Meet Alicia, the client. She has a neuropathic pain disorder which she experiences not too differently from an epileptic seziure. During a seziure, Alicia experiences severe, intense pain, often falls unconsious, and can even experience a stroke or heart attack. Her condition can easily esculate to life threatening if she is not cared for in her most vulnerable state.
Tiberius' job is to notify Alicia, when he notices her nervous system behaving erratically and alert her to take medication, go to a safe place or person, make herself comfortable or in case of incoming stroke, to call an ambulance etc. Although fully toilet trained, in public he wears a special working outfit with a nappy inside it, and tag identifying him as a Service Animal, and an anti snatch, anti theft safety line, the other end of which is firmly attatched to Alicia! He has been trained how to behave in homes, public places, cars and busses, churches, hospitals and everything from fireworks to opera in the park, and he can follow a myriad of social cues. Tiberius is a very intelligent animal, and in many ways is the perfect service animal for Alicia, far more able and intelligent than any canine, and able to help where a dog couldn't. He has hands for a start! He allows her to live more independantly and without him, Alicia would be in a nursing home.
In Februay 2017 Alicia and Tiberius were assaulted. Tiberius was dragged helplessly away from Alicia while she fought her assailants and then passed out. Tiberius was badly injured and when the ordeal was over, he needed some serious TLC. While he has recovered physically, as did Alicia, he hasn't recovered emotionally. He has developed anxiety and post-traumatic stress, and is no longer able to seperate the fear and anxiety he feels, from the electrical impulses of his client. He now just senses "stress" and tells Alicia to stay home, even though it is his own stress. No doubt he feels he cannot protect her, or do his job fully, whenever she goes out into the scary world where they got attacked.
Tiberius needs a break. Ideally, he needs to retire. He has what we humans would call "mental illness" and cannot perform his job correctly. The least he needs is some "stress leave" from his job. Most service animals do their job for around 10 years and then retire but Tiberius has been working 14 years now and being a macaw, Tiberius will live many more years. He may eventually be able to retake his position as a service animal. Parrots working as Disability Service Animals, will normally be kept in rotation of twos, one on duty and one off duty, on a 5 to 10 year cycle. So Tiberius needs a counterpart, even just for normal respite. For now though, he can't perform his job correctly and needs this time off, urgently; animals can and do suffer from PTSD, just as humans do.
Alicia is still searching for a replacement for him, but service animals of any kind (due to demand and extensive training) are expensive, so to pay for another service animal, she needs $14,000 and that's not so easy to come up with on a disability pension.
Friends, animal lovers, humanitarians, please. Anything that you can offer is appreciated.
Any money raised beyond the goal, will go towards a new powerchair for Alicia, as the previous one was wrecked by the assailants.
***UPDATE*** Due to the increase in expected cost, the bar has moved from $7000 to $14,000. This is only the anticipated cost of purchase and transport of a new bird and does NOT include the cost to Alicia for ongoing training.
- Neil Randle
- Helen Roberts
- Rhonda Cox
Fundraising team: Team Tiberius (3)
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