When Disaster Hits, Dissonance Fades : Callings and Crisis at an Animal Shelter

Linda Tallberg, Peter J Jordan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


This chapter develops understanding of human-animal work (HAW). Work with animals may include ‘dirty work’ laced by physical, social, moral, and emotional taints such as killing those cared for. Much animal care-based work includes a work calling to help animals while the reality can be conflictual for workers, creating paradox and dissonance. The chapter is based on an insider affective multispecies ethnography in an animal shelter when a sudden natural disaster hit the shelter, flooding the organization and forcing a sudden evacuation of animals and humans. The crisis reframed wellbeing for the multispecies organizational actors, leading to less dissonance as callings were enacted in that workers could save more animals than prior to the crisis. The chapter argues that wellbeing, especially in multispecies organizations, is entangled across species barriers. Adopting a posthumanist framing, the chapter argues for a need for multispecies organizations (especially those in the animal welfare sector), to better consider their organizational processes and policies through a lens of interconnected wellbeing among human and animal actors.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Animal Organization Studies
EditorsLinda Tallberg, Lindsay Hamilton
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication date2023
ISBN (Print)978-0-19-284818-5
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-19-194348-5
Publication statusPublished - 2023
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter


  • 512 Business and Management
  • affective ethnography
  • animal dirty work
  • animal shelters
  • callings
  • caring-killing paradox
  • human-animal work
  • multispecies organizations
  • natural disaster
  • posthumanism

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Responsible organising


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