Our Local Volunteer Team

George

George Yool

Project Manager
Steve

Steve Crawford

Director, Veteran Services
Norma

Norma Cravey

Resources
Patty

Patty Z.

Handler

(Current Board & Minutes)

Visitors/Volunteers

Visitors and volunteers are responsible for any incidents, accidents, or personal injury. The animals can be unpredictable. Coming onto the property and interacting with them subjects you to potential injury. Come with the reasonable expectation that you may leave with an injury. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen.

Dexter

To maximize your experience and minimize risks of injury, parties of no more than five adults or seven persons with two small children being carried are allowed. This is still too many people to fit through a sally port or squeeze into a small space like the hen house. A crowd frightens away the animals, and the domestic animals are cornered so they will defend themselves.

Parties are only allowed to tour with a regular volunteer familiar with all the animals and potential hazards. This way they will know where potential hazards are, be able to warn and steer away from those hazards. Call in advance to be sure someone is available.

Many of the animals love lots of attention. Some won't take no or any rejection for an answer. Some are also easily excited. Please observe any cautions of your guide.

Working

We do a lot of things that are potential hazards like repairs and constructing new habitats. We're all volunteers at our own risk. If you don't have the health coverage to cover potential injuries and the related inconveniences, then don't volunteer.

Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age. Minors must have parental consent and are only allowed to volunteer when at least two adults are present. There is a reasonable expectation of injury working with these animals. It doesn't happen often, and if you are careful following the advice of more advanced handlers it won't. Anyone coming to the property is responsible for their own injuries, medical and related expenses.

Playtime

Safety first. Beware of your surroundings and potential hazards. If you are going to use a squeaky toy, throw a ball, or read a story, beware how close all the animals are and if there are any risks of conflicts.

It is best to work one-on-one with each animal before trying to orchestrate two or more.

Guest

We welcome parrot visitors. It is good for everyone so long as no one has a communicable disease and we take the process slow so nobody gets hurt.


Intake & Surrender

Pre-planning

Veterinary screening, and testing for Chlamydia (all)/Polyoma (young)/PBFD (old world), is vital to surrender. We need to know the exact medical condition in advance so we know where we can properly place the animal. Our facility, for example, is not equipped to take in contangious diseases, but arrangements can be made.
Without veterinary records, all shelters, rescues, and sanctuaries are forced to quarantine for the health of all the animals. Keep regular veterinary records.

Profile

Be familiar with where the animal is going. Visit. If possible, schedule a visit with the animal to determine whether it will fit in.
Confirm and reserve the availability. If you want us to hold a space, you will need to pay half the fees for that period. This is non-refundable as it covers our maintenance and property expenses.
Budget yourself and your will to support the animal for the remainder of its expected life OR expect to be put on a waiting list.

While this may be stressful to you, you are only losing the animal. It is fairly easy for you to move on, but impossible to explain to them. They are losing their entire familiar life.

We want the loss to be as minimal as possible. If an animal has a partner, they need to be surrendered together. As much of the personal effects of a surrender needs to provided with the animal. Please as to confirm which effects you will provide. Medications, protective wear, toys and familiar things are ideal.

Surrender/Sponsoring

Surrender commits you to a legal obligation to support. The rates are listed below. If you are reserving a space, then half the rate. If you are planning ahead for your will, then we use the life expectancy for the species minus age as an annual multiplier.

Parakeets & Micro-sized$250 one-time fee
Cockatiels & Small birds$750 one-time fee
Conures & Medium birds$65/month $750/year
Amazons, Greys, Goffins, Lesser Sulphur, mini macaws etc.$80/month $960/year
Large birds$140/month $1,500/year

These rates were determined to provide the highest standard of care we can offer. That includes licensed veterinary care, high quality food variety, climate controlled spaces with artificial entertainments (e.g. TV), naturalistic open environments (e.g. foraging aviaries), without over-crowding or caging.

If the animal is to be placed in emotional support foster care, then reduce the sponsorship rate by 25%. We still provide for the medical care, proper diet, and reserve space for those individuals. Fosters are not paid, nor do they receive money. They only receive the goods and services needed and provide home and personal care to the animal.

Fosters are welcome to assume the medical and dietary burdens. We also encourage them to visit the sanctuary with the animal for on-going socialization---unless of course bird socialization is a problem for the bird. The sanctuary remains responsible for the animal's welfare. Regular oversight and veterinary care are necessities of the foster program.


