When Birdline first started, we had no idea it would grow in the ways it has, and unfortunately not all of it is positive.
There is clearly more birds in need of loving homes, and not enough loving homes available to accommodate them all.
The more people who are becoming educated, the more people there are that realize an exotic parrot is NOT a good pet to have and more and more say no thank you. For those who do decide to venture forward and acquire a parrot, they still purchase them from a petstore or a breeder as they firmly believe a rescue parrot has way to much baggage for them to handle.
Truthfully, rescue in the parrot world is not all roses and sunshine and the amount of issues we deal with on a daily basis are very trying, physically and emotionally. In a perfect world, the parrots coming in would only need a bit of TLC, maybe a bigger cage, and a bit of socializing. That is not the case for most of the birds that come in. We get the calls when its almost to late, and at times, as with a few amazons, months and months go by and the birds are still in attack mode and this makes things very difficult in socializing, and spending time with all the birds within the flock.
Add to this the financial side of things. We are a non profit charity, we attempt various fundraisers throughout the year to raise the much needed funds to sustain the costs. Veterinary care is our most expensive, and is MANDATORY for every bird that comes in, and every bird will continue to receive their annual checkup as long as they are here, when they are adopted, this is also a requirement. The bills are not 100’s of dollars, they are thousands per year. Add the food costs to this, fresh fruit/veges daily for every bird, pellets, toy supplies and cages. You would be surprised how many birds come into us without a proper cage, a rusty old 1 foot square cage is not suitable for an african grey by any standard.
Yes, we do charge adoption fees – these fees go back into Birdline to help offset the high costs – contrary to a critic who stated we were no different than a petstore because money changing hands is a “sale” – there’s a huge difference between a petstore sale and an adoption fee. The petstore sale is lining the pocket of the owner, allowing him to purchase more birds to sell. An adoption fee is SAVING the life of TWO birds, the one being adopted, and the one who will take its place. Unfortunately, there have not been alot of adoptions this year, and in some cases we have lowered the adoption fee quite abit – and for every bird adopted, we had two come in. Donations are down and outside of what was collected for Meia – they total about 55.00 dollars – in the last 4 months.
This has left us with the dilemma we are now faced with. We are full. We have no room left and have had to turn people away who want to surrender. We have offered to place their birds on our website and assist them in finding placement, but they want a quick remedy, for us to pick it up and relieve them of their responsibility, and I have to say a resounding NO. Emergency’s are totally a different case, and the last two birds were both emergencies, sadly one passed away, and the other one is doing amazing and ready for her new home. Outside of having one spot – ONLY for an emergency case – we are not taking in any parrots for any circumstance at this time. We will gladly place your bird on our webpage and fb page and ask others to share it, but we will not take your bird. We can assist with behavior issues, as well as toys and food if necessary, but we are not a dumping ground. We have no more foster homes, they are full or to busy at this time or they are not comfortable with bigger or aggressive birds.
With all that said, we will be updating every parrot profile over the next few days, please bare with us as the new changes to the website have also made alot of the articles/pages totally disappear, we will work at getting it all back up. The birds profiles will be changed to reflect their behaviors today and will state if they do/do not have a cage. Adoption fees will be by donation with a suggested minimum fee along with the fee for each individual bird. We hope that by lowering the fees, this will allow for many more adoptions and allow so many beautiful birds the chance to find their “feathever” home.
We thank you in advance for your understanding, and encourage you to contact us directly if you have any questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org