Help Build the ARC (Avian Rehabilitation Center)

by Avian Rehabilitation Center
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Help Build the ARC (Avian Rehabilitation Center)
Help Build the ARC (Avian Rehabilitation Center)
Help Build the ARC (Avian Rehabilitation Center)
Help Build the ARC (Avian Rehabilitation Center)
Help Build the ARC (Avian Rehabilitation Center)
Help Build the ARC (Avian Rehabilitation Center)
Help Build the ARC (Avian Rehabilitation Center)
Help Build the ARC (Avian Rehabilitation Center)
Help Build the ARC (Avian Rehabilitation Center)
Help Build the ARC (Avian Rehabilitation Center)
Help Build the ARC (Avian Rehabilitation Center)
UP FOR ADOPTION Gus male Moluccan Cockatoo
UP FOR ADOPTION Gus male Moluccan Cockatoo

A new decade has begun and here we are, already into February of 2020.  The winter rains once again have arrived in Southern CA, and our birds, especially the parrots, do not appreciate it, as they are not allowed outside in the rain with temperatures only in the mid 50’s.  Yes, mid-50’s is actually warm to many of you outside of Coastal Southern CA, but our little ones aren’t acclimated to wet, “chilly” weather, although that’s not to say that they couldn’t be. 

We at ARC thought that in this first report of 2020, you might like to know how all the parrots that we adopted out last year are doing in their new homes.

Let’s start with Chili Pepper, a very large male greenwing macaw who was with ARC for just under two years.  Hugo and Vanessa, his new mom and dad, just love this big boy and all his antics.  While he was here at ARC, Chili was always working his way into view when we had visitors or had treats to hand out to the birds.  Chili has an amazing voice and when he’s in the mood, he just loves to sing along to the radio or TV.  The pictures of Chili with his new family seem to show a mutual love affair, and it warms our hearts. A final note Chili is learning to be bilingual. 

Mozart is a small male blue-fronted Amazon, who came to ARC as Chili Pepper’s roommate, and who achieved local fame as part of an educational installation in the San Diego Museum of Modern Art that described the sad plight of his species and other exotics in South America.  Mozart has found himself a doctor to call his new companion; and although he started out with a mild screaming behavior in his new home, ARC kept its promise that we are always there to offer advice and assistance to our adopted birds and their owners. Mozart’s dad informs us that after about 4 months the screaming is no longer a constant.  This proves to us once again, that training birds takes time, patience, and dedication from the owner.  Congrats to Mozart’s Dad on a job well done.

Next is Waffles, who was so fortunate to find his new mom, Elle.  Elle and Waffle fell for each other on her very first visit to ARC.  Each and every time that she came to visit with Waffles, to take the adoption course, and to fulfill each of the steps in our adoption process, Waffles would light up and be so happy to see her.  The photos that we have received sure do show a happy healthy little grey man, and we could not be more pleased at Waffles’ and Elle’s new-found love. Just a  note, Waffle does not drink any of moms tea or coffee as she knows caffeine is not good for Waffle.

Miracles never seem to stop happening here at ARC.  Tal and Tomas, two miligold macaw brothers, came to ARC a few years ago from Animal Control as part of a group of parrots we took in from a hoarding situation.  These two were quite a challenge.  Early on, we realized that Tal was being dominated by his brother, so we separated them, in the hope that being individuals and not a semi-bonded pair would aid in their rehabilitation.  None of the tools in our tool chest worked, however; and after three years with us, both remained highly unpredictable, resulting in some serious injuries to our staff.  Then Kaela, a longtime employee of ARC, stepped up once again to go beyond her normal work responsibilities.  She offered to take Tal home to see if a change in environment would help in getting him to be more predictable, which could lead to his being handle-able without fear of injury.  Kaela has reported that Tal is like a new bird after being under her care for the past several months.  Congratulations Kaela and Tal on your approved adoption. Kudos to both of you! 

Lala, the harlequin macaw who came to us some months ago from Animal Control, has an almost-perfect personality.  She loves to be held like a baby and to swing from one’s hand as she gently holds on to a thumb or a couple of fingers.  Many of you know of Dr. Jeff Jenkins’ Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital.  One of that clinic’s more recent additions to the staff, Vet Tech Casey, mentioned at one of our appointments that she would be very interested in adopting a macaw.  I mentioned Lala to her, and after a couple of visits, Lala was all in for her new home.  It’s nice to know we’ll see Lala from time to time as she helps her new mom at work.  We wish Casey and Lala a long and happy time together.

George, a blue-and-gold macaw, came to us along with Sibbi (another blue-and-gold) and Lala.  George and Sibbi bonded as flock mates early on, and although we are so excited that George now has a new home, we are sad that Sibbi is now alone waiting for the right person or family to come along and offer her a great new start with loving owners and a comfortable and safe home to reside in.  George loves being the center of attention, and being an only bird in his new home, all of us at ARC have no doubt that he will be happy and very well cared for.  Again, we can mention that one of our birds will be living in a bilingual home.  His name is now Jorge!

