By Diane Burroughs
Thousands Of Parrots Are Waiting For A Forever Home Right Now
Did you know that in the U.S., pets are considered personal property to buy and sell at will?
Even parrots, many species of which are on the CITIES Endangered Species List. Re-homing a dog or a cat happens all the time which is very tragic, and now, it seems, many of us have come to believe that adopting a pet bird is not a livetime commitment. There are literally thousands of parrots, all species, available for adoption at parrot rescues right now. If you are looking for a new companion parrot, re-homing a parrot through adoption is a responsible choice.
Our culture has not traditionally revered animals as being fundamentally valuable nor endorsed a great deal of moral responsibility for their care. We Americans tend to pursue pet ownership based on our needs and not the needs of the animal. For this reason, people frequently acquire a pet wholly based on their short-term desires and not the needs of the animal. All you have to do is look up PetFinders.com to see how many pets are available for rehoming right in your own zip code! There’s an incredibly sad, long list of dogs, cats, parrots, and small pets in need of a forever home. Every single one of them deserves a forever home.
I was adopted myself, so as a bird lover, adopting a parrot was important to me. Long lived parrots are captivating for those that can love and commit to them, but the commitment is measured in decades not years. A re-homed pet bird may come with some minor baggage, but many birds can be re-trained to trust.
There are some reputable pet stores and breeders that care more about insuring the parrot is placed in an informed and educated home rather than just making a sale, but overwhelmingly, most parrots go to homes where the new owner is poorly educated about the care requirements of parrots nor the level of commitment. Reputable pet stores develop a contract with you whereby you must commit to bonding with your new pet, learning its long-term care and enrichment needs and develop a plan to both train your pet bird and parrot proof your house.
Peachy, A Moluccan Cockatoo Was Adopted
I adopted a 3 year old Moluccan Cockatoo, but it took me a good month to research and soul search whether I was up for the commitment before I brought him home. I’ve had Peachy since 1998 and he is pretty much like a son!
Truth is, Peachy picked me! As you probably know, parrots mate for life. Peachy was 3 years old and had been relinquished to a bird store when his first family had to move and couldn’t take him to their new home. I walked into Birds of Paradise in Wichita, KS and the staff at the bird store were completely honest and realistic in terms of the level of commitment that Peachy would require. They interviewed me about my suitability to care for Peachy as much as I interviewed them about whether I was equipped to care for Peachy. Even though the staff was really helpful, I joined an online cockatoo forum and studied everything that I could find about Moluccan Cockatoo’s – while doing some serious self reflection. I made sure that the whole family was on board for our new feathered son, too! We ultimately decided that Peachy was a “Burroughs” for ever and ever. He’s still here! And, I have plans to write his long term care into my will.
Why I Don’t Sell Birds Or Breeding Supplies At BirdSupplies.com
I used to own a brick and mortar store and it was sad how many people would call to try and sell a parrot back to a bird store. One extreme story I remember – a lady called me and asked me to buy her mother’s baby Moluccan Cockatoo. Her mother was 80 years old! Apparently, the zealous and gifted sales person at Busy Birds in Wichita felt that the 80 year old lady could develop a long term commitment with this long lived bird. A healthy, well cared for Cockatoo can live for up to 80 years! Surely, a baby cockatoo is the cuddliest creature ever, but, was it in the best interest of the aged mother to acquire a pet that bonds for life and lives 80 years? NOT.
Do you think that that baby bird had rights? Let us know your comments below.
I recommend that you put as much thought into acquiring a parrot as you would in purchasing a house. After all, it is a long term emotional and financial commitment.
How To Know If You Really Want A Bird As A Pet
- Get a second unbiased opinion, if you’re working with a pet store on behavior traits of the species that you’re interested in.
- Do as much research as possible to make sure that the behavioral traits of the species of parrot you want fits in with your living situation and your lifestyle.
- Talk to an Avian Vet to get unbiased advice.
- Consider adopting a parrot from a responsible parrot shelter such as MAAPS, The Gabriel Foundation, Phoenix Landing, Oasis and Fosters Parrots that interview you to make sure that you and the species you want are a good match.
- Test out your own commitment for parrot ownership by completing one or more applications to adopt a parrot. The application process asks relevant, inquiring questions that really require self-reflection about whether your personality and lifestyle are “parrot friendly.”