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)
Rancho Bernardo Earth Day #1
Rancho Bernardo Earth Day #1

Dear ARC Supporters,

Another Spring has come and gone here at ARC.  As with every Spring, there were many new arrivals, with a few stragglers left to hatch from Trinity, our resident white peahen.  Juliet, our resident India Blue peahen, hatched out three chicks; the two that survived are doing very well with mom.  As we are painfully aware of the overpopulation of companion parrots, we do not promote or encourage bonding or breeding of these animals; however, with our domesticated fowl, we do allow nature to take its course.  We always have a significant waiting list for our peafowl, which assures us that we will have homes for the peachicks that are hatched here at ARC every Spring.  

General maintenance of our parrot areas is made possible in part by the generosity of YOU, our donors!  This quarter, your donations have assisted with the yearly prep and repainting of all outdoor parrot aviaries.  Due to the nature of the paint, being non-toxic and safe for birds and other animals, it does not hold up well against the powerful sun we have here in San Diego County.  Every year we schedule Keith Pospychala, the designer and builder of all our aviaries, to come out and scrape down any areas showing rust, fix and tighten up any doors (both regular entry doors and sliding panels), and finally, apply two coats of paint to all exposed framing on the flights. The cost this year was $800, and was paid by your donations.  After we had the yearly aviary maintenance completed, we began work on the landscaping in the flights and around the grounds.  50 bags of mulch were laid down around the grounds, and 10 bags of river rock were used to freshen up the dry creek bed that runs down the middle of the parrot enclosure area.  Fresh topsoil was added inside those aviaries showing a need for it.  New natural perches, some running the entire length of the individual flights, have been installed this past Spring.  To wrap up the yearly maintenance, we planted new avian-safe ornamentals about the grounds, staked up the Cara Cara orange trees, and trimmed the apple trees that we have been growing in the espalier fashion.

This year we realized it is time for ARC to undergo some major upkeep projects.  The three main projects for this summer are a new roof on the facility (which includes the sleeping-cage area for parrots, the nut room, the main play tree room, and our office).  Once the roof has been replaced, we will be applying Texcoat to the home after stucco repair is completed. This product will reflect some of the summer sun, which should help with the electric bill. The final large project for this year is to have solar installed, including a storage system, so we will be completely off the grid for our power needs.  These main projects are estimated to cost approximately $80K, which is being covered by two private donors who support ARC and its mission.

Projects not covered by the donors previously mentioned is the removal of the two very large mature pine trees in the front yard of the property.  Once these trees have been removed, we plan to install either Xeriscape or artificial grass.  Either one will significantly conserve water.  The last large project that needs to be funded is the removal and re-installation of the driveway leading up to the facility, which is approximately 1/8 mile in length. These last two projects together are estimated to cost $60K.  

To summarize physical maintenance, your donations contributed $800 and the remainder was provided by two private donors who support ARC's mission. Here at ARC, we strongly feel it is vital to the birds' well being for us to keep up on general maintenance, although 90% of your donations go directly to the day-to-day care as well as veterinary care of the birds here at ARC.  Unlike some sanctuaries, ARC sets aside money each year for the maintenance and upkeep of the facility as a whole.  Expenses donors may not be aware of are items such as general maintenance and vector control (rats, mice, and squirrels).  These expenses are vital to maintaining a healthy and safe environment for all birds that either temporarily or permanently call ARC home. 

ARC strives to be transparent with the cost of running this unique sanctuary/rescue.  Every quarter we will be submitting to you our financials; and shortly following the end of every year, that year's end financial report will also be made public.  If you have any questions regarding expenses that ARC reports, please do not hesitate to contact us directly, and we would be happy to take the time to walk you through it.  We would like to point out two categories that are the most common expenses your donations assist us with. The first is Food/Pellets: From the last report to this report we have spent $3000.  The second expense is Vet Care: From last report to current report we have spent $2300.  We are fortunate to have secured a sponsor to cover our labor expenses, as we currently have 4-5 people working for ARC.  As you can see, we strive to allocate your donations directly to the care of the birds, and not to expenses such as big-ticket maintenance and labor costs. 

This Spring saw three adoptions take place.  Two are what we jokingly refer to as "foster failure."  Melanie and Jenine ended up adopting Joey and Cayden, respectively.  These parrots had been living with them, and Melanie and Jenine were working with them in order to make them more adoptable than they were when they first came under ARC's care.  Both parrots have come a long way with their training.  Joey is very much bonded with Melanie, and we feel it is in his best interest to remain with her, instead of being put up for adoption to the general public.  Cayden came to us from the cruelty/hoarding case that we assisted San Diego DAS with last August.  Cayden, like many of the parrots we took in from that particular case, was not easy to handle when she came in to ARC.  Jenine began rehabilitation at her home and started to take Cayden all over East County San Diego to enhance her socialization program.  Cayden has become an amazing parrot, both as a companion to Jenine and as a part of Jenine's entire family, including her human children and those with four legs or wings.