We’re happy that we have such amazing news to share with you, and want to thank you, because without your support, none of these birds would have had the chance at a new life that they were given at Avian Rehabilitation Center.  Here at ARC, your money goes directly to support the rehabilitation work and adoption services we provide.  Like with our two hybrids, ARC does not limit the amount of time a bird remains in the program.  Each and every day, our staff evaluates the progress (or sometimes the lack thereof) of every bird that resides here at ARC.  Using these findings, ARC determines whether the bird is solid enough in temperament and personality to be adopted, or if it requires more time in the hands of our skilled staff. 

Those of us who work at ARC strongly believe in the idea of saving one life at a time.  We are not about housing large numbers of birds in our facility.  Instead, we are looking for those hard cases that, if we did not offer sanctuary/rehabilitation for those particular birds, they would end up being warehoused with very little human interaction by individuals as well as those claiming to be rescues.  No bird deserves to spend its life in a cage; however we, as a culture, have placed them there, so the least we can do is to provide them the best life possible.  Here at ARC, your donations allow us to give every animal under our care the “5-Star Treatment.”

We’d like to remind all of you who have adopted from us that we offer boarding at ARC at a significantly reduced rate compared with other boarding facilities.  This service is only offered to those who have adopted directly from us, as we know these birds and completely realize that even the best owners need a break from time to time.  The birds also love coming back for a vacation and seeing their old friends, human and avian alike.

Our 2019 year-end fundraiser fell significantly shy of our goal of $50,000.  But we want to tell you about the generosity of a woman whose mother left an amazing hyacinth macaw, Guy, to her.  Over five years ago, before ARC’s inception, Sandra contacted our soon-to-be director, Eric Kern, to inquire about his avian facility.  She was looking to place Guy in a new home, as he was just a bit too noisy to be living in the San Diego City limits, and she freely admitted she just did not have the time that he required.  So Eric took him in, and now, Guy is our ambassador, who goes out to the public with us to draw their attention to the plight of exotic birds that are kept as pets.  Sandra, ARC cannot thank you enough for your generous $10K donation.  It came at just the right time to secure ARC for one more year. 

We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit, which means that we rely 100% on your donations to cover the expenses of running a sanctuary/rescue with a capacity of over 75 birds.  We are supported by a generous yearly contribution that covers our payroll every week for our four employees.  This means that your donation goes not to any salaries or administrative costs of running ARC, but directly to our birds.  As an example, the next $1,700 in donations will go to the Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital, as we had some costs over our budget in 2019 for medical care.  We would like to take this moment to thank Dr. Jenkins, his wife Lisa, and the staff for the outstanding professional and caring environment in which every one of their patients is seen.

There are many ways you can help us:

First, and for many the easiest, is a monthly donation using our GlobalGiving

account (simply type goto.gg/30226 into your browser and then click on the Donate Monthly tab on the right). 

Other options are to mail a personal check to us at 13751 Jamul Dr., Jamul, CA

91935, or to use PayPal (ARCPresident@AvianRehabilitationCenterUSA.org).

You may also donate directly into our account with one of our vendors:

Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital (www.drexotic.com, 619 260-1412),

China Prairie (http://www.chinaprairie.com/, 916 917-5408),

and The Purring Parrot (admin@thepurringparrot.com, 619 223-2326).

Who knows - - after seeing what they have to offer, you may want to try

them for yourself!

 

One of the newest ways to help ARC is to sign up for an Amazon Smile account.  You can do this by going to your regular Amazon account and changing it to Smile, and then denoting Avian Rehabilitation Center as the nonprofit you wish to support with your purchases. After that, you can go directly to Smile.Amazon.com when you want to shop.  The merchandise and prices at Amazon Smile are the same as your regular Amazon’s, and donating through Amazon Smile does not cost you a thing, as Amazon gives us a percentage of each and every purchase you make.  We encourage you to ask friends and family to change over to Amazon Smile and do the same. 

 

If you have any questions about making a donation, about our birds, or about anything else ARC, please don’t hesitate to call us at 619 813-1776 and leave a message (9 times out of 10, we are working with the birds and unable to get to the phone).  So now that we are back in the groove after the holidays and the start of a new year and a new decade, we simply want to say THANK YOU for your continued support!

UP FOR ADOPTION Rima female military macaw
UP FOR ADOPTION Rima female military macaw
UP FOR ADOPTION Syble female blue and gold macaw
UP FOR ADOPTION Syble female blue and gold macaw
ADOPTED lala
ADOPTED lala
ADOPTED Chili
ADOPTED Chili
ADOPTED Mozart
ADOPTED Mozart
ADOPTED Waffle
ADOPTED Waffle
ADOPTED Jorge
ADOPTED Jorge
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Gus, male, up for adoption
Gus, male, up for adoption

Well we need to start out with a serious apology for such a long dration between this and our last report on the happenings at ARC.  It has definitely been a busy summer/fall and we are already into the fourth quarter.

