Can Vet J 2019 Apr;60(4):405-413
Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1.
While occupational stressors in human caregiving environments have been well-explored, little is known about these stressors in the animal caregiving professions. To address this, a cross-sectional survey was conducted (June and July, 2016) with employees at a Canadian animal welfare organization to explore perceived occupational stressors and desired wellness resources. Responses to open-ended questions were analyzed thematic network analysis. Themes related to employee stress included: inability to provide desired level of animal care, poor team environment, overwork, challenges working with the public, and personal safety and vulnerability. Desired resource themes were: reduce overwork and address staffing issues, team building, creation of a wellness culture, and mental health training. These results shed light on occupational stressors facing animal welfare employees at a Canadian animal welfare organization. Recommendations to promote positive mental health and wellness within this, and potentially similar, organizations are discussed.