Make A Shelter Dog’s Day: Take Him for Ice Cream

I recently interviewed a multi-faceted graduate student, Allison Andrukonis, at the Animal and Food Sciences Department of Texas Tech University. She is doing a study on “compassion fatigue” in shelter workers—specifically “burn-out” and the emotional effects of euthanasia on the spirits of shelter workers. I think you’ll be as surprised as I was by Allie’s conclusions after studying the impact on shelter workers who have to carry out euthanasia in municipal, open-admission shelters—as compared to smaller private rescues.

Allie volunteers every week at her local shelter. She has devised her own way of lifting spirits and paying it forward. Her personal celebration of shelter dogs is to ask the staff every week which dog is “the most deserving”—and she takes that dog out in her car for an ice-cream cone! I just love that someone who is an academic—asking the hard questions in her studies, is also whimsical, imaginative, generous and compassionate.

If you want to see a lot of bewildered and delighted dogs, here is a sampling.

—Tracie Hotchner

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