 

Where to start?  We have had a few staffing changings. Melanie Airessohn, our former assistant director has chosen to move on to other avenues.  We all want to thank her for her undeniable help and care for ARC.  She played a vital role in the startup process of our organization from filing with the federal and state agencies for our 501c3 status to the writing of our mission statement along with all other documents we currently use in running our amazing rescue/sanctuary for large variety exotic and endangered avian species. Again, we wish her well and a huge thank you for a job well done.

 

We have also posted an ad looking for a part time animal care person.  We hope to have someone who could assist supervising the facility in upper managements absence, as we all need a break when working in rescue with animals.  Burn out is a serious condition in this field of work and we all must remember to care for ourselves so that we may care for the lives under our care.  We hope to find someone with large exotic bird experience. 

 

Though ARC does not, in general, take on volunteers. We found it necessary to identify someone who has the time and ability to manage our social media work as it does seem that we are able to find time to keep up with this part of our outreach to you our supporters.  I am very happy to announce we have found someone who comes to us as a first-time bird owner who has lots of ideas and suggestions for our social media footprint.  We are currently updating our bird profile posts on Facebook and Instagram, our webpage as well as our binders that we have placed at local avian vet offices. Please do send your suggestions to us by responding to one of our recent posts as we are always looking for topics that interest you. It’s our goal to post on social media not just the happenings here at ARC but information on topics from around the world that relate to birds of all kinds. 

 

We have had a few adoptions these past few months: Chili Pepper, Mozart, Waffles, and Jorge have all found amazing homes.  Most have had several check ins and the news and photos are very refreshing and always gives us the desire to continue our work.  On a sad but good ending Rubio was adopted but returned to ARC several weeks after being adopted.  As some of you might remember Rubio came to us with a serious case of feather destructive behavior.  We had him, in a sense, in remission and over the last two years he was with us, he continued to show promise of new feather growth.  After the normal fall molt, which many of our birds seem to experience, he definitely had filled in with more and more feathers. We evaluated the new family and Rubio on all 3 visits who seemed to show good interest in all the members of the family.  The family had prepared their home following all the points they learned while taking our adoption class.  After just less than 2 weeks we received a call that Rubio was acting aggressive and had started plucking his feathers.  Sadly, by the time we arranged for his return he was hyper-focused on plucking his feathers once again and we had to start back at square one.  At this time, he is off his meds and once again has new feather growth coming in and with that the board of directors and staff voted to make Rubio a permanent part of the sanctuary. Now, Rubio will be allowed to live his life out here where he obviously feels the safest and yes, we feel the happiest. 

 

This year has also seen several birds passing.  Paco, our Thick Billed Parrot, a jewel you might say in ARC’s Crown, past on at the age of 38.  He came to us many years ago prior to ARC being formed.  He was a case of owners needing to enter assisted living care and Paco not being allowed to go with them.  Over the years we have kept up to date with the daughter of the owners so she could let her parents know he was doing well and flourishing.  We shared important data on his wellbeing to people directly involved with the conservation and restoration of the species in its native habitat. On his passing we donated his remains to the San Diego Wild Animal Park so that they might learn even more about this very endangered species.  We will all miss his greeting us in the morning with his very unique “High Paco”. We would like to take a moment to mention the other resident birds that have passed on this year: Contessa, Swainson Toucan, Santiago, 80+ yrs. old, Scarlet Macaw; Pierre, age unknown, Goffin’s Cockatoo.  Both lived long lives of happiness and contentment.  Though we all mourn the loss we also reflect on the amazing care we are able to give every bird through the support of people like you.

 

ARC had to take steps this year to implement a very strict but necessary bio security program.  Southern CA had an outbreak of virulent Newcastle Disease (VND), formerly Exotic Newcastle Disease. VND is a contagious viral avian disease affecting many domestic and wild bird species and in rare cases is transmissible to humans causing a mild fever and /or conjunctivitis.  At the facility we started making sure we sprayed our shoes with Lysol which kills the virus.  Those that clean the aviaries are required to where boots that do not leave the property. The hardest part was having to ask supporters that called to set up a visit with the birds and those that had a serious interest in adopting whether or not they had chickens or other domestic poultry.  In cases that the answer was yes, we explained that we could not take the risk.  If the virus was found on our property, the state would have the legal right to euthanize all the birds that call ARC home not just chickens but all avian species.  If the person was serious about adopting and owned chickens, we would arrange for us to do the adoption requirements at their home or in a public location like a coffee shop.  The closest case was found in Ramona, so we have taken all the steps we feel are necessary for the safety of the birds that call ARC home.

