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Aug 4, 2016

PEAC Second Quarter 2016

Adopt don't Buy
Adopt don't Buy

It has been a busy time for PEAC. Over the first and second quarters, we have taken a record number of phone calls and emails. As of June 2016, PEAC has been in operation for 20 years providing education to current and potential parrot owners and refuge for parrots in need of a new home.  We have many things in the works in an effort to keep PEAC moving forward.

First I would like to update you on our foster program and intake process for parrots looking to enter PEAC and find a new home. Despite our excellent success in finding homes that are qualified to adopt, the number of requests to relinquish a parrot far outnumber the parrots we are able to rehome.  Due to the significant number of requests to place a parrot in our foster program, we are looking to implement a fairly detailed evaluation process. This will assist in determining if the parrot is best suited for a foster program like PEAC offers or a sanctuary is a better solution. The difference we feel between fostering and sanctuary is that fostering is for a short period of time (we try very hard not to have a bird with us longer than 18-24 months) and sanctuary is for a parrot’s natural life. At our next advisory committee meeting we hope to iron out a document to assist us in our evaluation of each parrot. Along with developing a useful document to use, we will also be asking for volunteers to help us with this new approach.  We really feel that though we have a 'bird donation questionnaire" that an owner is required to fill out; it is hard to really get a good idea of the bird’s personality.  All of what I have written previously came about as we had two parrots in our foster program that had serious behavioral concerns.  Through your generous donations we where able to find a sanctuary to take them in, giving them a new lease on life. 

Veterinary costs continue to rise and currently we are spending between $300-400 for every parrot we take in.  We have already implemented a request that people who we agree to assist by allowing their parrot to enter the PEAC foster program give a minimum $200 donation. If for any reason the person cannot give the $200 they are given an option of submitting a letter to the advisory committee explaining the situation and asking if the donation may be lowered or waived completely. 

EDUCATION has always been the focus and main objective of PEAC. Your donations assist us greatly in providing educational coloring books for children 12 and under. This year once again we participated in the Pirate Days at the San Diego Maritime Museum.  The children do a treasure hunt and we, along with the birds and the coloring book, are the surprise at the end. By educating the younger generations, we hope to get the message out about companion parrots, along with both the positive and the challenging aspects of caring for one.

This month of August the advisory committee will be getting together to discuss updating our website to have an electronic membership application that can be filled out on our page and then sent directly back to us versus having to print it, fill it out, and then "snail" mail it to PEAC.  We are striving to be more user friendly. This change will also allow current members to renew their memberships on line, we hope, after we send them an email saying that their membership is due. As you can tell, the advisory committee will have quite the agenda this month which once we have finished organizing the agenda we will post a copy of it on our website. Then following the meeting we will have updates to each item, again posting it on our website. We are also working hard at ways in which to allow volunteers and members alike to be an active part of PEAC.

We have a new member who has taken over all our social media (Facebook and twitter).  She is doing an amazing job and the traffic to our Facebook page continues to increase significantly.  It is so nice to get the "ding" on my phone that there is a new Facebook “like” on our page. 

 

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions on our future plans to celebrate our 20th anniversary, as well as other ways outside of financially giving that you can help PEAC.   

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Mar 22, 2016

PEAC First Quarter 2016

Asha and his new owner
Asha and his new owner

It is hard to believe that we are about to finish the first quarter of 2016.  Lots of great things are planned for this spring and early summer.  We have yearly events like the Turquoise Animal Hospital Exotic Pet Expo, Pirate Days at the Maritime Museum, and the largest event we participate in every year, the America’s Family Pet Expo at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Anaheim, CA.  All these events give PEAC a chance to spread its message of providing access to the latest up-to-date information on parrot care, both physical and psychological.  I am happy to see so many of our volunteers step forward to help organize and run these fantastic events.  PEAC only continues to exist because of its volunteers, members, and generous donors.

