Whenever we think about adopting an abandoned or homeless pet, we automatically think cats and dogs, but any species people have as pets will eventually need help. January is Adopt a Rescued Bird Month.
If you’re contemplating adding a feathery friend to your family in the near future, think rescue. Most people love baby animals, and a trip to the breeder or pet store seems natural. But weanlings are a great deal of work and they’re only babies for such a short time.
By adopting an older bird, you never have to deal with teenage tantrums. And young birds need at least daily socialization and training.
“You’ve got to be committed,” says Pamela Lee, chief financial officer and development director for Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue in northern California. “There’s a lot of work involved in a young bird.”
Surprisingly birds lose their homes more frequently than you’d imagine. Large parrots can live 60 to 80 years, so it’s not a stretch that a healthy Macaw could outlive his family. As with cats and dogs, life situations change; the kid heads off to college, the owners go into nursing care or die, and the remaining family may no longer be able to or want to keep the bird. Sometimes the surrendering family is just thoughtless. Dan Hill, co-founder of Lily Sanctuary Parrot Rescue in southern California, says some people buy a parrot because he matches the sofa. When they redecorate, the parrot has to go.
People should adopt a rescued bird for the same reasons they should adopt a rescued cat or dog Pam says. “You’re saving a life. We can only help as many birds as we have capacity.” Mickaboo houses their feathered charges in foster homes, so space is limited. Only when a bird is adopted can they save another needy bird.
Mickaboo birds are taken from dire circumstances and placed into foster homes where they live as part of a family. They become accustomed to the sights, sounds and activities of a normal home. Pam says the foster family knows their bird’s personality. They can tell you if the bird is good with kids, dogs, cats, men or women, whether the bird would make a better companion for the bird you already have.
Pam says adopters are working with a nonprofit that’s very invested in the animal. “We will educate the new owner about bird care, nutrition and household dangers. You will always have us as a reference. If your life situation changes, we will take the bird back.”
There are hundreds of pet bird species, each with their own special characteristics. Because birds’ personalities vary, the organization and foster parent can help match you with the perfect feathered friend for your family, and they can recommend a competent avian veterinarian.
Dan Hill says birds make great pets if they’re socialized and someone takes care of them.
So if you’re thinking about a feathered addition to your home, save a life and contact one of AdoptAShelter.com’s excellent bird rescues. You can also save a life by donating to one of these worthy groups every time you shop online through AdoptAShelter.com.
Just Click. Shop. Donate!
Feathers Foundation/Circle L Ranch Prescott Valley, Arizona
Heartland Healing Hands Avian Sanctuary Edmond, Oklahoma
Lily Sanctuary Parrot Rescue Fountain Valley, California
Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary Inc Lebanon, CT
Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue San Jose, California