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Idiot Pet Owners

Guest Guest_Alissha_*

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Guest Guest_Alissha_*

I'm rapidly burning out at my job. I'm sick to death of people that cannot treat their animals in a humane way. I'm sick of not getting accepted to vet school. I'm exhausted from trying to fix the animals that can't be fixed but miraculously belong to wonderful people. Moreover, I'm emotionally crippled from dealing with the idiots who can't be bothered to care about the blessed creatures that share their life. I don't know if I can handle cleaning up the messes that other have created or much longer, but I have to find some distance.

I'm overworked and underpaid. I'm terrified that I'm going to fuck up when I'm doing something important at work like monitoring anesthetic. I'm frustrated that I have to put in a few hours of overtime every shift to keep things running. I'm angry that my clinic decided that when someone left their position the remaining staff could simply pick up the slack. I'm bitter that many staff members sit on their asses while I run around like a crazy person (which I am, but they don't know ;) ).

I can't stop working with animals; it is my passion, my love, and my calling. However, sometimes I just want to physically hurt clients and staff members alike. I've recently started complaining and swearing in the presence of coworkers, this is not like me. I need time off, but can't take any because we are sadly understaffed. I can't even look forward to my weekend (tomorrow and the next day) because I know I will have to return to work.

I'm also exhausted from worrying about my own pets. My Mia cat has bladder infection number 3, or a continuation of number 2? She's FeLV positive and only 1.5 years old, she's been in my house since she was 3.5-4 weeks old. My rats are heading toward the truly geriatric age of 2, and the Jessie bunny is considered geriatric at age 5. Technically, so is my terrier Martin at age 7 but I'm convinced he'll last forever. Alfalfa the guinea pig (age 5 or so, typical age is 5-6 years) has a heart condition which seems to be well managed (knock on wood for me).

Part of me thinks I have to learn how to have some distance, that I have to not care as much as I do. I don't know if I can still respect myself if I don't care the way I do now, if I don't cuddle the pets being euthanized who is going to? I need to tell them that it's going to be alright, things seem strange right now but will be better in just a little bit because they are going to a fantastic place where everything will be perfect.

I think I just need to rant to someone who is distant from what I do for a living. I see why people burn out so easily in the vet med profession, it is an almost thankless job. Today, I got thanked once by an owner. In between I helped euthanize 3 animals, treat a few more, x-ray 3 more, put away a massive food order and got urine and feces all over me. I have my fucking B.Sc. I wish I had any desire to do anything more than work with animals. The only way to continue is to think of the animals, they are separate from the people and generally deserve more respect.

No response is really necessary, but if you happen to go the your vet be sure to thank everyone is sight. They all participated in your animal's care and would really appreciate a kind word, one of the few they will hear that day.

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It's always a shame. If there's a problem, people trip all over themselves to file a complaint, pronto. Yet when they receive excellent service/care, it never crosses their mind to commend that person. I'm sorry you're having such a rough time of it, I can't imagine how difficult it would be to take care of injured/mistreated animals, in addition to regular duties. I like WZ's idea, although I would take it a step further. Shut the phone off for the entire weekend, and be as good to yourself as possible. You deserve it.

Thank you, and my animals thank you.

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You know

I hope China has time to read this thread

because even though she works with 2-leggeds

health care is health care

and all health care workers are over-worked IMO

I would definitely try and talk some sense into the office manager or owner's or someone

cause what would happen if you just left

or God forbid someone gets in a car wreck and you all are minus another body?

there's got to be a better plan

for all of you to not get so overworked/frazzled which is just setting you all up for a lawsuit if not having an animal get poorly treated

in my opinion I'd try and score a job working at a zoo or any animal care where you wouldn't have to deal with the public at all

but in the meantime I'll be thinking of you

doing a job most people cannot deal with at all!

I knew an animal control officer who burnt out so bad it changed his life in a bad way

I wish I could reach through the screen and make you take some time for yourself

but of course I'll just keep my fingers crossed

and thank you for being so kind to those who get euthanized

you are an angel to so many that cannot speak for themselves!

