The griefs of rescuing animals

For many years I only rescued birds, mainly cockatiels & parakeets, & considered it wrong to also take in dogs or cats that could threaten the safety of the birds. Birds are all traumatized when I get them & allowing free flight allows them a way to regain their sense of power. They can come to me when they are ready & feel safe. Some never do.

But this area has a monumental problem with abandoned dogs & cats–like nothing I’ve ever seen. A day doesn’t go by when I don’t see several dogs running the streets–some lost, but mostly abandoned. So it just sort of happened that I began bringing home stray dogs. So many now, I’ve lost count. Getting them loving families is the hard part & I can’t let them go till I know they’ll be safe since I’ve had experiences in the past giving birds & dogs to reckless people

There are lots of small rescue groups here & many people picking up strays & caring for them, but until just now there wasn’t a no-kill shelter & the biggest shelter reported it euthanized 70,000 dogs a year. That’s the scale of the problem.

Having dogs with birds flying about presented problems, not so much when I was home & could monitor things but when I had to leave. My resolution of the problem was putting the birds in one room where the dogs couldn’t enter. But when I left to go out tonight, two cockatiels resisted going into the room & I let them be since they usually stay far away from the dogs.

When I arrived home after a few hours, the entire house was strewn with bird feathers & my little Mango, who must have put up quite a fight, was dead. There is always immense guilt when an animal in your care is hurt, especially in such a horrific way. We’re supposed to be ever-vigilant to their safety. Guilt sure doesn’t make grieving easier.

My problem is that I rescue dogs but have no idea how to train them so I put on my mad face & put them all outside. When they came back in I showed them Mango & gave them a harsh scolding but what do they understand? I thought maybe I should put on a display of grief so they would get it. They’re not stupid animals but tearing apart little creatures is part of their nature. They probably played with Mango after they killed her.

I’ve been rescuing dogs for seven years & only lost one other wee parakeet who was disabled & couldn’t fly. So I probably won’t stop picking up strays but I will never make exceptions to my safety measures again.

May sweet little Mango RIP.