Need doggie help

Calliegirl

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I'll try not to make this too long.

I live/work at a very small private animal rescue. There are dogs and farm animals.
The problem is with one of the dogs and barking/growling.

Sasha's (a yellow lab) area shares a wall with another dog. When she got here 3 years ago, there was already another dog in the area adjacent to hers and she was fine with it. After that dog died, they took in another one and put her in that area.

It has been 6 months now, and for 6 months she has barked at the new dog, Mello (she's a husky). They've put up tarps and plywood so that they can't see each other, but Sasha still barks. It's the worst at feeding time. She will literally bark non-stop for a minimum of 30 minutes, everything feeding time, without exception (I've timed it). In fact, she doesn't even eat because she is so busy barking with the occasional growl thrown in. She also barks multiple times throughout the day and night. This is annoying to us, the neighbors and especially to Mello, who came from a very abusive home and is already skittish.

Right now they are trying to find another area to move her to, but so far all our choices involve playing musical pens with the other animals to find a place where she won't see the other dog. It's going to be very upsetting to the other animals (not to mention difficult) to have to rearrange everyone.
So far, it looks like the option they are going to take is to move Sasha into the ducks pen and section off a very small area for the ducks. Sasha's shelter is immovable so she will get to use the ducks house and they are going to end up with next to nothing for shelter. :(

Mello can't be moved to another area because she is a digger, and the area she is in is re-enforced with cement under the fencing.

Does anyone have any ideas how to get her to stop barking before someone calls animal control, or we have to uproot the other animals?

Forgot to mention that there is an area of the fencing that is kind of flimsy. They have tried to reinforce it, but for some reason it still isn't that stable. Sasha often knocks against it when she is barking at Mello and they are worried she may break through. I guess if she isn't barking anymore, they won't have that problem.
 
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mlp

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Has anyone tried introducing these two dogs to each other away from their respective areas? If so, what happened? If not, I would suggest taking the two dogs for walks together, one human per dog, with enough distance in between (side to side), that one can't lunge at the other. Do not walk with one in front of the other, and don't start the joint walk right by their kennel areas.

Mello's not the only one getting stressed - Sasha is stressed by Mello's presence also, else she wouldn't be barking.
 

Rosie1

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Yeah, I thought maybe my wondering if they had had a chance to "meet" yet was too simplistic. Taking them both for a walk at the same time is a good idea.
 
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Calliegirl

Calliegirl

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I don't know if they have or not, I've only been here two months. I'll ask, but I doubt it. Sasha is very hard to control on a leash and Mello has a lot of issues from her previous home. The person taking care of them is an elderly lady, so I don't think she could control either one on a leash. It's one of the reasons she has me here to help.

Mello is extremely skittish and any quick movements send her running. She has to see where your hands are at all times and lifting them up just a few inches freaks her out. She will let very few women and no men near here. I feel honored that I'm one of the few that can pet her, even the owners daughter can't get near her.

I'll ask if they've been introduced.
 

jeneticallymodified

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are you working towards recovery with this dog?

cos she can learn to trust you, and she can learn to not bark at the other dog 24/7- it'll just take time and work. from her perspective, her current situation is pretty flipping stressful.

how much time daily does she get to spend with a person?
 
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Calliegirl

Calliegirl

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Unfortunately, they don't get much time spent with them. Before I got here, the owner was trying to care for all the animals (around 25) by herself, with someone coming in for just a few hours twice a week to do the really heavy/strenuous things.
Now I'm caring for most of those animals (17 of them plus my own cats, she cares for a couple of the dogs, all the tropical birds and her disabled daughter) plus all the outdoor maintenance (she has 2 1/2 acres). The person who was coming in for a few hours recently quit, so now I'm taking those things on as well, and running errands. Sadly, that doesn't leave much time for socializing. I try to spend a little time with most of the animals each day, especially since they were getting almost no interaction before I came. There just aren't enough hours in the day. :(

I do get to spend a little time with both Sasha and Mello. Depending on her mood, I can pet Mello for 5 to 15 minutes before she runs off and hides. She does love the attention even if she is skittish. Sasha is fine with being pet for how ever long you're willing to do it and loves to play tug of war, she just doesn't like the other dog being nearby. As far as I've been told about their backgrounds is that Mello came from a guy who was mistreating her and kept her in an area barely big enough for her to turn around. Sasha came from someone who had bought her to breed her, but then changed his mind so didn't want her.

