Some Advice Sorely Needed
Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:17 AM
To begin with, I should mention that I work at a vet clinic as a veterinary technician. This vet clinic sees and treats exotics...birds included. That being said, lately I am not comfortable with how the doctor at my clinic treats any animals, let alone birds. I have been torn for many weeks now, over finding a new job, because I am not comfortable morally with the person I am forced to be when working there. I see things that are wrong, downright horribly, sickeningly wrong...and yet, they would be so much worse if I was not there. If I was not there to bring some things to the Doc's attention, to provide the TLC and nursing care that I do, many of these animals would just waste away and be forgotten about. Not to mention all the rescues I end up taking home to find proper placement for them...
Which leads me to my delimma. We recently had a 12yo citron 'too surrendered to the clinic because she was terrified of the other birds in this one lady's home. I don't know why the Dr. took her in, he even said he didn't need her, but there you have it...he put her in a cat crate and left her in the office. Were it not for me, she would have been left in the cat crate all night, but I managed to get her into a larger, beat-up cage and set up with food and water in a quiet place.
She has severe fear aggression...at least, thats what I think. The Doc just thinks she is temperamental and psychotic. When she is in an intimidating situation, anything that can be bitten will be bitten and bitten as hard as she can bite. The Dr is determined to 'train' her. To prove something, he brought her out of her carrier that first day and let her nail him repeatedly without flinching...then put her back when she was reduced to a trembling ball of feathers. On day two, he got her out, taped her beak shut, and allowed her to 'hang out' with him for an hour. I wasn't there for this. It made me heartsick all the same, that this is his method for 'training' birds.
Today, I moved slow with her, talked sweet, fed her cheezits, some nutri-berries, and within a few hours she would come to me and press her head to the bars for head scritches and pets. She watches me. I'm the only one who can touch her without being threatened with a hissing bite. The Doc saw this an actually asked if I wanted her.
I've had a WBC in the past. I moved to a new state this year, and while my friend was watching my beloved little Catbait he fell in love with her little senegal. After a few months, and hearing about all the time they spent eating/grooming/sleeping together, I decided that he was in a good place and I didn't have the heart to separate him from his friend. I still visit him often, he is spoiled, and rotten, and I miss having a bird in the house.
This Citron Too does not talk...she has one sound and thats a high-pitched squeal, something akin to a squeaky wheel, which she emits only occasionally, or if under stress. I have no other birds, which for this too, would be ideal.
I just...well, I hear horror stories about Toos. Am I doing the right thing? I may not be 100% prepared in such short notice but I sure as hell can give her a better place than she is in now. This one has plucked in the past, she has a downy covering and a naked neck. But no active angry patches of missing feathers....however, I am worried that the longer she stays at the clinic, the greater the odds she will start again. And, of course, the longer she is at the clinic, the longer she is subjected to more 'training' and I feel she has had enough.
Like I said...I am struggling with the moral issues of staying where I work. But if I wasn't there, this would simply be happening to the bird, and nothing would be done about it. Much of the same would be happening to a lot of the rescues I end up taking home with me to nurse back to health and send on their way. Its what I do and why I am a vet tech. If I leave, these animals have no one.
As far as 'reporting' him goes, the Doc has a pretty big reputation, and many many connections that have prevented any successful attempts at reporting his actions and being made to account for them. It is a disheartening situation all around.
"Catbait" - White Bellied Caique
Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:39 AM
How shameful your vet is!
And start looking for a new vet to work with. Don't quit, but do your best to find a better place. Places like the one you're at, they'll drain you, break your heart, and make you crazy. You'll be needed to help animals no matter where you go. Go somewhere the people you work with, support what you do!
Becky.....Where Fur and Feather Meet.
Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:49 AM
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