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Everything posted by tdierikx

  1. Interesting that it's the police who have charged the woman, and not RSPCA... Upside of that is that the woman will be tried to the fullest extent of the law and not plead down to some lesser charge for only a fine. T.
  2. It's not just vet students left off the list... vet nursing and most other animal related courses have student work placement requirements also. When I did my captive animals (zookeeping) course, I had to to one full day of classes and two days of student work placement every week - which meant that was 3 days per week I couldn't work in a paid job for those 3 days. My vet nursing course had one full day of classes and one day of student placement in a vet clinic - taking 2 days a week away from being able to do paid work. You also need to factor in time outside of those hours to complete assignments, etc too. And after completing both of those 2 year courses, I can work in those professions for minimum wage or less... Funnily enough, some Sydney zoos are taking full advantage of the free TAFE student work placements, often with free student labour and other volunteer positions making up a larger component of their workforce than paid (read qualified) keeper staff. Same with vet clinics - some rely on the fact they will get a couple of free work placements to cover each day and so they have extra hands to get the workload done for less cost. We won't get into the fact that most animal industry jobs are also mostly casual or part time, meaning that full-time positions are rare and therefore highly contested when they do come up. As a result there is also very high turnover, as people leave the profession as they can't afford to live on minimum wages and sporadic hours. T.
  3. My last foster dog had been dumped at a tip in Newcastle, and the one before had been dumped in a park near Campbelltown with her dependent puppies. With pounds, shelters and rescues all full, and/or most charging surrender fees to take animals, people are resorting to dumping pets they can't keep anymore. Some of those people who have dumped animals may be callous arsehats, but some may just be as a last resort when they can't take their pets with them wherever they have to go. I don't necessarily think we can jump to judgement in the latter type of cases. T.
  4. There may be something in the various claims by anti-commercial food proponents that commercial food is actually making our dogs/cats unwell. When I was younger, most people tended to feed their dogs in particular food scraps leftover from our own meals and maybe top up with some cheap supermarket kibble or wet food. Bones were cheap or free from the butcher shop, and lamb shanks were basically considered as dog food. Dogs were maybe vaccinated regularly, but mostly not. Despite the fact that diets were not necessarily "complete and balanced", it was rare to find a dog with chronic allergies, kidney/liver issues, or any ailment other than a touch of arthritis as they got old... and generally they seemed to live to ripe old ages back then too. Is anyone else concerned that our pets are seen way more often by vets for a much wider range of ailments since we started being pushed to feed them commercially prepared "complete and balanced" food? Over my dog-owning years as an adult - where I've been the one making decisions about what I feed them - I've definitely noticed that my own dogs have always seemed much healthier and easier to maintain good body condition, etc, when I've fed them diets that aren't high in commercial food products. This has applied to dogs of pure/pedigreed backgrounds AND BYB crossbreeds/rescues. T.
  5. How many people have come here to ask what is the best food to buy for their dog? And our answer is usually that the "best" food is whatever your dog does well on. Some here feed supermarket kibble, and others go the whole hog to make their own perfectly balanced diets for each of their dogs, but most are somewhere in between, yes? Personally, I think that kibble is an easy choice, as it's ready to serve, and some brands are relatively cheap to buy, so that is what the general public think they have to feed. This is not helped by the industry (mostly unregulated) pushing their own sales agendas by making claims of "complete and balanced" (even though that "balance" is mostly chemical additives, etc)... and vets pushing the same tenets. I am yet to find a commercial dog food that is perfect for every dog I've ever owned. Like us, they can be different as to how they process the foods we give them, and may have different taste/texture preferences, etc. My rescue foster dogs are fed a mix of raw and dry Savour Life dog food... and that is basically because Savour Life actually provides it to us for free. So far, all my fosters have done well on it, so I have no issues with feeding it... and the fact that it's not costing us/me anything is a bonus. If the dog wasn't doing well on the feed provided, there would be discussions about trying something else. T.
