If you have a parrot you adore, chances are you have given some thought to how you could help other parrots in need. Even if you do not have the space in your home or the time to foster or adopt another parrot, getting involved with your local parrot adoption and foster organization can make a huge difference. Most organizations are understaffed and in need of volunteers who bring a variety of experiences and expertise. If you want to help, here? some tips.
Where To Start Looking
The first place to start looking is through word of mouth. Ask your friends who they know of in the area and what their experience is with the organization. Facebook can be a great place to start, but don? put a lot of stock in what you read on social media. Opinions and passions run high and unchecked on the Internet. What you read may not always give you the full story. Make sure your sources are reputable. If you have them, talk to your local veterinarian and local bird clubs.
Unfortunately, not all organizations are created equal. You should do your homework just like you would before investing your time or money to any nonprofit. Bigger doesn? mean better, but all nonprofits should be at least working toward getting a 501(c)3 and have a mission, a strategic plan and policies in place that ensure proper medical care and quality of living. Beyond this necessary foundation, there are also three aspects of parrot foster and adoption organizations that I personally feel set some organizations above others.
Education is a very important component of the future success of parrots in their new homes. A great rescue and adoption organization offers volunteers and potential adopters classes in parrot care and training. Understanding how to give a parrot the best care and to manage potential behavior issues with positive reinforcement and operant conditioning sets everyone up for success.
Animal rescues and rehoming organizations can easily walk along the slippery slope of hoarding, especially the smaller ones. There is nothing wrong with the occasional foster bird becoming an adopted bird (I?e done this myself). However, the point of a parrot rescue should be to find great homes for the as many of the parrots in their care as possible. The organization should be running ads, participating in events and constantly putting out the word for good homes. (There is definitely a place for sanctuaries as well. Not all parrots do best in human households, but that is a different discussion.) And the organization should be fastidious, but not impossible about qualifying adoptive homes.
All adoption and foster organizations should be screening foster homes and adoptive homes. However, a great organization also makes sure that its volunteers and adopters have resources that are available after their initial introduction to the organization. More than this, the organization should be there ready to assist if foster families or adoptive families are having challenges with their birds. Connections with veterinarians, behaviorists and further education can make all the difference in a new home remaining successful, even if the organization is not yet in a place to create and offer classes and workshops beyond initial training.
There would be no nonprofits if there were no grassroots efforts and most great organizations start small and grow. Dedicated and passionate volunteers are critical to nonprofits reaching their potential. Even if a parrot foster and adoption organization is just getting started in your area, if they have a strategic plan to cover these aspects, that? still fantastic. Parrots need help and they need you. Get out there and do some good!
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