her cat out of fear for her safety. The participant had been prohibited by his partner from carrying cash and did not have the necessary fees to transfer the cat to a shelter. “The [worker] insisted that from then on I will never be able to adopt another animal again, “they said,” and honestly, it broke my heart. ”
Animal service agencies have a unique opportunity to overcome the barriers people face when caring for their pets and end the cycle of trauma for animals and their caretakers. The report presents strategies rooted in trauma-informed and culturally safe approaches that agencies can use.
In particular, the report highlights an approach that connects with people and communities and helps them access resources for their animals. This proximity approach offers a more lasting solution than the current system of discounts and seizures, which breaks the human-animal bond and protects a single animal while endangering future animals. It offers an opportunity to create a more supportive environment in the overburdened and underfunded animal service industry, where staff are at high risk of burnout and compassion fatigue.
In making suggestions for improvement, the report also features interviews with workers in the animal service sector and people working in sectors that already use a trauma-informed approach, such as child protection and social work. .
Animal service workers and anyone interested in the welfare of humans and animals can read the full report on “Taking a Culturally Safe and Trauma-informed Approach to Helping Those at Risk Address neglect of animals ”on the Vancouver Humane Society website.
SOURCE Vancouver Humane Society
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