  6. Fly free with the angels goodest boy Warrior.... @Rebannemy heart breaks for and with you... please remember him with lots of love an smiles in your heart for all the wonderful memories you made together... I think he'd like that... T.
  7. Sounds like she's very close to showing you her pups... and she'll probably pick today (a public holiday of course) to whelp... just my feeling here... If you have plans on doing anything away from home today, I'd suggest you change those plans and stay home where you can keep an eye on her. If nothing happens today or tonight, I'd be contacting your vet first thing tomorrow and possibly taking her in for a thorough check. Don't fuss over her unless she actively "asks" you for comfort... go about normal routines but keep an eye on her from a bit of a distance if you can... she may be reacting to any fussing and is uncertain about letting her body do what it needs to do... they can be very sensitive about things when it's their first time. Have you ever assisted a whelping before? If pups are born with the sac intact, you are going to have to tear it open and make sure their airways are clear. The placentas will sometimes take a second contraction/push to eject after the pup/sac is out, do not try to hasten that process. Allow mum to eat at least a couple of the afterbirths as it will stimulate good milk production... I've never had issues with bitches eating all afterbirths, but some advise that it could be a bit rich for them. Pups may arrive in quick succession once the first arrives, but could also have a decent gap between them (I've had them come 1-2 hours apart with no issues). If she is actively contracting and pushing, but nothing seems to be coming after 2 hours, you will need to contact your vet asap for advice on your next steps. Be advised that she may choose somewhere other than the whelping box to start having her pups... go with her instincts and let her do what she needs to do where she chooses to do it... make sure you have a stack of clean towels handy for that eventuality. You can move her and the pups to the box once she's finished whelping. If she does have the pups today/tonight, still call your vet tomorrow and book in an appointment asap for a post whelp checkup of mum AND the pups, OK? Oh... and once the pups are born, we will be expecting some photos of the new little family... it's kind of an unwritten rule around here... *grin* T.
  8. Thanks @sandgrubber Quite frankly, true working livestock guarding dogs are scary as heck if they don't know you, or think you are some sort of threat to their herd... and if there is a history of them not necessarily staying close to their herd and roaming loose where they may encounter the public, then I think the decision to euthanaise the repeat offenders now they have actually caused harm to someone (and killed their dog) is a sound one. The fact that the farm in question is some sort of venture to show how sustainable farming can be achieved seems to make this incident - and the other livestock escape issues over the years - even more neglectful. Sticking to your guns about using a fencing system that clearly isn't working can't be explained away or excused by saying they are "green" or "sustainable". Fix your containment issues, or loose your license to operate methinks. As for charging $400 for a meal produced by this farming method... if that's what it costs this operation to provide a meal, then it's way too expensive to be touted as the "way of future farming", don't you think? T.
  9. Smart Don has the age and experience in life to know that making his way back down the way he went up was the safest way... a younger dog might well have jumped down and hurt themselves... Is Don... is good boy! T.
  10. So, it's ok for the shelter to keep the dog in a kennel/enclosure 24/7, but adopters can't have it sleep outside ever, even if it's inside at all other times? Double standards much? I'll bet that the dog wasn't sleeping rough at it's new home, but would have had decent bedding, etc... It's stories like this that give rescues a bad name. T.