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I can relate to a lot of what you've written.

For a long time I worked with a humane society. The lack of respect that taught me for most pet owners was basically astounding. I saw so many morons who were surrendering animals. I can remember taking in exactly one dog in a situation I felt sorry for the original owners under... and that was a 9 year-old dalmation we took from a woman who had developed emphysema so badly she literally couldn't walk from her car to the front door of the building. She cried while leaving him and we actually had to throw away his leash because he would go INSANE every time he smelled it and start looking for her.

I saw so many abused, mistreated, sad, scared, fearful animals. Stories too gruesome to really get into. But I also got to see most of these animals improve in a lot of ways. It's amazing to me what a little bit of care can do for these animals. What good I'm sure your care does these animals, too.

I had to take one of my cats to the emergency veterinary clinic on Thanksgiving. She ended up having to be euthanized. It was entirely traumatic and I'm pretty sure I looked like a frazzled insane crazy person to everyone there. I had a strange homeless man in tow and my best friend who is an alcoholic and was drunk at the time (but very helpful and good) and I was crying and calling people for money and smoking cigarettes right outside the door in areas we weren't supposed to smoke in..... but I know I said thank you a lot! For whatever that's worth. But sometimes people are just kind of autopiloting? I mean, people handle death in a lot of ways. I wasn't sure I could be in the room with my cat while she was euthanized. In the end I was and I held her and I'm proud of myself for that... but I don't think it would make me an asshole if I couldn't have.

Just to play a little bit of devil's advocate. Sometimes people care and they just have ways of showing it which suck.

Right now I work at a doggie daycare. It's lowlow pay (little bit more than minimum wage here in Oregon), but it's actually kind of really nice. Because these are all people who are willing to pay someone a hundred bucks or so a month to watch their dog a couple of times a week. It's mostly people who have dogs instead of children. These are by and large pampered pups. And it feels really good to me... because doing the humane society job obviously gave me a huge amount of compassion and love for the animals, but it mostly put me in contempt for pet owners, like you said. And we also had a string of bad managers at the shelter and a crazy board member and lots of staff drama... so really, it did end up seeming like us vs. them with me on the side of the animals, you know?

But this dog daycare job has kind of pulled me back a little, putting me in contact every day with people who adore their animals and take very good care of them. It's kind of good for my spirit in that way.

I don't know what draws you specifically to veterinary medicine or being a vet tech right now, so I don't want to presume to suggest that you leave your job or anything. I just wanted to say that it's possible to work with animals and not hate all their stupidass owners.... and that I definitely relate to some of your feelings about your job. Even though I loved working at the humane society and I would do it again in a heartbeat...it was hard in a lot of ways. It was ultimately more rewarding to me than heartbreaking... so I didn't burn out. But I saw a lot of people who did and there were periods of time where I felt close.

Thank you for what you do. I've always been really impressed with the techs at the vets I've taken my cats to, and I don't think it's a job that I could do, personally. So thank you.

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I can feel your love of animals in your writing.

In your words I can also hear the very strong echos of my own rantings about five years working in a medical office and later working in electronics engineering, all before I was dx'd and treated. A couple years later, meds and therapy have slowed things down and brought a lot more calm to my mind. While I didn't know why my life was such a mixed up hell then, I can now see that my MI was a very large portion of my unhappiness at work. After all, the people around me weren't being chewed up every day.

Don't give up what you love. But take a step back and consider whether you are getting optimum treatment. Talk with your pdoc, and let him know how distressed you really are.

Here's to better days ahead,


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i think you are very strong to be able to do your job.

my goodness, i get upset over the way people treat their kids (i work at a restaurant), there's no way i could watch them with their pets. i mean, i LIKE cats and dogs!!

i have absolutely no advice or anything, but i wanted to say i think it's great you still care and i hope you never lose that. my favorite vet ever cared deeply. she worked with several rescue organizations (cats and dogs, wolves, raptors, and hedgehogs) and was learning acupuncture for pets, and was willing to make housecalls for very sick animals or new animals to see them in THEIR environment... so don't forget there are a lot of great people out there working on this like you are ;)


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