She has tried to rehome a few of the animals with rescues/sanctuaries because she knows she has too many, but they are always full.
 

jeneticallymodified

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they are always full. :(

she could use some off-site foster families. those pups need to be busy with something a bit more constructive and interactive than barking, and they need to have people around them a lot more than they currently have- or they're not gonna start to recover from their trauma, and develop a decent sense of 'normal' - which is what makes them adoptable- i assume that is the end goal- getting them into forever homes.

there are perhaps a few students milling around- what with it being summer- who could maybe be convinced to come in and help out a little for a few hours every few days, with the more fun stuff (don't try and get them to clean up poop, cos if you aren't paying, they won't wanna- but they might wanna hand out pets and play ball). students who are planning on going into vet or animal care based college courses and could use some hands-on animal care experience, students who need community hours for their resumes, etc.... can you recruit some of those- with fliers, via local community radio, etc? have you tried to reach out to other local rescue agencies to see what kind of resources they might be able to share with you, or let you know about? has this lady got 'rescue' status with the local council? charitable status? donations coming in from pet stores (even just food that's hit the 'best before' date, faded or returned toys, etc). every little helps. :)

i hope this doesn't come out the wrong way, but unfortunately if she's not very careful, and doesn't grab all of the resources she possibly can, she'll end up being miss-labelled as a hoarder, and with the animals who she's rescued, somewhat in need of rescue from their current situation- or worse, with the local government coming in and interfering. i see it happen with well-meaning cat-people all the time- they just get overwhelmed, but still can't say no- cos once you've got 10, it's easy to tell yourself that another few doesn't really make that much odds, especially if you know that if you don't take them they'll be put down- and then suddenly you realise that you're in way over your head.

through unexpected circumstances i personally suddenly found myself with 22 cats and kittens split up over different rooms in my 3 bedroom semi a few weeks ago (including 9 little 5 week old malnourished kittens who had to be taken with no warning from a crackhouse... another 6 kittens that were 9 weeks old and infested with fleas.... and then some of the 9 tiny babies came down with a Giardia infection- complete with chunky white barf and green diarrhoea -which meant the whole extended group and their moms all needed liquid medication giving twice daily -as well as my needing to stay on top of the regular litter and food and water and laundry, etc, and as well as that you're trying to maintain proper quarantine between each room, etc- so yeah- i know a little bit about being overwhelmed! :p).

so yeah- if you're not super careful and super determined, all to often you can find yourself unable to provide high quality care for your little wards- cos you just don't have enough arms and legs, or deep enough pockets :( . i'm really glad that this lady has your help, and i really hope that you manage to find some outside help soon. :)
 
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Calliegirl

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She has tried to adopt out some of the other dogs, but it never seemed to work out. So, I think she just plans to keep them now. She is hoping to find a home for the ducks, and as much as I like them (their personalities are adorable), I don't think the desert is the best place for them. She is also looking into placing at least one of the parrots with a rescue.

She doesn't have a charity status, and doesn't want or know how to do the paperwork to get it. When I first answered her ad, I was very worried she would end up being a hoarder, but was pleasantly surprised to see all the animals were well taken care of. Each one has a very large area, lots of food and treats, water and it's very clean. She is trying to not take in any more animals and has recently said no to someone who tried to get her take in another dog. We have a huge problem with backyard breeders here, and they are always lining the walkway to the only grocery store trying to sell puppies and kittens. It's so bad that the store has put up a sign prohibiting it in front of their store, and constantly have to ask them to move. That's where her weakness is, trying to get past them without bringing one or two home. They often threaten to dump the ones they don't sell into the desert (it happens often here), so she feels she has to save them. I am doing my best to make sure she doesn't bring home anymore.

She is looking for more help, but she doesn't always make the best choices in people (except me :D). Hopefully this time she finds someone who likes animals and will actually work (not like the person who just quit, who would hide and text on her phone and leave things partially done, and stole a computer). Then I'll be able to spend more time with the animals.

I couldn't imagine taking care of that many cats and kittens on my own, especially all those sick ones. :woo:
 
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Calliegirl

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She took in a lot of animals, partially because they needed homes and partly because she was lonely. Only she's too old to actually take care of all of them. Thankfully she realizes that and I'm slowly able to get things taken care of.

She mentioned possibly rehoming one of her birds ( an umbrella cockatiel I think), so I got her a list of rescues from Best Friends while she is still considering it. She is also willing to rehome the ducks if she could find a place/person she trusts. We tried Animal Acres since it's sort of close by, but they didn't have any more room. I've gotten the potbelly pig on a healthier diet, and working on a few other things.

She may be willing to give up the rottweiler too, if it's to a great (not just good, but great) home. I just have to be careful not to do too much at once or she'll just shut down and not let me do anything.

What I really need to do is find her a b/f or husband. :p She complains about not having one at least 10 times a day and how she can't take care of or do anything without a guy around to help. That's part of the reason she is collecting animals. She admitted that no matter how many she gets, she is still lonely. I'm trying really hard to understand that type of thinking, but I prefer being single, so it's hard too.
 
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mlp

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An umbrella cockatoo? They are very sensitive birds.

Yes, from what you said, I gleaned that it was a potential hoarding situation. I'm very glad that you're there to help/keep an eye on things.

