ISCP Advanced Diploma Dissertation On Compassion Fatigue

How does Compassion Fatigue affect workers in the animal care community, and how can its effects be minimised?

By Freya Locke


Being new to the Canine Behaviour industry, having only ever had pets and only recently beginning to work with animals, Compassion Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is something I had never heard of or encountered before undertaking my ISCP Advanced Diploma Course. How a carer feels about caring for, or the situations of their charges had never crossed my mind – I had always assumed the carer was… well… just “ok” with everything.

I feel that a lot of the general public are also quite unaware of the effects that CFS may have on those in the caring sectors, both human care and animal care, the very people who dedicate their lives to taking care of those who they feel may be suffering in some way. My own ignorance of the subject surprised me and knowing now that peer pressure and fear of being judged can aggravate the condition, and that this can not only affect the mental and physical health of the care worker, but also as a result, then go onto affect the care and emotional state of the animal being cared for, I think more resources and consideration should be given to the subject of CFS.

It also strikes me, sadly, that perhaps if the general public were to take better care of their animals, children, infirm and each other then there would be less suffering in general, and then CFS in the animal and in the human care sector might be less prominent in the first place. We can but hope for a day when better attitudes towards our fellow beings become the normal state of affairs, and kindness, generosity, common sense and love rule the day.



I would like to say thank you to all the kind people, who trusted me with their stories and experiences of Compassion Fatigue Syndrome. You know who you are.

I would also like to say thank you, give appreciation and pay respect to all those warriors who are silently fighting through each day, trying their best in very difficult situations, to bring care and comfort to another being, coping with horrors and sadness untold, and making hard decisions on behalf of those who are voiceless. You are braver than you know, you are kinder than you think, and you are stronger than you ever realise. Do not ever doubt it.

Finally, I would like to say thank you to Lisa Tenzin – Dolma, Dale McClelland, and the ISCP family, who have opened my eyes to a new and fascinating world, of both Canine Psychology and of the way that humans can be when they are at their best. You have encouraged and helped me along the way to this point, and beyond. ISCP really is the best school ever, and through you I have found my path in life.




  • Cover

  • Preface

  • Acknowledgements

  • Contents

  • Introduction

  • Aims and Objectives

  • 7 -14. Literature Review

  • 15 – 17. Methodology

  • 18 – 23. Discussion

  • 24 – 25. Conclusion

  • 26 – 27. References & Appendix

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