More Often Than Not -- It's not about a Bird's Welfare but About Making Money
When Bird Rescue Turns Into a Business (Article)
Things to Look Out For:
- BEWARE! Some "Business People" masquerade as bird sanctuaries / bird rescue organizations. They may have attained non-profit status ($50 bucks and a government form, duly completed, will enable anyone to do so). Don't rely on their fake "educational websites" alone - VISIT THEIR FACILITIES! If you have to make an appointment, you may safely assume that this "rescue & adoption agency" has something to hide. They obviously need time to "stage" their bird areas for your visit. Another great indicator of a "fake" or bad bird rescue organization is if the only address you find on their website or yellow pages is a "P.O. Box number,:
- Visit the facilities several times and take note of how the birds are being kept. If you see the birds permanently caged, if their cages are unreasonably dirty and you don't see extra food dishes for vegetables / fruits and other nutritious food items -- DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES allow them to have your bird. The better rescue organizations will allow the birds to be outside of their cages a good part of the day -- or even BETTER, they provide the birds with their own area in which they are allowed to roam around freely.
- The Empty Promise of "Forever Homes:" Parrots have a long lifespan and the average parrot changes homes 15 times in his or her life. This may be very sad -- but this is reality. The owners may get sick or too old to care for them. The owner's life circumstances change. We have to accept that. Some Rescue Organizations or Rescuers promise "forever homes."
This is a promise nobody can truly keep -and maybe SHOULDN'T KEEP! I would prefer people and rescue organizations to recognize if they can no longer provide proper care to the birds - rather than hanging on to them NO MATTER WHAT even though the animals are suffering.
The fact is that many rescue organizations eventually go out of business. Either they themselves have gotten sick or old and are no longer able to care for birds, or their life circumstances dictate them to give up rescue. Either way, nobody can ever promise a "forever home" not knowing what their own future holds in stock for them.
The following are IMPORTANT indicators that the rescue organization is reputable and provides good care to birds:
They allow public access to the animals or the sanctuary for at least part of the day. Real rescue organizations have, or should have, nothing to hide.
- They will allow the public access to at least view the birds. It may be through windows, as some are justifiably concerned about pathogens being carried into the bird areas or people stealing birds. This being said, when precautions are taken, these risks can be minimized -- and the birds most certainly would benefit from extra socialization by the visiting public.
Disease Control: New birds should not be introduced into the existing flock of rescued birds, but they should be quarantined and vet tested for diseases. Inquire about their policies with regard to quarantining and vet-testing birds.
- If you take your bird in and find that they allow you and your bird immediate access into a room with other birds, you would be better of taking your bird back home, as such reckless neglect will increase your bird's chances of catching a deadly disease.
Real rescue organizations rescue ANY birds -- not just the valuable ones. In digging further, you may find that many rescue organizations will only accept expensive, sometimes also referred to as "endangered", species. When you see that -- this is an excellent indicator of a rescue organization with a hidden agenda.
- The fact is that any bird inperil deserves love, care and protection - not only those that hold themost monetary value. If the rescue organization that you are consideringplacing your bird with or donating to has such exclusions or restrictions - I hope youwill reconsider. "Selective rescuing" belies what a rescueshould be all about.
Check out the address: Registered non-profit rescue organizations should list a physical addresses. After all, they are funded through public donations and the public has every right to know the physical address of this rescue organization.
Organizations that are not registered as a non-profit shouldn't be raising public funds / donations. As private individuals, they have every right to either publish or not publish their address. Although, if they present themselves as a rescue organization and they don't provide you with their address, I would be very suspicious.
- Fake Rescues: Listing a P.O. Box, instead of a physical address, allows people to create fictional sanctuaries for which they can raise funds from the unsuspecting public.
- Sub-standard Care: Another reason for listing P.O. Boxes rather than physical addresses is that they don't want the public to see the facilities and/or the way the birds are set up and cared for. They don't want that because they know the public wouldn't approve of the conditions the animals are kept in.
- But How About Security? One reason for not providing addresses is the security aspect: "Exotic Birds Theft" to be specific. This is a real concern and measures need to be taken to protect the rescues. When setting up a rescue organization, initial funding needs to go to securing the facilities. Security concerns shouldn't be an excuse not to provide physical addresses of donation-funded rescue operations.
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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