  11. I swear that my current foster puppy thinks his name is "no" or "uhh" sometimes, as he hears both a lot! The reality is that he's high energy and easily aroused, and needs strong boundaries enforced so he'll grow up as a good canine citizen. He's only 10 weeks old, but the earlier he learns what is acceptable and what is not, the better he will do once he's adopted into a new family. We have gone from him being a complete maniac demanding attention all the time, to a much calmer and less clingy little fellow in just a couple of weeks. He sleeps in his crate overnight like a true little pro, and he settles in his big playpen and doesn't annoy the neighbours with whinging or barking if I have to go out for any period of time. He is free running the house and yard when I'm home (most of the time), and toilet training is slowly coming together... he gets to just inside the back door to do his poops, and has managed to do a couple actually outside on his own... yay! He is starting to understand what is required of him in that area of training. He also has worked out that if he sits like a good boy and looks up at me with his good boy puppy eyes, he gets cuddles and pats, but if he's jumping up or mouthing, he gets ignored or told "no" or "uhh" until he sits calmly... then he gets his cuddle/pats. He has also learned to be a good boy when on the couch with me, settling down for a nap or just cuddles. We both nanna nap on the couch at regular intervals. Personally, I think this little fellow will be really good at dog sports, as he's actually highly biddable, but high energy. He is also highly praise driven, rather than wanting food rewards, which I think is much better, as one may not always have food on hand to get their dog to do what they need to do. He also loves his toys, so those could be used instead of food for rewards too. He's pretty good at his recall already too, as he had to learn that quickly when I had my other foster with a dodgy knee who wasn't allowed to play zoomies with this little one, so calling the little one back when he wanted to play hard with the other foster was a paramount need. Laying ground rules early while a pup is still young sets them up for much greater success when we rehome them IMHO. T.
  12. Yes... you need a permit to keep native wildlife... and only certain species can be kept under a permit. Most permits relate to certain species of birds or reptiles only - native mammals/marsupials cannot be kept. Wildlife rehabilitators have a different type of permit, as their holding of native animals is supposed to be only temporary. As for wildlife rehabilitators taking orphaned baby mammals/marsupials to raise and eventually release to the wild, the harsh reality is that most of those animals don't actually survive very long once released... but what the heck, they sure make for great photos to use for fundraising, don't they? T.
  13. The fact remains @Powerlegsthat Molly has successfully transitioned to being free ranging with the local wild bird population now, but still comes "home" at intervals to hang out with his family and get himself extra food and interspecies friendship. I have no doubt that Molly's journey has been significantly different to a naturally raised wild bird, but do not doubt that this family have had his welfare at heart. He is happy and healthy and chooses where and when he will interact with either the wild population, or his adopted family. Magpies are smart birds, and there are numerous (read myriad) stories of them choosing to have relationships with humans and other animals throughout history... this is just another one of those stories, but with the advent of social media, it can and has been shared much further than such relationships have been in past eras. Raising money to get themselves some stability in a rent to buy property so that Molly could establish his connections to the wild population, but still providing safe haven when he chooses it is not beyond the scope here IMHO. As for the book and calendar(s)... why not? It's a beautiful story and a beautiful relationship that this family is sharing with Molly. It's hardly providing a livable income for them either. T.
  14. OK, there are 2 problems here... 1. the name of the Act - "Animal Protection Act" - the word "protection" in this instance is a word that has been hijacked by the animal rights movement to have people believe that animals are generally grossly abused on a daily basis, and that all human interaction with animals should be severely restricted. These pieces of legislation used to be called Welfare acts... with animal welfare as the core tenet... but now the tenet has shifted to the notion that animals now all need protection from humans. Animal protection is NOT animal welfare... they are two vastly different things. 2. that can cause "pain suffering or damage" - this is deliberately vague wording which will allow any number of perceived "issues" to be added to the list of banned "defects" deemed "genetic"... when we all know that some issues have an environmental component which are completely beyond a breeder's means to prevent - ie. hip displaysia. HD can be limited in the genetic sweepstakes by selectively breeding dogs with good structure, but it cannot be completely prevented from a breeder perspective when environmental conditions while a larger breed pup is growing are so diverse. Under this sort of legislation, HD could be added to the list of traits, and that could lead to many larger breed dogs effectively unable to be bred... a stretch, but still completely possible when we are seeing a stronger push by animal rights agendas driving animal related legislation. T.
