Reputable Rescues

Things to Look For in a Reputable Rescue

1. Make sure that the animal has been vet checked. Ask to see the records. If the rescue cannot provide you with the vet records, walk away. This definitely means that the animal was never vet checked. Especially with parrots, disease can spread easily and by not vet checking, every bird on the premises is at risk for any kind of disease. Remember, tests done on the premise, unless done by a vet, does not constitute a full vet checkup.2. Ask about quarantine practices. New birds that come into a rescue situation should not be exposed to the current birds there for a minimum of 30 days. During this time, a complete vet check should be done, which includes a blood panel (CBC), a fecal gram stain, and tests for any suspicious diseases such as PBFD, Chlamydia, Psittacosis, and Polyoma. The best quarantine pracitces are separate air space for the new birds in quarantine and the birds who have "passed" quarantine, but even separating them in different rooms and changing clothes and washing hands while going between the two rooms is better than nothing.
3. Does the rescue do boarding as well as rescue? This is an important question because many rescues do. If this is the case, find out if boarders are asked for a vet certificate to make sure that they are healthy before being taken on as boarders. Also find out if the boarders are separated from all other birds or if they are "mixed in" with the rescue birds. Once again, separate air and separate rooms are the best option in a case like this and I would be wary if this were not the case.
4. Does the rescue keep personal birds on site? This is a red flag that will tell a potential adoptor that funds that are coming in to the rescue, especially if it's a certified non-profit, are not going soley to the birds at the rescue but are also being used for personal birds. If this is the case, it should make you question where else funding that comes in is going and make you wary of giving them any of your money.
5. Are there a lot of "permanent residents" on site? If there are, this may be more of a warehouse situation than a rescue and this is definitely also something to look carefully at. A rescue should be adopting out birds rather than keeping them on site on a permanent basis. Most parrots who are given up come from home situations and this is what they've always known. Very few parrots are going to feel comfortable in a loud sanctuary setting. These parrots deserve a home and everything possible should be done to make sure that this is exactly what happens.
These are just a few things that you should look for when considering to get a bird at a rescue, or even if you want to volunteer your time to a rescue. Don't find out too late that you might not have done your homework because I can tell you first hand that it can be absolutely heartbreaking.

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