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Exploring Attachment, Moral Injury, and Wellness in Animal Care Workers: Insights from Survey Research

Room A

1 CE Hour
  • -
    In-Person, Live Webinar



This presentation focuses on animal care workers’ lived experience in Animal Protection and Welfare through the examination of quantitative research that will be conducted in Spring 2024. Research variables being investigated include frequency of exposure to specific animal-related traumas, moral injury, meaning making, career motivations, perceived preparedness for the field, rescuer identity, and the intersection of these variables with overall mental health and well-being. Respondents include a comprehensive population of individuals in animal care from among fields, such as Veterinary Medicine, Animal Control, municipal sheltering, and rescue.


This research seeks to provide increased understanding of the nuanced interplay of psychological factors that influence the experiences of individuals dedicated to animal welfare in the hopes that data derived from this rigorous survey research methodology can inform future interventions and resources tailored to enhance the well-being of animal care workers. By disseminating the findings of this research, this presentation aims to stimulate dialogue, raise awareness, and inspire action towards initiatives that foster a increasingly supportive and resilient community of animal care professionals.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Participants will deepen their understanding about the concept of moral injury within the context of animal welfare work and identify relevant correlations of moral distress based on survey data.

  • Attendees will identify how meaning-making is a relevant variable in the experience of morally injurious events and resulting mental health outcomes.

  • Learners will examine key motivational and identity-related aspects of those in animal care professions and be able to articulate how these variables impact career satisfaction and endurance in the field.

CE Policy
This course is fiscally sponsored by International Association of Veterinary Social Work . There may be potential biases or conflicts of interest inherent to this relationship, and it must be disclosed to participants. These conflicts of interest have no bearing on the course content and have been resolved.
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