Psychology Volunteers for Animals is a non-profit organization located in Aurora, Colorado. We are psychology professionals, enthusiasts, and students who are also dedicated to finding ways to improve the lives of animals. We support the volunteers who give their valuable time to take care of animals and honor the fact the work is hard, stressful and exhausting. There are psychological strains unlike any other placed on those who help cats, dogs, horses and other animals in our community and our mission to help these amazing people stay strong and keep going. We want to help animals but not all of us our animal professionals. Instead, we want to leverage our expertise so that we too can have a humane impact.
We also promote direct animal interaction and volunteerism for those who are willing and able. We volunteer at shelters doing basic cleaning and enrichment.
What We Do
• We promote psychological wellbeing for employees of veterinary clinics, animal shelters and anyone who provides direct interaction with animals through training and seminars designed to combat the effects of compassion fatigue and emotional exhaustion.
• We raise funds and in-kind donations for anyone in the animal welfare industry. We focus on professional psychologists, psychology students and anyone we can reach!
• We train others in mental management strategies that will make them better equipped for a lifelong commitment to animal welfare either as a shelter employee, veterinarian, veterinary technician or volunteer.
Our Recent Success Story
We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to present at the Fourth Annual ASPCA/CUS Shelter Medicine Mini-Conference to a group of animal welfare and veterinary professionals. Our presentation focused on self-care but had a slightly different perspective. The presentation was titled "Humane Efficiency and Self Care: A Mathematical Approach" and was presented by Theon Marcus, a member of our group for more than 3 years. The presentation's main point? By taking time away from your humane work you can actually create a greater and more profound humane impact through a life long commitment to the field rather than a short burst of energy. Marcus presents data that shows how veterinarians and shelter employees not only have a higher rate of depression and emotional problems but that this shows up in their careers which are often cut short by emotion exhaustion or other mental trauma.