 

Over the course of 2019 ARC has installed 5 new aviaries, a new waterfowl enclosure for ducks and swans, as well as a safety enclosure where all the waterfowl go at night to be kept in an enclosed safe sleeping pen.  This pen was designed like all our other aviaries with metal mesh 6” under the ground to prevent predators digging into the enclosure and also has a completely enclosed roof.  We are working on designing nesting beds for the waterfowl and will let you know once we have them installed. This is but one project your donations assisted in funding.

 

A difficult project that we worked on was coming to understand the capacity of our facility and the financial needs that brings with it.  The grand total of Avian species is 75.  Obviously, each species has different housing needs so some we can take more of and others we can only handle smaller numbers.  This new policy will help the staff in the difficult decision of do we take a bird in or do we work with them to find another rescue that we feel is equal in care and dedication to the cause.

 

In our next report we will be submitting our 2020 budget so that you will have a comprehensive understanding of how your financial support will be allocated.  As our donors and supporters, if you have a particular area that you wish to support all you need to do is include instructions with your donation and we will place your donation in that particular category.  If you wish to donate directly to our medical expenses, you are welcome to contact the Avian and Exotic Animals Hospital in San Diego CA and make a donation over the phone for ARC.  All we ask is that you also drop us an email notifying us of the donation so that we may provide you with a receipt for tax purposes. 

 

We cannot thank you enough for your continued support and interest in our work.  We realize there are many parrot-rescues you can chose to support. Keep in mind we are one of the few that is not parrot exclusive but are able to work with many other avian species as, though not as common as a pet, swans and cranes are also often purchased and then the owner realizes they are not suited to care for these amazing animals.  Our care is often referred to as the 5-star treatment.  We offer a discounted rate for boarding to those who have adopted from us.  We do not board for the general public but offer this as a thank you to those who have given one of our birds a home.  We say that once a bird of ARC, always a bird of ARC.  This is a way in which we are able to keep in touch with those who have adopted from us.  We want you our supporters to feel like we give you the 5-star treatment as well.  It’s not us here at ARC that keep it going. It’s you spreading the word to others along with your financial support.  We are an open book to all.  If you want more information or have a questions please contact us and we will do w

LaLa, Female, up for adoption
LaLa, Female, up for adoption
Rima, Female, Up for adoption
Rima, Female, Up for adoption
Syble, Female, Up for adoption
Syble, Female, Up for adoption
Tal, male, up for adoption
Tal, male, up for adoption
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Gus, male Moluccan Cockatoo, mid 40's
Gus, male Moluccan Cockatoo, mid 40's

GlobalGiving Report #1 2019

 It’s time again to check in with all our supporters and donors around the country and throughout the world.   ARC has come a long way in just under two years in operation.  We currently provide care for over 70 individual endangered and rare avian species. We have been working hard on finding proper homes for the birds that we feel are suitable to be adopted as companion parrots. But there is much more that many of you don’t know about that’s been happening within the organization, and we’ll talk about that today. 

So, we’ll start out with the adoptions in progress.  Dodi, who came to us just a few weeks ago, is already in the process of being adopted.  Her new dad-to-be had an instant bond with her and she with him.  Dodi was afraid and unsure of the changes to her life when her owner of just a few years relinquished her to us.  Her basic care needed some improvement, as her diet was not at all balanced.   We have found in most cases that the diet we offer our new parrots here at ARC is spot on for transitioning them from a seed-based diet to a more well-rounded diet.  Dodi already loves her morning salad with sprouts, followed by her two macadamia nuts in the afternoon, and for dinner, 20 Oven Fresh Bites, a baked pellet by Caitec.  Many people do not realize the nutritional benefit of feeding a baked diet versus an extruded diet.  Baking allows the food to be left more closely to its original form. When baked, there is no need to fortify with extra vitamins and minerals, as there is no high heat that depletes much of the nutritional value that the extrusion process does. 

We have finally approved the adoption for Contessa, our toucan.  She will be going to a private home in Reno, NV.  This amazing person has years of experience with caring for toucans and is aware of Contessa’s special dietary restrictions due to iron storage disease.  Contessa will receive daily interactions with a variety of people, including her new owner.  The new toucan addition to an awesome parrot wing that the owner built onto her home is just incredible.  Like ARC, this person spares not even a penny when it comes to the care her pets receive. 

We would like to in this report, mention the newest member of the staff here at ARC.  Jackie has been with us since January of 2019 and is a fantastic addition to the team.  Her handling of the birds and attention to detail is vital for any employee here at ARC to have.  Jackie works Tuesday, Thursday, Fridays, and on occassion Sundays if we are having visitors to the facility.  She is always willing to go the extra mile and has demonstrated dedication and interest in the work we do.  Here at ARC we continue to work hard to offer employment to those who might have a challenge in finding a fit for a variety of reasons. We feel by offering employment to members of our community who might have a unique situation, we are giving back to the community that has given so much to us and our mission.  ARC is about enhancing and working with the unique relationship avian species can bring to our lives.  Please drop Jackie a hello is you see here out and about and help us in congratulating her on a job well done.

