What is it like to run an animal shelter?

Working in animal welfare is a very volatile profession.  I found it much more stressful than working narcotics on the Mexican Border.  At least on the border I could forget about work when I came to the end of my shift.

In animal welfare, you worry about the condition of animals coming into your facility, you worry about animals getting sick in the shelter, you worry about your staff using bad judgment, causing injury to an animal.  While you are worrying about all of that, you then have to worry about your volunteers or animal advocate “friends” looking to find something wrong, so they can report it to the media.

You are in a constant state of worrying about whether you should self-treat an animal or run it to a veterinarian.  I spent much of my time taking animals home, so that I could watch them overnight.  Someone is always in the background wanting to second guess your medical decisions.  No one ever second guessed a narcotics seizure.

You never come to realize the stress that you face running an animal shelter until you have had time to decompress from it.  You cannot imagine the relief that I feel waking up every morning and not worrying about what happened the night before at the shelter.