 I am happy to mention we have had four adoptions so far this year. Two Amazons, Sunny and Hermione, came to us after their owner’s age made caring for them no longer possible.  This owner’s son contacted PEAC and Barb Crouse and myself met the parrots and the son and determined PEAC was able to add them to our foster flock.  Fortunately, in a short time, a couple with several years of parrot experience contacted PEAC and was interested in both of them.  Though PEAC normally does not adopt out more than one parrot every 18 months to a new owner, it was the prior owner’s wish that if possible that they remain together.  It was wonderful to find a good home for both of them and to be able to adopte them together as was the request of the prior owner. Asha, a Scarlet Macaw who was with us since being a year old and now is going on 3, finally found his match with a couple in Arizona.  The gentleman volunteers at his local zoo and has several other exotic companion pets. His experience with large parrots showed that he understood and uses positive reinforcement training with the birds he cares for at the zoo and in his neighborhood. It was such a good feeling knowing that Asha would be in good hands, as, if he lives up to his species he will be a bit of a challenge to say the least. Last but not least was Lola, a blue and gold macaw. Not only myself, but those who serve on the adoption committee, wish these parrots and their new caregivers the best, and as we promise for all parrots that are adopted from PEAC, we will remain available to help with any questions or problems their caregivers may end up facing.  Again, this goes back to PEAC’s first and most important mission, education.

 Over the coarse of the last 2+ years as the director, I have worked to expand our work in Southern CA.  Unfortunately, with not meeting our goal during our year-end fundraiser, much of the growth must be put on hold until the funding is available.  Some of the work, though, will continue going forward.  At the last advisory committee meeting, we discussed some of the issues we face with people looking to relinquish their parrots.  First, we had to understand what it means to be a rescue and adoption organization versus a sanctuary.  Simply put, we need to evaluate a parrot for its adoptability.  As much as PEAC would like nothing more than to be able to say yes to every parrot that we get called about, that is not physically or financially possible.  Many birds with, for instance, feather destructive behavior, where they have been doing it for such a long time that the feathers will just not grow back, is more than likely not very adoptable. So what do we do?  Again, taking each case by case we would be willing to post the parrot with a bio on our website and Petfinder  once the owner has had the bird receive a vet exam and blood work like all the parrots in our foster flock.  We would also ask the owner to agree to bring the parrot to a seminar should we have a potential adopter interested in the parrot.  This is one way PEAC can get exposure for the birds we are not able to physically take into our foster group.  Of course, this is not for every parrot, as some birds are just not good candidates for adoption, in which case we would provide the owner with information on how to contact some sanctuaries that PEAC endorses.  So to sum up our new “policy,” we are still allowing people the opportunity to fill out a bird questionnaire and an at home evaluation of the parrot as the first steps in deciding if the parrot is a good candidate for being fostered.  If, at the time, it is determined that the bird is a candidate, we would then let the owner know if we have an opening; and if not, we would agree to place the parrot on our website and Petfinder, and if a good candidate for fostering, on our wait list. 

 At the same meeting we evaluated the parrots in our foster program.  Two particularly difficult parrots where discussed.  It was determined that we have done everything possible starting with complete physical exam and labs and evaluations of behavior by a well respected behaviorist and animal trainer local to San Diego County.  Both birds, we determined, belonged in a sanctuary and not in the PEAC foster program.  As the director, I wrote letters to some of the sanctuaries that PEAC has networked with in the past.  We where very pleased to hear back from the Oasis letting us know that at the end of April-beginning-of-May they would have openings for both of these parrots.  The Oasis has very strict intake guidelines including an extensive list of lab work that is required.  Each parrot is going to cost PEAC around $500 for the veterinary visits.  Adding to that the costs of traveling, donation, and lodging to and from Arizona, the total estimate for providing these birds sanctuary is around $1500-2000.  To maximize what we can take away from our visit with the Oasis, we have asked them to allow us to interview them and their staff, explaining their situation and involvement with parrot rescue.  PEAC is working with Candice Thiem, a very talented film and writing professional, who has agreed at no cost to PEAC to put together several short video clips on a wide range of topics, but to also help produce a small documentary on the current issue of companion parrot over-population and all that goes along with that topic.  We hope that from this point forward, we will not end up having to transfer parrots out of our foster program to sanctuaries with our more involved and detailed evaluation process.

 Another change has been what once what was a suggested donation of $200 per bird being relinquished to PEAC to join its foster flock (each parrot entering the foster program costs on average $400 for complete veterinary work up) is now mandatory.  In the event that the current owner states that they are not financially able to make this donation, we will then request that the owner email a letter to the director of PEAC which will then be forwarded on to the advisory committee along with any notes the director or volunteer involved may have to assist the committee in deciding to waive the fee or lessen the amount.  Again since being the director, I have taken the approach that everything should be handled on a case-by-case basis and nothing is set in stone.  As we teach in our seminar, though there are some similarities parrots share with their species, each parrot is an individual and may or may not have these common traits that are familiar with the species.