Back in Sept of 2018 we acquired Draco a Cane Corso puppy.  As a disabled person, I was in need of a service dog to assist me with balance and stability because of a congenital degenerative muscle disease.  We chose training our own dog so that we could raise him around the birds and address and redirect any prey drive he may naturally have.  He is know 7 months old and weighs in at 96#. This particular breed was an alround farm dog providing protection not only to his handler but the herds or flocks in which the handler raised.  Draco is a presence no doubt and can be quite intimidating but once he is introduced to you he is a very large clumsy puppy who just does not realize he is way to big for being a lap dog.  Draco will provide me with the assistance I need and security and confidence I need to go in public to run errands or even catch say a movie.  His training is going  very well as Rachelle is training is just amazing and I have enjoyed working with her and look forward to continueing the work we have start with Draco.

With the start of 2019, and this being our First-Quarter report, we want to take the time to educate you on where your donations go, and why we always seem to be asking for donations and financial help.  Here at ARC, we do not cut corners.  We only feed high-quality products to our birds.  We source most of our nuts from nuts.com; and while the pricing is a bit higher than other suppliers, the quality is amazing (it’s human-quality food), and we have never had a reason to return an order. Also, most of our vegetables are organic when we can find them, which of late is much easier than it was a few years ago.  We buy a sprouting mix from www.ChinaPrairie.com and we feed fresh sprouts each morning with the veg for all the parrot breakfasts.  Then we have our pellets, which we order in 150-pound bulk, and we only feed Caitec Oven Fresh Bites. 

To feed some of the other non-parrot avian species we have here at ARC, we use Mazuri diets for cranes, gamebirds (such as peafowl), and waterfowl. We do not have a local feed store that carries this particular company’s line of feed, so we are stuck with ordering it online directly from the manufacturer. With these avian species we also offer chopped fresh kale every morning.  Recently, just for a little perspective on cost, kale went from $15 to $25 a case, which forced us to substitute Romaine lettuce. Just last week, though, the Romaine went up in price as well, so we are currently trying to figure out how to provide this necessary dietary addition without sacrificing any nutrition or lowering our high standards.  As you can see, our food bill is high, feeding the best money can buy for birds that all too often are the lucky ones that find their way to ARC. I cannot speak to what other parrot rescues feed, but this is the standard we hold to, and we refuse to cut corners on this expense.

Some of you may not be aware of how wet Southern CA has been this winter season. It seems as though we have had rain at least one day each week, but more often it’s been two or three days a week.  This has made it difficult to get our birds out every day for the exercise and fresh air that they’ve grown accustomed to.  Additionally, we have come to notice some weather-related damage to our outdoor facilities.  We are located on a side of a hill that ends in a deep, hard-to-navigate canyon.  The ground on our hillside has been so saturated that it is starting to slide down toward the bottom of the canyon.  We are going to have to move our waterfowl from the current enclosure with its artificial pond to an area we have reconfigured to house them.  Once the old enclosure is decommissioned and removed, we will install panels, fencing in the solid ground, and landscaping to the slipping area, to see if we can stabilize it with some spreading vegetation.  We estimate the new enclosure/environment will cost between $2,000-5,000.  That will be the main focus of our summer fundraiser, with the hope of completing this project by the beginning of May. If you wish to donate specifically to this project, please note that on your donation, and we will be sure to allocate those funds for this specific need.

This year, we are sending out letters to local businesses, as well as some of our more regular vendors, asking them to sponsor us for local events here in San Diego County such as the Earth Day celebration and CityFest.  Many of these events require substantial registration fees. In appreciation of their financial support, we will prominently display donors’ information and thanks for their generosity in our booths at these very popular and well-attended events.                                           

Challenges continue to test us all here at ARC.  Last month we took in three new parrots:  Dodi, a female umbrella cockatoo, Waffles, a male Timneh African grey, and last but by no means least Gus, a male Moluccan cockatoo.  All three came with their individual challenges. Each parrot that comes into ARC costs around $400 to be completely vetted by our local avian-certified vet, Dr. Jeff Jenkins. We require the following on every new bird:  CBC, avian chem panel, psittacosis, PBFD (if the species requires), DNA sexing, a physical exam; and finally, every bird that comes to ARC is microchipped. We authorize further tests such as x-rays if there is an underlying reason for further diagnostic testing.  Again, ARC does not cut corners in caring for our precious charges.  If you are interested in sponsoring one of these three birds by donating toward the vet costs, you can either donate directly to ARC or call the Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital at 619-260-1412 and ask to make a donation directly to the account for Avian Rehabilitation Center.  Please let us know via an email that you have made a donation, and we will be happy to recognize you in our next newsletter and email you a donation receipt for tax purposes.

