This horrible story about Orange County Animal Services accidentally putting a dog in its care to sleep, despite the fact that a family had an application in to adopt the dog, is being shared around social media this week. The shelter, which said its system of checks and balances failed, has come under fire for allowing the dog to fall through the cracks. And a vet who worked with the shelter is now also under fire for his defensive and not-very-professional response to a community rescue organization that questioned him about what happened. This might actually be a good time to point out an unfortunate side effect of working with and around animal shelters where animals are frequently put to sleep: compassion fatigue. While nothing is "right" or "OK" with this situation or with the vet's response, doing a little research on compassion fatigue might help put the vet's words and actions into some perspective. UPDATE: Apparently, this may be more than just compassion fatigue – or perhaps it's just a severe case of it. Protestors and the Orange County Animal Services Board are calling for the resignation of the veterinarian; some protestors say they want the entire top-level staff at Orange County Animal Services to be replaced.
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