Rosie Bubbles, a Moluccan Cockatoo who was part of the PEAC foster flock, flew to her final resting place on the other side of the rainbow yesterday morning, after years of abuse which resulted in self-mutilation behavior. For her last three years, she was cared for and loved by one of our foster volunteers whose heart gave Rosie some peace and happiness these last years of her life. Rosie required a sweater called her “Bibi” at all times, as without it she resorted to picking at herself to the point of breaking the skin, causing serious injury. During the last year of her life, her foster volunteer was able to let Rosie go for short periods of time without her protective clothing. Despite all the love and care, Rosie Bubbles was never able to forget her past; it haunted her often, which was evident by her repetitive screaming in the middle of the night for what seemed to be no reason at all.
Rosie came to PEAC after the Department of Animal Services removed her from her owner. Rosie arrived with a very large necrotic wound in her chest, which was the result of self-mutilation. The conditions she was made to live in were beyond anyone’s worst nightmares. She lived with several other parrots loose in a small travel trailer along with several dogs. Rosie was immediately taken to one of the avian specialists in San Diego who performed a very aggressive surgery to remove the necrotic tissue in hope that what was left would heal. Through the support of its members and the public who financially support the work PEAC does, we were able to try a variety of approaches in hope of healing Rosie’s mind and body. After several surgeries to close up her chest wound, the last time this was done. the vet informed PEAC that should it happen again, there was nothing left to close up the injury and there would be nothing further he could do.
Through consultations with behavioral experts and the trial of different medications, all possible remedies were exhausted. Over the last few months, her foster volunteer reached out to PEAC, explaining that Rosie was not showing progress but was actually going in the opposite direction. To remove her from the loving care of her foster volunteer was not an option, as the PEAC advisory committee felt that this would be undue stress for her to go through and would probably exacerbate her self mutilation and over-vocalization. The decision to allow Rosie a dignified passing was unanimously decided by the committee. None of us, especially her foster volunteer who cared and loved her over these last three years, could stand to see her suffer any longer.
As the director of PEAC, I have debated whether or not to publish something about Rosie Bubbles, as I know some do not agree with euthanasia and some may feel we did not do enough. I came to the decision to write this as people’s actions actually do have consequences, both good and bad. The lack of action on her owner’s part resulted in her having to suffer needlessly, but on the flip side is the actions PEAC took, especially her foster volunteer, that gave Rosie a brighter and moiré enjoyable three years of life. The fact that a human inflicted this suffering and harm upon her is what we must stand up against. The laws regarding cruelty to animals are too vague and very difficult to enforce. PEAC will always continue to stress EDUCATION in hope that through our many public outreach events and participation in pet expos, we will help bring awareness of the proper physical and psychological care of parrots. In closing it is the wish in all our hearts at PEAC that Rosie Bubbles who showed nothing but love for those that cared for her may finally now rest in peace.
(If you would like to donate to PEAC to help in its continued efforts to educate the public and help parrots in need find loving and caring new homes, PLEASE go to our website www.peac.org to help support our work with parrots such as Rosie Bubbles.)
Rosie Bubbles is a female Moluccan cockatoo who came to PEAC in August 2012. She had recently been operated on to close the open wound on her breast. Her mutilation wounds were very infected and much of the skin was deadened. Rosie’s special needs included daily hand feeding, medicating, and regular veterinarian visits. With the assistance of a handmade specially-fitted apparatus (her “bibby”) to prevent self-mutilation, she has made phenomenal progress. Her surgical wound has completely healed, and because of the apparatus, she has completely stopped her self-mutilation.
Rosie Bubbles is a very sensitive cockatoo, and because of the recent change in her environment, she has also stopped all her feather picking. Rosie is considered a special needs parrot as she will require someone with extensive knowledge and skill working with parrots who posses feather destructive and mutilation behaviors. In her current foster home, she has made remarkable progress and we hope that she continues on this path, to full recovery.