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helpline offers support to burned out animal activistshelpline offers support to burned out animal activists

Helpline Offers Support for Burned Out Animal Activists

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A new toll free helpline has launched to offer support and advice to animal rights advocates who are struggling with compassion fatigue.

“Studies have shown that, in time, forty to fifty percent of all activists will stop their life saving activities due to symptoms of extreme fatigue,” explains the In Defense of Animals (IDA) website, which started the helpline. “Our Animal Activist Helpline is there to provide resources and guidance to activists suffering from burnout because we realize that when activists suffer, the animals who need them suffer as well.”

The major cause of that burnout, according to research is a feeling of loneliness, frustration of changes occurring too slowly or not at all, and facing resistance from others on the issues they care about.

The helpline was funded by IDA donors and it is the first of its kind. It has trained counselors available for free via phone or email to offer advice and an understanding ear for those activists that are feeling burned out in the United States and Canada.

“Our belief is that every single activist is needed in the fight to realize a world in which animals are finally liberated from exploitation and abuse,” reads the IDA website. “Thanks to our caring and kind-hearted supporters, help and healing are now just a phone call away.”

The helpline has been available for two weeks and according to IDA, it has received “astonishing” praise and support.

Activists in need can reach the helpline at 1 (800) 705-0425 or helpline@idausa.org.

Via In Defense of Animals

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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  • William

    This once hard-hitting organization has become a therapy office under the psychiatrist who now runs it. Help animals, not whiners.

    • Nadia Schilling

      Hi William,

      IDA works hard and does countless direct rescues each month at their three sanctuaries in Mississippi US (Hope Animal Sanctuary), IDA India and IDA Africa. Helping Animal Advocates with strategies to avoid burn out and continue their advocacy work is an important investment to ensure our movement continues to grow and to strengthen! Through this Helpline, IDA also provides resources on effective advocacy methods as well as advice on how to combine efforts with others locally. It’s important to note that the counselors who man the helpline are all remote volunteers. Animal Advocates can suffer much scrutiny and abuse in their every day work and that suffering should be recognized. After all, we are all animals who deserve respect and support.

      Best regards,


    • norskejente

      William, Want to target the real whiners, like those who have pets and cry how they can’t afford to s/n their pets cause they have no money. Now mind you as you are meeting with them you see they have the latest electronic gadgets, a newer car than you, see the brochures on the table for their next vacation and the list goes on. Have you ever done rescue work? It hits you financially, causes stress dealing with ignorant people, takes time away from things you need to do and that list goes on. But we do it because we feel empathy and compassion for the other creatures that share this earth with us. We do not want to become like so many others who turn their heads away from those without a voice and are suffering. After 25 yrs I stopped doing rescue except when I see an animal in need but I suffered burn out long before that and wish I had someone to turn to to get some kind of support to help me continue. This is not a bad thing.

  • mymissionofmercy

    That’s great.

  • fearnot

    if we can burn out 40-50% we are doing a pretty good job.. let’s shoot for 100%

  • Roberta Smith

    My god you don’t realise how much I need this… My whole life seems to be crashing because I support animal welfare so much, but I’m based in the Uk

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