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Helping at the shelter can be self-therapeutic, self-healing...selfish

I have been watching YouTube videos recently and so many have volunteers working at animal shelters. I get the feeling that a lot of these folks are working purely out of undefined compassion and love for animals. There is no other way to explain it. Nobody can be motivated by a branded t-shirt that a shelter provides perhaps three times a year to spend that much time with animals, working with animals that are often injured, horrifically uncared for, and often in a state of neglect that seems frightening. But then, I also see the other side of it. Some people need this to heal themselves, placate a mind that wanders too much, or often gives way to temptations that are highly destructive. Helping at the shelter also has to be a healing mechanism, about creating hours within a day, week or month that help to manage a sense of loss, regrets that won’t go away, or anxieties that seem to emerge out of nowhere. In the end, the shelter ecosystem seems like the perfect blend of some professionals, some volunteers who just want to be around animals or help, and others who see this as a therapy without pills. Is it perfect? No. Just like families are not meant to function flawlessly but they often give way to people with happy childhoods and lives well lived…

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