 I often comment to the volunteers that one of the difficult things with being the director is with having to discuss financial issues, but I have come to realize over the course of my 2+ years as director that we cannot do the work we do without the support from all those who care about the plight all companion animals are in with over-population not only affecting dogs and cats but also the third most common pet in the USA, parrots. So I ask all of you who receive the newsletter to please take note of the “support PEAC” ad that we have included in this issue (and plan to have in all issues from here on out) and take just a few moments so send in even just a single dollar as with that single dollar PEAC may see a dream come true where rescue is no longer needed and all parrots are kept in safe, loving, and healthy environments. Do it now; just tear off the donation slip and mail it in with your check or credit card information.  You may also go directly to Paypal and make a donation that way. Every penny we get with a donation goes directly to our work with education and the care of our foster flock.

 Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments you may have.  You can either go to our website and send a message via that or drop me an email using membership@peac.org.  I wish everyone a bright and happy Spring, and may all our companion parrots settle down a bit from this once again crazy breeding season.

 In closing, I want to thank you for all that you already give, in both your time and finances, to our small but very important organization.  We are not able to save them all, but to make a difference in one parrot’s life is worth the efforts to keep PEAC up and running, so that the ones we are able to save have a chance at a wonderful new life.

Sunny and Hermione at their new home
Sunny and Hermione at their new home
Lola and her new family
Lola and her new family
Dec 15, 2015

2015 Year End

please help us give them a second chance
please help us give them a second chance

I want to take this time to thank all of you for your support, both financially and in time donated as volunteers. PEAC depends 100% on private donations to fund the work it does throughout Southern California. With your support, PEAC has been able to help just over 60 parrots either by working with the owners on training so that the parrot may remain in their current home, by placing them in the PEAC foster program, or by networking with other parrot rescues when the foster spots at PEAC are full.  Education being the main focus of PEAC, we always start out by trying to keep the parrot in its current home.  However, we do realize, more often than not, it's not possible for a variety of reasons for the parrot to remain in its current home.  Being a small organization, our funds are limited, thus limiting the number of parrots we can foster at any given time. With the season of giving well underway, we ask you to take a moment and think about how your donation will give a parrot a second chance in life and giving PEAC the means to continue on for another year of education and rescue. 

In the last report, we mentioned three special cases that PEAC was able to reach out and provide help to.  Unfortunatley, we have not yet recovered from that financial drain on our funding. I ask you to think:  what if there were no rescue group to  take in the needy and neglected birds that are saved by PEAC? I have attached a story written by Barbara Crouse, one of our foster volunteers who has a special way with Amazons, about her experience with Beanie the Amazon that came to PEAC with a severe sinus infection and very weak immune system.  The answer to the question I posed to you is that Beanie, and others like him, would not recieve the care he required and in the end would have suffered an agonizing death. 

Another example is Major, the military macaw that came to PEAC with permenant damage to his feet resulting in his inability to perch safely on normal perches, so that he must be provided with flat surfaces to perch on.  The damage to his feet also prevents him from holding food and feeding himself like so many parrots do.  He is forced to feed directly out of his food bowl with his beak and must be fed soft food and crumbled pellets.

Could you imagine a world where these beautiful, loving, feeling animals are euthanized simply because they required veterinary care? Not only do parrots come to us due to medical needs; they are also relinquished for a variety of life changes that take place with their owners. For every parrot that comes into the PEAC foster program, the cost is a minimum of $375 for the basic exam and blood work and it's often much more, as so many come with underlying illnesses.

Not only do your donations go toward the veterinary care of our foster flock (approximately 90% of all donations go to vet care) but also toward other general expenses a rescue has, such as storage unit rent, phone and website maintenance, and costs associated with pulbic outreach events like the annual America's Family Pet Expo at the Orange County Fairgrounds. Our general monthly operating expenses often amount to more than the donations we take in.   

So please take the time to read Beanie's story, review the information on our website pertaining to this year's fundraiser, and find it in your heart to give what you can to help us work with these amazing creatures. 

Beanie May 2015 Intake
Beanie May 2015 Intake
Beanie November 2015
Beanie November 2015
Major August 2015 Intake
Major August 2015 Intake
Major December 2015
Major December 2015

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