Why Do They Make It SO Hard To Adopt A Rescue Bird??

Why Do They Make It SO Hard To Adopt A Rescue Bird??

 August 10th, 2014
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Photo by Anna Sloan - Macaw and Cockatoo Rescue of New Mexico

Photo by Anna Sloan – Macaw and Cockatoo Rescue of New Mexico

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.

Photo by Anna Sloan - Macaw and Cockatoo Rescue of New Mexico

Photo by Anna Sloan – Macaw and Cockatoo Rescue of New Mexico

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.

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8 Comments on “Why Do They Make It SO Hard To Adopt A Rescue Bird??”

Mohamed Waheed  08/11/2014 11:18 am

I need bird cupply in the maldives

Name (required)  08/11/2014 11:16 pm

The rules are understandable, but it’s frustrating to hear about birds in need and people who want to help all the time and not have a way for them to connect. The closest bird rescues I know of are 6 hours away and need you to be within a 2 hour drive for a home visit. We won’t buy a bird, but I don’t know what we’ll do when we lose our little guy. We have a lot of love and patience to give and are happy to donate, but don’t know how to make it happen. I hope someone works that problem out.

ElleDouglas  10/28/2014 9:10 pm

We really aren’t a “Rescue” but we do we occasionally accept birds in desperate need from local avian vets, from UC Davis and from the local parrot shop. This is why we do a “Foster to Adopt” kind of program. Anyone interested in a bird has a home visit by me, ALL family members come meet the bird and visit a few times, take Parrot 101, even if they’ve had birds in the past and provide their own cage/toys set up w food. If after I have visited a few times and the adjustment is going well, I’ll sign off as Adopted. If not, it’s just a bird that was being fostered and returns to us. Everyone understands and I’ve only had to take back one bird, when a woman’s disturbed adult son returned home to live with her and tormented the bird. The system works well for us. Thanks for this article.

Nuzaik Mohamed  08/06/2015 11:24 pm

There are no rescues known in Sri Lanka. Its all about money. If someone dont want their pet they will just resell

Nuzaik Mohamed  08/06/2015 11:25 pm

There are no rescues in Sri Lanka. Its all about money. If someone dont want their pet they will just resell

Steve  08/07/2015 9:56 am

Maybe rescues should try something innovative. Allow the bird to be fostered out to the prospective owners. Give it 6 months to a year. The foster parents foot the cost of food and shelter, if it works, complete the process with a minimal fee. If not, the bird is returned.

I have a rescue, I would keep any bird that I rescued in the future, I understand the commitment and that some mental issues my never get resolved. I, however, don’t have $800 to give a rescue for that bird to help them offset costs of their whole flock.

li  08/07/2015 5:35 pm

I can totally understand not wanting an animal to be thrown into a bad situation especially if they have already experienced abuse or neglect but some places do go a bit crazy. Where I live birds are not common and there is no breeders or rescues or even pet shops that sell parrots. I wanted so badly to rescue a parrot rather then get one from a breeder. because of having to drive 6 hours or more to the nearest rescue, I wasn’t able to. I tried very hard to find a place to get an older bird and it wasn’t happening for me. I would do anything needed to adopt a bird. I would pay fees and do all the visits and everything else but nobody would let me adopt because I wasn’t local enough for them. I provide my pets the best home possible and they are part of my family. It made me sad that I was denied even having a chance to offer my home to a bird that needed a home. I have experience and could have gotten letters from my vets and tons of other references to prove that im a caring owner and my pets health and happiness are my number one concern. Seems sad there could have been one more abused or neglected bird re-homed at my house but because of living too far away and not being able to get the rescues to travel that far to check my home out it didn’t happen. When I say I would have agreed to anything I mean it. I would have signed contracts with people and agreed to just about anything they wanted me to agree to and I wasn’t even offered the chance. They all told me right off the bat they wouldn’t be willing to travel to me to do the home visit. It was very frustrating and sad. The birds at the rescues deserve a loving home and they definitely should assure they are being placed with good people but if they won’t even work with people that seems a bit mean to the birds. I could have given an awesome home to one of their birds. because of them unwilling to drive one 6 hour trip to check my home out when i was willing to do the 3 trips required of me to visit the bird at the rescue I didn’t get to adopt. That’s purely uncaring.

Chris Dooley  09/28/2016 2:31 pm

The numbers are simple. If birds weren’t being pulled out of the pet population by well intentioned rescues and sanctuaries, then the breeders would go out of business because their would be a huge market of free birds. I can understand the “hard to adopt” abuse cases, but to categorize all birds at a rescue like that is fiction. Being at a rescue sure doesn’t encourage the birds to be better pet birds. The mileage limit is just a way to keep birds in rescues and out of private hands. Long questionnaires and applications are extra red tape that breeders do not require. The rescues, by making birds difficult to adopt, are encouraging breeders, which in turn fuel the rescues. It’s a self perpetuating cycle and only the rescues can end it. Economics will end bird breeding.