The birds at ARC that are currently up for adoption are Rubio, male greenwing macaw; Chili, male greenwing macaw; Rima, female military macaw; Mozart, blue-fronted Amazon; Hallie, female white dove; Pierre, male Goffin’s cockatoo; Gus, male Moluccan cockatoo; Dodi, female umbrella cockatoo; and Waffles, male Timneh African grey.  Bios and photos of these amazing adoptable birds can be found by looking us up on Avian Rehabilitation Center’s Petfinder page. We also ask that you take a few minutes to review our website, especially the information on our policies and procedures for adoption at http://www.avianrehabilitationcenterusa.org/adoption-policies-and-procedures.

To conclude, we ask you to consider making a donation to assist us with the unforeseen expenses that have developed:  $2500 accumulation of vet bills, $2,000-5,000 for our new waterfowl enclosure/environment, and an estimated $40,000 for this year’s facility upgrades that we have on our five-year capital expenditures plan. The 2019 capital expenditures are to install artificial turf for the front of the property and along the boundaries of the pool area, all the way around to the white peafowl environment and our single aviary with the amazing pair of onagadori’s from Japan. This past year we saw the new roof installed; Cool Coat paint applied to the outside of the main building at ARC, which is fire retardant and will not only assist in the event of a wildfire, but will also cut down on our insurance for the property; and, most exciting, a solar array to allow us to produce our own electricity and significantly save on our summer cooling bills.  We are hoping this year to install a storage battery for the solar array, so we can not only generate our own energy but store it for use in the evenings or on severely windy days when our local power company cuts the power to prevent accidental wildfires.

Due to the recent development and spread of Virulent Newcastle Disease, even though San Diego County is not a quarantined area, we are temporarily suspending visits to the facility unless authorized for the purpose of adoption, relinquishment, or other business matter related to ARC.  We are hopeful that this quarantine that is affecting much of Southern CA does not reach San Diego County. Some of the species here at ARC are classified as gamebirds, and this virus affects not only chickens but all species of birds.  After much thought and discussion, we came to the decision to forego our annual participation in the South Orange County Pet Expo in Lake Forest this year, since Orange County is surrounded by the counties under quarantine for VND.  We always look forward to seeing so many of our Southern CA friends and supporters there, and we’re very sorry to have missed you this time around. We will keep you updated on developments related to the disease outbreak and appreciate your understanding during this time. 

As always, we are so thankful for your support and generosity. We could not do this alone and we do consider each and every one of you a member of our team.   Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions, as we are always willing to offer assistance when we can.  As we reach the end of the winter season and look to the new beginnings once again in the season to come, we wish all of you and your companion parrots a very happy spring.

Dodi, female Umbrella Cockatoo,  8 yrs old
Dodi, female Umbrella Cockatoo, 8 yrs old
Waffles, male Timneh African Grey, 13 yrs old
Waffles, male Timneh African Grey, 13 yrs old
Contessa, adopted-good luck in northern NV
Contessa, adopted-good luck in northern NV
Meet Jackie a new employee at ARC
Meet Jackie a new employee at ARC
Draco the flock protector puppy reporting for duty
Draco the flock protector puppy reporting for duty

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Educating the next generation
Educating the next generation

Dear Parrot Enthusiast,

 

In this season of giving, it is once again time for our year-end fundraising campaign. Avian Rehabilitation Center (ARC) is unique in the services it offers to parrot owners, not only locally here in Southern California, but also across the country and abroad. Statistics show that most parrots have between 7-10 homes in a lifetime. By offering our services, we hope to improve on that statistic by helping parrot owners in any of a number of ways, from behavioral evaluations and recommendations, to rehabilitation and rehoming, to providing sanctuary for those that are just not cut out for life as a companion parrot. We at ARC only use positive reinforcement training techniques, and our staff has over 30 years of experience working with not only Psittacines, but all types of exotic birds.

 

Many owners are not prepared to spend hundreds of dollars on training for their bird’s behavioral challenges, and by the time they contact us they are frustrated, disappointed, and yes, heartsick at the thought that they have failed this amazing animal with its incredible intelligence. Did you know that the body-size-to-brain-size ratio is the same in dolphins, primates, humans, and yes, Psittacines? Who would have guessed that "bird brained" is not an insult, but a compliment!

 

A parrot’s rehabilitation can sometimes take not just weeks or months, but years. We provide 5-star accommodations to the birds that are at ARC, both those waiting for a new home and those calling ARC their permanent home. ARC provides a mostly-organic diet consisting of vegetable chop with sprouts grown on site, a variety of nuts depending on species and individual preference, and a baked pellet fed in a foraging spindle which acts as a form of enrichment.  

 

So there is a little bit about us for all of the new parrot people we are reaching out to.

 

You may donate in many different ways:

GlobalGiving  (Reminder that Giving Tuesday starts at 9:01p on Monday, November 26)

Paypal

Check or Credit Card (for credit card please call Eric Kern

   directly at 619-813-1776)

- Donate directly to our account for services by our Board Certified Avian Vet at Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital (mention it is for ARC)

- Donate directly to our account for the parrot-safe wood we use to build our toys at Purring Parrot (mention it is for ARC)

 

If you have any questions please feel free to email us. 