  15. Thank dog for someone showing some common sense rather than dogged adherence to stupid legislation. This was the only solution to providing the best welfare outcome for Molly. And shame on the people who doggedly pursued having him taken away from the only safe place he's ever known. I certainly do not advocate that people look to taking on native wildlife as "pets", but in cases where it has happened as a result of humans caring for a sick/injured animal, and that animal has decided of it's own free will to stick around, then there needs to be some process in place that looks for the best welfare outcome for that animal, regardless of what strict legislation advises. In this case, letting Molly stay where he feels safe, and his needs are being met, is the best welfare outcome. T.
  16. Oh dog, don't get me started on the "hero rescuers" that yell at people to not take strays to the pounds or RSPCA. Watching these people then scramble to "find room" to take on any stray cat that looks even vaguely like a purebred (and most obviously someone's actual pet), while ignoring the average tabby moggie en masse... grrr! Quite frankly I have no objection to anyone sharing their lives with a wild animal, if the arrangement is not detrimental to any of the participants, which is the case with Molly and his family. DESI have the power to grant a license to Molly's family and to return him to the life he knows and loves... just sayin'... Molly DOESN'T have to be caged for the rest of his life just to prove some point. T.
  17. And to hell with what is the actual best welfare outcome for Molly... we must stick to the law regardless he'll actually be WORSE off that if he'd been left where he was... FFS! Here's a link to the "expert wildlife carers" whose constant reporting of Molly's lifestyle caused him to be taken away from everything he's ever known and doomed to be caged for the rest of his life... https://www.facebook.com/wildanimalsaustralia/posts/pfbid0hzHgCnDWirrRh7WRTtt9Cz6QuRw8B1dkKgC6bdCRToHxpe8LT3FzmYDH4jGAKwPVl Feel free to share the link to the above far and wide, so everyone knows what bastards they are. T.
  18. They are going to be on A Current Affair tonight... T.
  19. To my knowledge Molly was happy and healthy in his (Molly is a male) chosen home, so why the urgency to take him away and subject him to a life in a captive cage for the rest of his life? All for what? The owner of Peggy and Molly had gotten a license to keep Molly, but still that wasn't enough? All because some "wildlife carers" decided that they knew better and hounded the department until they had no choice... grrr! Where is the positive welfare outcome here? He can't be released to the wild according to the "experts", but had been happily integrating with the wild magpies at his home, only coming back to be with Peggy and the family at irregular intervals. Now he will be confined to a caged environment with limited area to explore or choice to be with his local mates (and human/dog family)... it sucks! Molly had a life that most magpies would dream of having... humans happy to attend to his every need, sweet tempered dogs to cuddle up to and chase about, and the freedom to come and go as he pleased. I ask again, what "better" welfare outcome will be provided for him now? T.
  20. The rescue I'm fostering for charges around $1000 for small puppies, and around $600-650 for adult dogs. But then, take into account that my foster boy Prince has had a weightloss journey with very expensive metabolic diet food, then had TPLO knee surgery ($4700), and now his other knee is unstable and the rescue will be paying for any surgery that may require in the future... $650 doesn't even go anywhere near covering the costs of his care to date. I say if a rescue can get a decent adoption fee for a desirable type of dog, then go for it... the "profit" will simply go towards those dogs whose fee doesn't cover the costs of their care. That said, one could get a pedigreed purebred dog for $1500 and up... the choice is in the purchaser's hands, yes? T.
  21. The issue @coneye, is that there are too many people who think that they have their dogs "under control", but in all honesty, they don't. It only takes one incident we haven't factored into the equation and it could be game over for that dog, another dog, or even a human. Quite frankly, the most dangerous places to take a dog nowadays are designated off leash areas, as those frequenting them seem to think that it's a free for all playfest, and their dog that is snarking all the others is "just wanting to play". Most pet owners are completely clueless about their pet's body language, and all of the laws we should be following when we want to go out in public with them. Easier to just go for a nice leashed walk with your dog somewhere else and avoid that particular nightmare methinks. As our society moves towards higher densities of humans and animals we will face ever increasing issues. Gone are the days when kids and dogs used to free roam together and only come home when mum called that dinner was on the table... sad, but also our new reality. T.
