2022 Open Arms Challenge

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  • 1.  Huddle #1 Discussion & Recording - An Informed Approach to Trauma

    Posted 10-05-2021 01:06 PM
    It's challenge time! Today we kicked off the Open Arms Challenge with our first huddle and presentation by @Sloane Hawes (she/her) and @Nina Ekholm Fry Among the many things we learned today (including the fact that @Gina Knepp is fluent in Portuguese), we hope that you will use this discussion thread to ask any follow up questions to our presenters and keep the conversation going amongst other challenge participants.

    If you were unable to make today's call, I have attached a copy of the recording to this thread as well as the complete chat file. After you get a chance to watch the recording and reflect on all of the information, our presenters would love your thoughts on the following question: How could you integrate trauma-informed approaches in your organization? Please leave your comments below so we can continue to tackle and discuss this difficult topic.

    There were also a variety of compassion fatigue resources shared in the chat that you can find below. If you have other suggestions of resources that can be shared with staff to help them battle compassion fatigue or learn how to better deal with trauma, we encourage you to share them on this thread.

    Compassion Fatigue Resources
    • Massachusetts Animal Coalition (MAC) webinar about compassion fatigue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTwrTqpbvUo
    • MAC webinar about how the words we use can communicate judgment and push people away: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIJubgTSE7g
    • UFL Shelter Med has a Compassion Fatigue series starting Oct 18. Here is more info from the presenter, certified compassion fatigue educator Jessica Dolce. It's not just for vets. https://jessicadolce.com/compassion-fatigue-strategies-ufl/ and https://sheltermedicine.vetmed.ufl.edu/education/continuing-education/compassion-fatigue-strategies/
    • Free courses available on Maddie's University related to compassion fatigue: https://university.maddiesfund.org/catalog#form_type=catalog-quick-filter&page=1&webinar_type=0&sort_by=title_ascending&keywords=compassion%20fatigue
    • Trauma Stewardship by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky with Connie Burk: https://traumastewardship.com/inside-the-book/​​​

    I hope to see you all on the next huddle on Thursday at 10am PT where we'll discuss how letting go of old ideas can open new opportunities to processes that are equitable and inclusive. You only need to register once to attend all of the challenge huddles via Zoom. Here's the registration link if you have yet to register: https://maddiesfund-org.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZckduupqjsoGNGtPuk2fatmO_acogXGlPx7

    Charlotte Otero
    Community Strategist at Maddie's Fund


  • 2.  RE: Huddle #1 Discussion & Recording - An Informed Approach to Trauma

    Posted 10-05-2021 01:10 PM

    Thanks to everyone who joined the Huddle today with @Gina Knepp@Nina Ekholm Fry, and me on trauma-informed approaches. Here are a couple of helpful resources that cover the basics of trauma-informed services. For you research-minded folx, I will also be uploading research on the impacts of trauma-informed approaches on service delivery in the next couple of days.

    We would love to answer any questions you have and hear about how you all could/already do integrate trauma-informed approaches in your work! 

    Sloane Hawes
    Institute for Human-Animal Connection


  • 3.  RE: Huddle #1 Discussion & Recording - An Informed Approach to Trauma

    Posted 10-06-2021 06:57 AM
    Thanks so much for sharing Sloane!  We really appreciated your and Nina's presentation today and that you have shared these resources with us!

    Amber Eby
    Maddie's Fund

  • 4.  RE: Huddle #1 Discussion & Recording - An Informed Approach to Trauma

    Posted 10-06-2021 07:34 AM
    Thank you for the Huddle discussion yesterday!
    Our organization integrates trauma-informed approaches whenever possible. In order to ease both the animals and the staff, several of us became certified as euthanasia technicians. This allows us to handle euthanasias on our time and in our care rather than transporting the animal to an unfamiliar environment to be poked by a stranger. It also allows us to cope with the loss on our time, rather than on a scheduled appointment at a vet's office. We offer "goodbye kisses" (Hershey kisses) to dogs before euthanasia so they get to experience the joy of tasting chocolate and we light a candle and have a memorial space set up in our office. 
    As their manager, I let employees grieve in different ways. Some want to be involved in the process and some want to leave the room. Others want to talk and take photos of the animal and some want to sit in their car and cry. I try and be as flexible as possible and allow them the opportunity to grieve in whichever way is best for them.

    Emily Bach
    Cortland County SPCA

  • 5.  RE: Huddle #1 Discussion & Recording - An Informed Approach to Trauma

    Posted 10-07-2021 11:42 AM
    Wow, Emily,

    That's an amazing service you and your organization provide. Having just had to put my dog down a few weeks ago, I can't begin to say how much of a difference it made to have it done in a comfortable setting where I was next to him. I cherish those final memories. I know not everyone may have access to this service, so thank you for being a provider for end-of-life care.

    Irene Chansawang
    Maddie's Fund

  • 6.  RE: Huddle #1 Discussion & Recording - An Informed Approach to Trauma

    Posted 10-10-2021 01:34 PM
    I'm so glad these huddles are available online, as I am unable to make the scheduled times; I am so glad I will be able to still participate!
    I actually am in the middle schooling for obtaining a counseling license, so trauma-informed care is a hot topic in my life right now, but I hadn't previously considered how to integrate it into my role at Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary.  I would say our work with animals is inherently trauma-informed, as we work with special needs cats and work very closely with what they need and where they are. If a cat is extremely scared, we will do what is needed to slowly gain their trust and rehabilitate animals with special needs, never loving a cat any less because of their challenges. Bringing this spirit into working with our clients would be a good way to start expanding the trauma-informed care to the human-based parts of our work. By valuing everyone where they are and honoring what people have experienced, an organization can integrate trauma-informed care into their work. What that will look like will differ depending on the person or animal being worked with.

    Kirstin Duprey
    Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary