When you hear about a parrot rescue, you immediately think the worst; a group of parrots out there have been so abused, so neglected, that an organization has been called in to remove them from their home to safety. You expect to find parrots in poor health from untreated disease, rusted caged filled with mounds of poop in a filthy house. This is not always the case, and it wasn’t when I was asked to assist in the rescue of of 9 parrots in San Antonio.
We pulled up to a beautiful home, in a beautiful neighborhood. Inside was a bird owner’s paradise. They had built a bird room as addition to their house and it was filled with spotless King’s cages that were filled with toys, many lovingly hand made by the owners. Each parrot had at least one perch, the larger ones had two. We left with boxes and boxes of toys and toy parts.
The parrots themselves (4 cockatoos: umbrella, moluccan, goffins and lesser sulphur crested, 2 indian ringnecks, 2 lovebirds, and a hilarious caique that was prone to fits of laughter) were all in impeccable health and clearly doted upon. They were wanting for nothing.
So you are no doubt wondering why we were “rescuing” these parrots. In a nutshell, the owners, through no choice of their own, had to return to their country of Israel. It was not what they wanted, but it had to be. They had to sell their gorgeous house and find new homes for the parrots. It was a heartbreaking situation and so hard to watch. In a more typical rescue situation, you can’t wait to remove the tormented animals from their hell, but we were all feeling really horrible about this. The owners were so very helpful and strong throughout the whole ordeal.
Seven of us spent the next several hours disassembling all of the cages and play stands and loading them into the truck. It was surprising how very long it took to do that. Finally all the birds were loaded into the van and the job was done.
I don’t know which is more heart-wrenching; taking these parrots from a loving home, or removing abused parrot from a disastrous one.
These parrots fell into just the right hands, and will wind up in another very good situation. I wish all parrots were this lucky.
Patty Jourgensen specializes in avian health, behavior and nutrition and has been working with and caring for rescue birds since 1987.