Rescue for the rescuer.

This is a guest post from Cherie, and I think that it is something everyone who rescues animals needs to read. Thanks Cherie!

“As an animal welfare worker (professionally or as a volunteer), you know what it feels like when you make a positive difference in the life of an animal. It is exhilarating, heartwarming, joyful, motivating and provides a sense of accomplishment and hope.

More than likely, when you decided to spend your time with animals, you did so because of the strong urge to make a difference, follow your heart and to do what you were called to do. It is all about helping as many as you can and changing the world one animal at a time.

When you begin to realize that you can not help them all and there will always be many more to help than you are able to, you may begin to feel helpless, defeated and angry. The urge to continue helping and giving to animals may be so strong that you can not  not do it. If you continue helping animals with defeated feelings and a loss of hope combined with the realization that you probably are not going to save them all, you may find yourself starting to withdraw from people and becoming hardened. Your passion to help animals can become all consuming and you can start to feel bitter, frustrated and really angry that no one else seems to care about animals as much or in the way that you care.

Burnout, Compassion Fatigue, Emotional Exhaustion these are all familiar topics to those of us who spend our time helping animals. Sometimes, just by recognizing the signs that you may be close to reaching a burnout period and need to find ways to regain balance back into your life, you can quickly start to feel hopeful and on your way to a renewed sense of hope and passion.

A few signs that YOU may need Rescue:

  • you can not stop rescuing animals
  • your personal life starts to suffer as a result of taking on the animals suffering
  • you lose interest in social activities and friends
  • you stop having fun because you feel guilty when there are so many animals currently suffering
  • nobody else can do this work as good as me or care about the animals the way I do

As an Animal Communicator and one who has been involved in animal rescue for more than 20 years, I have come to understand how the animals themselves, view our rescue efforts. Following is a telepathic conversation I experienced while transporting dogs to a rescue.

One day about 10 years ago, I was in the process of transporting quite a few dogs to a rescue from a high kill shelter. I decided to mentally ask the dogs in my car if they had any thoughts on what, we as rescuers could do to make the most of our efforts and help them heal.

They shared with me that they have the ability to sense our emotions and feelings. They also shared that when we have negative feelings while assisting them in rescue efforts, it is very easy for them to these feelings on as their own. If this happens, it can hinder their healing and put them in an almost depressed state of mind as they take-on our sad or angry feelings.

They suggested we may want to consider looking at it this way. The past is gone. The situation from which they came was obviously very difficult and undesirable. If we can focus more on the future that is ahead of them with hope and joy, they can begin to heal and trust that the from this point on it can only get better for them. They will have the opportunity find a forever home, experience unconditional love or transition to the Other Side. Whichever circumstance they experience as a result of their rescue, is better than where they came from and any of those options are desirable and welcomed by them.

If you feel that you may be suffering from burnout, compassion fatigue, or emotional exhaustion or if you find that your work with animals overshadows other areas of your life, there are a few things you can try to bring the joy and balance back into your work and personal life.

Spiritual guidance, programs specializing in Compassion Fatigue or Burnout, one on one counseling, books on Compassion Fatigue or Caregiver Fatigue or websites dedicated to Compassion Fatigue, are all good choices and may be exactly what you need.”

As an Animal Communicator, Cherie has made it her mission to give all animals a voice, deepen the human animal relationship and help raise the compassion level for all living things.

Cherie can be reached through her website You may also contact her directly at or 818.577.5247. Cherie is a professional Animal Communicator who developed a deep love & understanding for animals early in her life.

More than 20 years ago Cherie became involved in animal rescue. Even though she already had the ability to intuitively assist people, it was through her rescue efforts that she became aware of her ability to communicate with animals. While in the presence of an animal, she would receive messages & details about their past, present concerns, personality and exchange a telepathic dialogue with them. This information proved to be very helpful for both the rescue organization & the foster parents with whom the animal was being placed. Understanding the animal’s history, wants & perspectives is a powerful tool toward a successful adoption & transition to the animal’s permanent home.

Cherie’s skill, along with 20 years of being an animal Samaritan, has offered her a deeper understanding of the world through the eyes of animals. As a professional Animal Communicator, Intuitive & workshop facilitator for over 10 years, Cherie has clients all over the United States & has made it her life’s mission to give all animals a voice, deepen the relationships we have with our pets & to help raise the compassion level for all living things.


  1. Ming says:

    This is a great post. I’m glad I came back to check to see what was going on here Aimee! I had a recent experience that resonates with what Cherie says in the animals leaving the past behind. We recently gave reiki to a rescued golden retriever. The owner asked if she wanted to tell us what happened to her as she looked pretty awful. All she told us was that she was tired of her long journey. She was focused on the future and I have to say she’s made quite the turnaround. Thank you for sharing!

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