Veterans & Fostering

CBS NEWS July 17, 2016, 9:57 AM

Who and Why

Our foster program aims to put birds who need one-on-one attention with people who need one-on-one attention. The expectation is that the bird candidate cannot typically be cut loose in general population, but can offer emotional support in varying degrees from home only care to going everywhere.

The typical foster is someone with a special need who will form a special bond with the animal. These needs can range from a simple companion to unable to safely function in public without their ESA. ESAs are ideal for mood disorders, especially PTSD typically consistent with veterans of combat (see Psychology Today, Lafeber, and Today). Mental scars never heal, but the right ESA can smooth.

Service animals like dogs and ponies adapt to our needs. Conversely, the person adapts to the ESA. By adapting, the person's emotions become focused on the animal and it takes priority. Some people you don't want to run into without their ESA. If their ESA was a dog, the dog would join the fight and only make things worse. Psychology doesn't always fit into nice little boxes.

Parrots are the opposite of dogs in many ways and fragile. They are a lifelong commitment like a human partner. Many species are tool makers, with great ape intelligence. Like people, they are independent with complex social relationships. They choose and unchoose you. Getting into a scrap could void your parrot relationship or damage them permanently.

A parrot ESA comforts and distracts you from potential triggers by providing a positive relationship. Like any other partnership, they want to please you as much as you want to please them. Most will go out of their way to reserve their pooping for a special area. Many will readily potty on command given a safe range to do so in.

Domestication is a trauma for parrots. Some get overly bound to one person and consistency of handling. Changes can be devastating to them, which makes them so perfect for this job. If you love your bird, the last thing you want is something to cause them to start plucking, mutilating, or escalating their existing nervous conditions.

Registry

Many ESAs are home-based and do not need to be socially agreeable. Registry makes it easier to show the animal is not just a pet. It is protected by The Fair Housing Act and other disabilities accommodations. They only protect one animal.

If your ESA is to go in public, then only an ESA who is socially agreeable can participate. You don't want to take an animal out into public as an emotional support animal who attacks people. A parrot will invite people and put smiles on most faces, which adds to reducing the potential triggers of a mood disorder.

We no longer offer registry services.

Emotional Support Animal

It is advisable to register and get a card (as low as $20 on Amazon). When asked if your parrot is a service animal, you answer only with the card to avoid legal problems. Many states are now citing and fining people who misstate emotional support as service animals. Many establishments are now using this as an excuse to literally chase you down and refuse service.

The ADA and many state law makers still don't appreciate the importance of mental health or ESAs. Many grocery stores and offices of social security refuse ESAs while hospitals, doctors offices, nursing homes, most restaurants, etc. do. Our advice is to not patronize those places that refuse your ESA.

Participation

Come as a volunteer/visitor and leave as a foster parront. Like dating, it sounds easier than it is because the criteria for completion is commitment to a loving marriage for life. That doesn't happen in one visit. It happens in as many visits as it takes to form the right bond. We aren't here to send pets home for free. We are here to help two living beings in need.

We will not look at your service or medical records or ask about them, nor do we need to. We have staff qualified to see if you have a valid need or not to participate. It is your responsibility to have a regular record to show the need for an emotional support animal. Talking to us is confidential, but if you are seeking counseling we are likely to refer you to professional services.

We have two types of fosters: those who can support the animal, and those who can't. We do not charge a fee and this is not an adoption. The animal remains the technical property of the sanctuary. You cannot sell or convey it, and upon your death it comes here. Upon its death, we need a necropsy for our records. The difference is whether we or you provide for medical expenses and healthy diet.

We do screen for problematic living conditions, but generally to help you with establishing a safe and enriching environment for the bird. We do not expect perfection and we aren't here to judge.

We see animals and people living happily in a full range from pristine to hording conditions. We also see them miserable. We simply want healthy and happy. We are here to help make sure things will work for you and the bird. Our visits and communications are protected as confidential.

Special needs animals who cannot be admitted to the property due to communicable disease, behavioral issues, species conflicts, etc. can be part of the program but would require the participant and person surrendering the animal to make arrangements. We would simply make the contact and the animal is never in our system. They can qualify as emotional support animals for housing purposes, but you won't need an ID card for that.