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CBS Channel 8 interview
CBS Channel 8 interview

Dear ARC Friends and Supporters,

 

Well, we are about to wrap up the summer.  It has been a challenging season, with the severe heat and the constant alert for possible wildfires that might result in evacuation.  We have installed misters for all our non-parrot avian species here at ARC, along with large industrial fans in their outdoor areas.  We had several days of temperatures over 100 degrees and one very intense day of 117 degrees which was very difficult, even with the misters and fans running on full speed.  This winter, we will be replacing the misters in the parrot aviaries, as we have new nozzles and a new way to protect the tubing from inquisitive parrot beaks.  The birds’ purported desires to chew on things within their environment proved to be completely founded, and much of the misters’ water tubing sports holes of varying sizes from the parrots that spent many summer days in their aviaries.  

 

We are happy to report progress in the rehabilitation of some of our residents.  Rubio, Buddy, Kiki, and Sinbad continue to show no evidence of return to their former feather destructive behavior.  All are on low doses of Haldol, which is only given at night.  We have tried several times with each of them to remove the Haldol from the protocol that we follow for their care, but always, within 3-4 days, we see new evidence of FDB in the morning when we do our rounds to check in on everyone prior to feeding. 

 

Tal, Tamas, and Pierre are the remaining three of the five parrots we took in last fall from the County Department of Animal Services.  The two macaws, Tal and Tamas, both willingly step up on command now, and we have gotten much better at reading their body language.  We have changed their routines to include sleeping in large macaw cages at night.  They had been living in very small wire cages prior to being seized by Animal Services, so from November 2017 until this past July we did not cage them, but allowed them to sleep on Java play trees indoors and spend all of their waking hours either on a play tree or outside in one of the large aviaries.  Slowly, they became more trusting and easy to handle, so as of September, they are now sleeping in regular macaw cages at night and spending their days outside in the aviaries.  We are getting very close to being comfortable adopting them to someone with some basic parrot experience, though we still feel it might be best that any potential adopter have some background in working with large parrots, or at least be willing to visit the rescue/sanctuary for some guided hands-on work.

 

Pierre, the Goffin’s cockatoo, continues in many ways to be a work in progress.  He is a very moody and nippy boy.  Oddly enough, though, he has started to like being toweled to come out of his cage and then placed on a play tree for the day.  He is not afraid of the towel; he tunnels deep inside it as if hiding, and then pops his little head out when he gets to his tree or his cage.  We normally would not encourage this behavior as a way to exit and enter a cage, but for a small parrot that is struggling with what might be described as PTSD, it works.  We still hope to transition him to stepping up on a hand to exit and enter his cage, but we will approach that in baby steps. 

 

Both of these updates prove that rehabilitating parrots is not a short-term, instant-result process.  It can take months and sometimes years to get the results one hopes to achieve.  Rubio, a greenwing macaw, has been with us for two years, and is just starting to show regrowth of feathers on his chest area, shoulders, legs, and back, all of which were areas where he had no feathers at all when he came to us.  He continues to amaze us with new feathers every month, which makes us hopeful for a much better recovery than we had first anticipated.  Initially, we had strong suspicions that he had permanently damaged his feather follicles, which would have resulted in an inability to grow new feathers in those areas. 

 

We find that owners tend to give up much too soon when it comes to training to resolve an unwanted behavior.  Patience is an absolute necessity when working with exotic birds.  Each is an individual with a unique personality, so what works for one bird will not necessarily work for another.  We encourage people to take the time to get to know their bird, so that they may understand its body language and also determine how well their training is going.

 

Just in the last couple of weeks, we have had two new additions to the flock:  Chili, a very large greenwing macaw, and Mozart, a blue-fronted Amazon.  The owner who relinquished them to us traveled extensively for work, and was not able to give the birds the attention that they deserved.  You might remember us writing last fall about Mozart and the work he was doing on behalf of all parrots.  He was the center of an art exhibit that focused on the regions the blue-fronted Amazons call home.  Mozart’s outgoing and gregarious personality made him an instant hit at the Museum of Contemporary Art here in San Diego, where he remained on site in the exhibit from September 2017 until January 2018.  During that time, we had many calls from people wanting to adopt him; and we now have started the process of adoption with a wonderful couple who contacted us early on during Mozart’s time at the Museum.  Chili, on the other hand, might be listed as a sanctuary bird here at ARC.  He had been in several homes before finally coming to the owner who relinquished him to us, and we don’t think it’s fair to him to make him re-adjust to yet another home when clearly, he is so comfortable here at the facility.  I have had the opportunity to work with Chili on many occasions, and he is a big love with great potential to assist in the work we plan to do within our local community.