  22. Hahaha! Not about to let the whole world know that I might have taken my eye off the ball long enough to get hurt by animals in my care... errr! As for your heifer incident... I've had that happen with an emu... he thought I was his one and only, and it got to the point that I couldn't enter his enclosure during mating season, as he'd beeline straight for me to love me long time... lol! He was a lovely boy outside of mating season though, and I even managed to teach him to roll onto his back for tummy rubs... Further to the horn in the face by the goat, I was left with an impressive shiner, and when other staff asked me what happened, I told them I'd asked the boss for a raise... lol! Funnily enough, the only injury that had me take time off work was the pig vs thumb incident, as I couldn't wield a rake or shovel for a couple of days. Leg injuries slowed me down a bit, but judicious strapping with vetwrap and tape stabilised the leg enough to get on with the job. Even the time I was hospitalised by the horse, as soon as I was discharged the following morning, my mother dropped me off at school. The first day I visited my friend's monkey sanctuary, I got slapped upside the head by a cheeky macaque as I was locking the enclosure door - taught me to keep an eye on exactly where the monkeys were at all times... luckily I only got slapped, not grabbed and bitten. Also taught me to NEVER become complacent around animals... especially exotic ones you don't know intimately. People might remember the incident at Shoalhaven Zoo where the keeper was mauled by the 2 lions... I know that person, and she wins all the scar competitions. It is very sobering to see the scars though... she is lucky to be alive. She takes all responsibility for what happened, as she had not double checked that the slides to the outside area were shut before entering the dens to clean up. The 2 young lions had only wanted to play with her, there was no intent to actually hurt her, but we just aren't built to play with a cat (or 2) that weighs over 150kgs. Note that she had hand raised them from small cubs, and knew them intimately. I think the takeaway from all animal related incidents is that complacency and/or lack of education on the actual dangers of living/working with animals are key factors in all incidents... especially with companion animals. We seem to have shifted from looking at them and treating them as animals, and expect them to behave like furry children, which they are NOT. T.
  23. I can't say that I've had any incidents requiring a trip to the doctor or hospital with any dogs that have lived with me - either my own or the hundreds of fosters I've had over the years. As a teen, I got kicked in the ankle by a calf that had me in emergency getting xrays - nothing broken, but some tendon damage. Also as a teen, fell off a horse which then fell on me - one night in hospital - 3 cracked ribs, a broken collarbone, and a broken toe. Horses are heavy! When I shared a house rental, I tripped over the resident cat in the middle of the night, causing me to stumble and break a toe on a table leg... ouch - but didn't go to hospital. Toe was obviously broken, so I strapped it to the next toe and got on with hobbling about for a few weeks. Working at a petting zoo, tripped over a curious piglet and smashed my knee - cracked the kneecap and messed up tendons, and a small cut as well. Turns out that you can get up and run a short distance with a broken knee when faced with six 30kg piglets coming at your face as you lie on the ground groaning. Also at petting zoo, damaged cactus thumb trying to catch an escaped piglet - little bugger ran past me and I tried to grab it, but it headbutted my thumb. I don't remember which petting zoo animal helped me tear my thigh muscle. Horned in the face - about 1cm from my eye and temple - when hoof trimming a fractious goat. Nailed on the hand by a cat when I was a student vet nurse. It got me on the vein with a single claw hook. Had to get a tetanus shot and ABs for that one. Considering the high exposure to so many animals over the years, I've been surprisingly injury-free I'd say. Can't say if it's down to good luck or good management... probably a bit of both... *grin* T.
  24. I think you will find that there are actually laws stating that dogs must be on leash unless in a signed off-leash area. Just because there aren't signs every 100m telling you to leash your dog, doesn't mean that it's not the law. I suggest you look up the local laws in your LGA to find out the actual reality here... and leash your dog. Some councils even state the length of the leash required... T.
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