If she ever shuts you out, you might need to report her. While that could be bad news for some of the animals she has, it would be worse to let her continue collecting animals if she's on the road to hoarding and not being able to provide for them.

This was a member at a parrot discussion board to which I belong: http://www.ohmidog.com/2012/01/20/police-await-answers-from-bird-rescuer/ She's going to trial on 40+ counts of animal cruelty in August.

This is another parrot *rescue* that was raided this spring - the executive director is also facing 40+ counts of animal cruelty: http://www.wdtn.com/dpp/news/local/montgomery/humane-society-enters-moraine-business
 
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Calliegirl

Calliegirl

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She's been doing pretty good with keeping the number of animals down, and they are cared for pretty well. The only thing they aren't getting enough of is social interaction.
She has 5 birds altogether; 1 african grey, 2 umbrella cockatiels and 2 green parrots. They have huge floor to ceiling cages (except the african grey, his is a little smaller because stays in her bedroom), which she lets them out of everyday and they have tons of toys and treats. One of the cockatiels is super friendly and loves to be scratched, the other one is friendly but tends to bite. I think she's looking for a home for the one that bites. She said she doesn't think she has the skills/training needed to care for him.

Anyway, I'm going to do my best to keep her from getting anymore. I'll just keep mentioning how tiring it is for me to keep up with the ones she has now. That should work, as she is very worried that I'm going to quit and leave because it's too much to handle.
 
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Just for informational purposes: cockatiels are small birds, smaller than a robin. You're talking about umbrella cockatoos, one of a number of different cockatoo species.

I'm glad that the parrots are being looked after - their needs, physical, psychological and emotional, are complex.

Most of the larger parrot species bite to some extent - they're wild animals, not domesticated. It's one of the reasons they are so frequently rehomed.

:hug: Very glad you're helping her out.
 

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Just for informational purposes: cockatiels are small birds, smaller than a robin. You're talking about umbrella cockatoos, one of a number of different cockatoo species.

.

Huh? Cockatiels are a lot larger than robins. :confused:
 
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mlp

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Huh? Cockatiels are a lot larger than robins. :confused:
No they're not. Pet cockatiels are averaging around 75-90 grams (and that's considering that they tend to be plumper than they would be in the wild, since they don't get as much exercise as a wild bird), with a wingspan of about 14 inches. A robin (American robin) averages about 85 grams in weight, with a wing span of about 15-16 inches.

I suspect that you may also be confusing cockatiels with cockatoos.
 
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Calliegirl

Calliegirl

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Just for informational purposes: cockatiels are small birds, smaller than a robin. You're talking about umbrella cockatoos, one of a number of different cockatoo species.

I'm glad that the parrots are being looked after - their needs, physical, psychological and emotional, are complex.

Most of the larger parrot species bite to some extent - they're wild animals, not domesticated. It's one of the reasons they are so frequently rehomed.

:hug: Very glad you're helping her out.
You're right, I meant cockatoos. I don't know why I kept calling them cockatiels, I really do know the difference. :p

One of them has a rope hanging from the ceiling that he likes to climb to the top of, but he's chewing a hole in the ceiling, so she had to take it down. We are putting something like a metal grating up there though, so he can have his rope back. Of all the animals, she seems to take the best care of the birds.
 

jeneticallymodified

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Huh? Cockatiels are a lot larger than robins. :confused:

ok so here's the thing: american robins are the same size as english blackbirds. it took me ages to work this out. they look like somebody spraypainted a thrush. :p

british robins are teeny tiny little blighters- like sparrows. :D

american robin:

220px-Turdus-migratorius-002.jpg


english robin:

220px-Erithacus_rubecula_-Norway_-singing-8.jpg
 
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mlp

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You're right, I meant cockatoos. I don't know why I kept calling them cockatiels, I really do know the difference. :p

One of them has a rope hanging from the ceiling that he likes to climb to the top of, but he's chewing a hole in the ceiling, so she had to take it down. We are putting something like a metal grating up there though, so he can have his rope back. Of all the animals, she seems to take the best care of the birds.

You have to be careful with the kind of metal parrots have access to - most metals, other than stainless steel and nickle plated stuff (and even that, if the plating wears off), causes heavy metal toxicity. You can buy ceiling protectors made especially to hang between the toys/ropes/perches and the ceiling, to keep them from reaching the ceiling to eat it, or you can make your own - this site has instructions for one, if you tab down: http://www.landofvos.com/diy/diy_projects.html

ok so here's the thing: american robins are the same size as english blackbirds. it took me ages to work this out. they look like somebody spraypainted a thrush. :p

british robins are teeny tiny little blighters- like sparrows. :D

american robin:

220px-Turdus-migratorius-002.jpg


english robin:

220px-Erithacus_rubecula_-Norway_-singing-8.jpg

That would 'splain it - I was starting to wonder about the robins in the U.K., which is why I specified "American robin" in my response to Annia. :)