 

We continue to work on designing and developing our concept of a “parrot-immersion event” for children in grade school and high school.  We want to offer the kids a chance to have an up-close and personal experience with these amazing animals, and to educate them on the time and cost associated with the care of an exotic bird. We also will educate them on the reasons that in the wild they are endangered and listed on CITES, while here in our country, there is such an overpopulation of these same species.  We strongly feel that we need to educate the younger generations, because the world we are leaving them, unfortunately, is not in the best of health.  Only by educating them on the factors that lead to an animal being placed on the endangered list, can we encourage them to find ways, as adults, to halt and possibly start to reverse the damage that man has done to so many wild animal species and the environments inwhich they live throughout the world.

 

On September 7th we had a visit from Jeff Zevely, a reporter with CBS Channel 8 here in San Diego, who had contacted us about doing a piece on ARC and bringing our mission to viewers of Channel 8.  After everyone had been fed, we spent the morning chatting and visiting with all 70+ birds that call ARC home.  It’s amazing, if not a bit difficult to believe, that we have gone from just a few birds to such a large number in just 16 months.  Many are up for adoption; others will live their lives in safety at the sanctuary. Please click on http://www.cbs8.com/clip/14617416/exotic-bird-rescue-working-together-to-help-birds-of-a-featherto view the interview.  We have had a tremendous number of phone calls and emails as a result of the Channel 8 piece and are very happy with the results.  We hope that many of the viewers will continue to follow our postings and quarterly reports.

 

We have made giving to ARC even easier than before.  If you do not wish to donate directly to ARC, you may call the Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital of San Diego                        (619-260-1412)1and ask that your donation be placed on our account to be used for veterinary costs associated with the birds at ARC.  The Purring Parrot (619-223-2326) is working with us and will now take donations on our behalf for purchase of the wood we use to make the parrot toys for their sleeping cages and play trees.  (We no longer hang toys in the aviaries, as there is so much natural stimulation outdoors that the birds don’t pay attention to toys.)  Finally, Nuts.com has a gift package that we have put together for those who wish to help by purchasing nuts on our behalf.  We are trying to give our supporters many different ways to help ARC.  All donations are tax-deductible.  We always welcome and are thankful for financial donations that you may give via GlobalGiving.org, PayPal.com, and good old fashion’ snail mail with a personal check enclosed.  We also want to remind you that we will be kicking off our year-end fundraiser a bit earlier this year, on November 10th.  We are so grateful to Dr. Jason Crean for offering to kick off this year’s fundraiser with a lecture on parrot nutrition at the San Diego Humane Society on November 10th at 3pm.  Please email us at ARCCoDirector@AvianRehabilitationCenter.org if you plan to attend, so that we can be sure we have sufficient space for all.

 

To round out this quarter’s report, we want to bring to the forefront some of our parrots that are looking for permanent loving homes.

 

Rubio:  Greenwing macaw, Male, 13 years old

Tal:  Miligold (Blue and Gold x Military) macaw, Male, Unk age

Tamas:  Miligold (Blue and Gold x Military) macaw, Male, Unk age

Rima:  Military macaw, Female, Unk age (suspected by our avian vet to be appx 35 years old, due to an early cataract formation, which is common in macaws of that age)

Pierre:  Goffin’s cockatoo, Male, Unk age

Mozart:  Blue-front Amazon, Male, 5 years old

Peafowl:  India Blue, 2 Males, hatched May 2018

Hal:  White ring-neck dove, Female, Unk age

Contessa:  Swainson’s toucan, Female, 15 years old

 

Along with these parrots and other birds, we also have the birds that will call ARC home for the rest of their lives. Some of these parrots are members of our outreach flock. The grand total in just under two years of operation is nearly 80 birds in total, some as individuals and some as flocks of like birds.

 

We want to conclude by thanking all of you, our supporters.  We could not do the work we do without you. Your continued support has given us the opportunity to expand in an appropriate manner at such a rapid rate (though we do hope to slow down a bit and increase our adoptions).  Thank you for taking the time to read our Third Quarter 2018 Report.  If you have questions at any time, please contact us via email, website, or phone, and we will get back to you within 48 hours or as quickly as possible.  Happy fall to everyone, and may we all enjoy another change of season!

 

Kindly,

 

Eric Kern, Founder and President

 

Melanie Ariessohn, Co-Director and Board Secretary

Rubio Updated Photo #1
Rubio Updated Photo #1
Rubio Updated Photo #2
Rubio Updated Photo #2
Rubio Updated Photo #3
Rubio Updated Photo #3
Sinbad Updated Photo #1
Sinbad Updated Photo #1
Kiki Updated Photo #1
Kiki Updated Photo #1
Buddy Updated Photo #1
Buddy Updated Photo #1

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Organization Information

Avian Rehabilitation Center

Location: Jamul, CA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Eric Kern
Jamul, CA United States
$14,457 raised of $70,000 goal
 
212 donations
$55,543 to go
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