Recently there has been some discussion on our Facebook page about parrot rescue and there were several commenters complaining about the vetting process that potential guardians must undergo before they are considered suitable to adopt. Others complained about the fees involved.
I understood their points of view. Why is there a charge for birds that the rescue got at no charge? Why would they make it so hard for someone to adopt a bird to love and care for? These are valid questions that deserve an answer.
As blaringly obvious as this statement might be, it needs to be reiterated that these are rescue birds. They have been relinquished for a reason. Unless someone becomes physically or financially disabled, no one would give up a “perfect” bird. Why would they?
Many of the birds that land in rescues scream, bite and/or pluck. Others have medical issues that are beyond the financial or emotional means of their owners. A lot of people wait until the situation becomes dire before they bring their bird to someone for help. By this time the bird’s physical condition may have deteriorated to life threatening, sometimes requiring thousands of dollars of vet care. They may be so emotionally debilitated that they will be at the rescue for years before being considered healed enough to adopt out.
With any bird that arrives there are initial vet fees and ongoing care. Rehabilitative measures necessary might take years to teach an abused bird how to trust humans again or months to lift the spirits of the grieving bird that has lost a human friend.
All of these services wind up costing money. When a bird requires thousands of dollars in medical care to be restored to health the rescue cannot expect to recoup the costs from an adoptive family. That would ensure that this bird never finds his forever home. Instead, the costs are amortized. The bird that arrived in desperate need of health care might cost the same as the bird who ended up at the rescue because its family could no longer afford to keep it. That gives all of the birds a fair chance for adoption.
The fees are in place to keep the rescue above water. With all the blood, sweat and tears that go into each bird, it is a bargain.
For anyone feeling that the screening process and rules of the contract you will sign with the rescue are over the top, consider this: many of these birds have already suffered at the hands of humans. That these birds are willing to give the human race a second/third/fourth chance is beyond generous, but their trust is fragile. A failure in another home might make them completely unadoptable and they may not have another chance at a happy life. It is crucial to get it right – every time.
Some people give an amazing first impression – they say all the right things and we think to ourselves: ‘this is exactly the person I am looking for’. But most of us have had the misfortune of learning the hard way that some people’s actions don’t mirror their words.
Instead of thinking that you are being put through the wringer, know that the people forcing you to show your true intentions are not willing to let one bird slip through the cracks. Be thankful for their diligence and know that the bird you bring home has had the best that any rescue has to offer.