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Feb 12, 2014

Kickstart Benevolent Fund for Needy Surrenderers!

Liddle, Cockatiel Rescued as a 2-Gram Baby
Liddle, Cockatiel Rescued as a 2-Gram Baby

Thanks to your generosity and that of many, many others, Mickaboo has exited the October 2013 moratorium we imposed on additions to our foster flock.  THANK YOU very, very much!  You have an opportunity today (yes, TODAY! Right Now!) to continue supporting our mission of improving the quality of life for companion birds in need.

During the last moratorium, we reviewed our financial policies in light of having had two moratoria in one year - the result of demand for our services outpacing our funding model - and made changes. We created a per-bird fee for individuals surrendering their pets, equal to 1/4 to 1/3 of our average per-bird veterinary cost.  This fee has been generally well received and understood; that said, there are times when the surrenderer cannot afford it.  This is where YOU come in!

We are creating a "Benevolent Fund" to assist these surrendering guardians. All funds collected today - GlobalGiving's first Bonus Day of 2014 - will be dedicated to this fund. 

From Feb 12, 6 am PT - 9 pm PT (or Feb 12, 9 am ET - midnight Eastern), GlobalGiving will match your online donations at 30%, up to $1,000 per donor per project, until Global Giving has given away $75,000 of matching funds for all of its projects. Go to Mickaboo's Global Giving page to take advantage of this opportunity - now, before matching funds run out!

Read more about how Mickaboo impacts the lives of our feathered companions in our recently published newsletter.  From an unexpected adoption to an Amazon's medical and emotional rehabilitation, there's a heartwarming story for everyone.

Thank you again for your generosity, and enabling Mickaboo to continue its mission on behalf of our feathered friends!


Dec 30, 2013

Not Too Late! Gift Yourself!

A rescued conure with his guardian
A rescued conure with his guardian

There's just enough time left in 2013 to gift yourself - with a last-minute tax deduction for donating to your favorite nonprofits.  :)  In that vein, I wanted to share a few words from Michelle Yesney, Mickaboo's Chief Executive Officer. The following is adapted from her remarks at Mickaboo's 2013 Annual Holiday Party & Funraiser:


Well, we've made it through another year.  Because of all of you, there are more companion birds that are alive, healthy, and in good homes than there would have been without you.  Like all of our years together, there have been some sad times, some nasty encounters with reality, and some occasions of great joy.  The significance of the joy we experience is greater because of the sadness that we know lurks always in the background.

I want to again remind all of you that pour your time, your energy, your patience, your love, and your money into Mickaboo:  You, all of you, provide the fuel that keeps our birds alive, restores their health, and finds them homes. 

You do it with your donations, your time, the intensity of your feelings, and the energy of your devotion. On behalf of Mickaboo's Board of Directors, I want to thank you for everything you have given and done to make us so very good at what we all do.  Mickaboo is about the generosity of individuals.  None of us, not the Board of Directors, not the species coordinators, not our tech team, not me - NONE OF US - ARE GETTING PAID FOR WHAT WE DO. As we all keep reminding each other, "it's all about the birds". The basis of our organization, the object of our efforts, the measure of our successes - it's all about the birds.


Since we have been in a moratorium since mid-October 2013, our intake has been severely curtailed, compared to the same time period last year (see Table 1 in the attached).   This second moratorium of 2013 became necessary because our veterinary bills were so high that, despite the incredible generosity of our supporters and the reductions offered by most of our vets, we were running out of funds.  More of the birds that we took in this year were sick or injured, and more required lengthy hospitalization.  We are finding ways to reduce some of the extremely high costs, including relying more on skilled outpatient nursing by some of our volunteers and emphasizing our reliance on vets who reduce the fees that they charge us.  We are extremely fortunate to have skilled veterinarians that value their relationship with Mickaboo and support what we do.

The most painful lesson of this year has been that we cannot follow the same operating pattern and still expect to continue to rescue birds indefinitely into the future.  As I said at the Holiday Party, the Board has reluctantly determined that we must implement some changes.  The most significant change is that we will have to ask for a surrender fee for any bird we accept from a private party (i.e., not from a shelter or a stray) as we have been doing during the moratorium.  The details of how the new system will function are still being worked out.  How we can work with surrenderers who are unable to pay a fee, and what we tell people who simply refuse to pay, are still being clarified.

We take in a number of birds from shelters that cannot pay a surrender fee; we are and always have been the last resort for such birds and it is critical that we continue to take birds from the shelters.  We take in birds of all sizes - the big expensive parrots and the smallest of the companion birds; and we take in birds that are far too often injured and sick.  Again, we are the last resort for birds that have been abandoned or for whom there is no other option, and we hope to continue in that role.  We are hoping to continue to operate under the same principles and values that have characterized Mickaboo for over 15 years because those standards are why most of us are part of the organization.  

The surrender fee we have asked for during the moratorium is $200 per bird.  That will not pay the full costs of veterinary care for some birds, but it helps.  It reduces the strain on our resources that each incoming bird creates, and helps protect our ability to care for the birds we already have.

Like many, maybe most of you, I share my home with birds that came to me through Mickaboo.  Like most of you, I cannot imagine a world in which many of these birds would have been euthanized, would have died from malnutrition or disease, or been left to suffer from neglect or indifference.  I am grateful to have them here and I am grateful to be part of such an incredible group of human beings. 

Wishing all of you and your flock (feathered, furry, scaled and human), a wonderful and Happy New Year. 


Dec 3, 2013

#GivingTuesday - What are YOU Doing?

Sweetpea, a recently-adopted Greencheek Conure
Sweetpea, a recently-adopted Greencheek Conure

On this Second Annual #GivingTuesday, join us in sharing why you give - and consider donating toward our matching gift campaign.

Typically, the holidays are when many Americans volunteer to help the most vulnerable. Others make charitable contributions that can last throughout the holiday season. Today we celebrate #GivingTuesday, a worldwide effort to raise awareness and motivate action for the common good.  #GivingTuesday is a day dedicated to giving (as opposed to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, days dedicated to shopping) -- when charities, families, businesses, community centers, students, retailers and more all come together to celebrate helping our communities.

Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue is proud to support #GivingTuesday.  Here's how you can too!

  • Friend us on Facebook.  Tell us why you support Mickaboo and share your thoughts with your friends!
  • Follow us on Twitter and tweet about your #GivingTuesday activities
  • Give to your favorite bird rescue (Mickaboo)!  Generous supporters have created a matching gift fund of $3000; it'll be used to match YOUR online donations today on a 3-1 basis (every $3 you give will be matched by $1 from the matching gift fund).  Give by midnight PacificTime today for your funds to count!

We'll share some of your FB posts and tweets on our blog throughout the day - look for yours!

The volunteers and Board of Directors (and our foster flock of over 400 birds!) thank you for all you do throughout the year to support us as we help companion birds in need like Sweetpea, the pictured greencheek conure. We recently re-homed him when his former owners could no longer provide the home environment he needed. 

We look forward to seeing your thoughts on FB and Twitter!


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