Reputable Organization Criteria
The future of your parrot depends on how much homework you do before placing it .
Under My Wing Avian Refuge is sharing this important information to assist you in finding a reputable rescue or sanctuary when you are planning to surrender or adopt a bird. Although there are many trustworthy and reputable rescues and sanctuaries, there are also many that provide only substandard care for their resident birds and/or engage in unethical practices, such as getting birds for free and then running a profitable breeding operation, or selling the birds for breeding or entertainment purposes. You want to be certain when dealing with a rescue or sanctuary for any reason – adoption, placement, fostering, or even financial support – that it is legitimate, ethical, and trustworthy, and provides a level of care meeting the standards recommended by the American Sanctuaruary Association for avian rescue, adoption, and sanctuary facilities.
A number of websites give very detailed information that you could find helpful in evaluating avian rescues for adoption or placement of a bird (see links below). To this we would like to add several of our own insights and recommendations.
Evaluating Bird Rescues and Sanctuaries
We believe that you, as a bird owner or caregiver, have the right to know and receive proof that the rescue or sanctuary you are considering is trustworthy. A reputable organization will provide the following:
A reputable organization will not brush you off with a “”Take my word” type answer, and avoid providing, or actually refuse to provide, proof of trustworthiness and legitimacy. Rather, a reputable organization will do everything possible to assure you not only that it is legitimate, but also that it operates with integrity.
You should in all instances be allowed to have the following:
Do not assume that a rescue is an ethical operation just because it has 501 C3 nonprofit statuses. Be aware that rescues that promote, advertise, or engage in domestic parrot breeding, or have affiliations with other organizations that do this, are compromised. Check if the rescue you are evaluating appears on any Bird Expo or Bird Mart website in your state, or on any other website, such as craigslist, that promotes or engages in baby bird sales. An ethical rescue will never breed birds or allow birds to be placed in homes where they will be bred, or used for profit or entertainment.
Be leery of organizations that:
You can also judge a refuge or sanctuary by checking its physical appearance when you visit. Are the food and water bowls, as well as the floors and walls, clean and free of accumulated debris, food, and feces? (Keep in mind, though, that parrots tend to be quite messy, throwing their food around and taking baths in their water dishes – necessitating daily clean-up.) Also, check the cages – are they the proper size for the birds they house, and are they in good condition, or rusted and in need of repair because of broken bars, doors, locks, etc? Also, very importantly, do birds have access to enrichment activities, such as such as toys and swings in their cages and out-of-cage play stations?
We hope this information may have contributed to finding the proper rescue or sanctuary to relinquish or adopt your bird from.