The last adoption this past quarter was Berkeley, an umbrella cockatoo who came to ARC several months ago.  Her owner felt that due to significant changes in her life that were beyond her control, her beloved Berkeley would be better off in a small rescue or a sanctuary where she would be loved and cared for in the way she deserved.  Her owner was having a difficult time giving up the little bird she had had for almost all of its life, but once she saw our facility and the way in which our birds were cared for, her decision became easier and she relinquished Berkeley into our care.  We took her in, thinking that she might well become a resident sanctuary parrot.  Then one day, a wonderful woman came to ARC to visit our adoptable parrots.  Her macaw had passed away many months ago from "macaw wasting disease," and she felt she was ready to adopt another macaw.  On seeing Berkeley though, her heart melted.  Over the next six to eight weeks, this potential adopter came faithfully every Wednesday and Friday to play with all of the parrots, but she always came back to Berkeley.  Recently, her adoption application was approved unanimously by the ARC Board of Directors, and we are in the process of setting a date for Berkeley to go to her new home.

We have one new arrival at the ARC Sanctuary, and that is Hal, a White Ringnecked Dove.  He is very sweet and VERY quiet.  Hal loves to just sit in your hand and spend time next to you.  Surprisingly, he relishes his sprouts and crumbled Caitec Oven Baked Pellets.  He is a wonderful addition to the birds that call ARC home. 

We would like to introduce you to Esteban, our newest employee.  Esteban began working for us a few months ago.  He is a senior in high school, and will be finishing up soon.  He currently works Tuesdays and Fridays here at the facility; and with the new chicken project, he has been a key player in the raising and care of the little chicks as they arrive.  He is a very conscientious person and very reliable.  He shows great promise, and we hope to see ARC and Esteban grow together in the coming years.

It's been a busy Spring for ARC's outreach activities.  The year's events got off to a bit of a rocky start, due to inclement weather on the day of the South Orange County Shelters' Pet Expo in early March.  This meant, however, that our supplies were still packed up and ready to go two weeks later, when we participated in the Turquoise Animal Hospital's Annual Exotic Pet Expo in Pacific Beach.  We had a tremendous turnout, and had the prime location, right inside the front door!  We were presented with many good questions regarding parrot husbandry, behavior, and training, and many people responded to our poster about the backyard chicken-keeping class we plan to offer in the future.  We gave away some of the coloring books explaining proper parrot care that we keep on hand for kids 12 and under, and ARC donated gifts to the hospital's raffle (two coupons good for free visits to the ARC facility along with free attendance at one of our seminars, also at no charge).  And as always, we immensely enjoyed Turquoise Animal Hospital's wonderful hospitality!  

Early April saw us in San Diego's North County, where we had been invited to bring some of the ARC parrots to the Rancho Bernardo Earth Day Celebration.  Held at a community park, with many local vendors, as well as informational booths such as ours, it was a beautiful Spring day, and a lovely event with a very welcoming and relaxed atmosphere.  Not only did we provide some great education to the public about parrots and their care, but we also had the opportunity to make some new contacts in allied nonprofit organizations, including one with which we are working on making co-presentations on parrots and parrot conservation to students in the San Diego County schools.

On Earth Day, ARC was able to participate in Earthfair San Diego, the largest free annual environmental fair in the world.  The event draws around 60,000 visitors each year, and this year proved to be no exception.  Balboa Park's turn-of-the-century stucco buildings provided a lovely backdrop for ARC's lawn exhibit.  In addition to three of ARC's resident and adoptable parrots, we brought Sinbad, our black palm cockatoo, and Guy, our hyacinth macaw.  These last two birds, with their beauty, majesty, and rarity, really stole the show!  Many children were in attendance, and they and their parents all had interesting questions for us relating to parrots and their care, and we were able to give away numerous parrot-care coloring books.  It is because of YOU, GENEROUS DONOR, that we are able to purchase these coloring books that explain, in language a child can understand, the physical and psychological needs of a companion parrot and how best to meet those needs.

We had a month to recharge our outreach batteries before it came time for Pirate Days at San Diego's Maritime Museum.  This is an annual event located on the Berkeley and the Star of India in San Diego Harbor, and has been a Southern California family favorite for many years.  ARC's display was located on deck of the Star of India, the last stop on the children's "Pirate Treasure Hunt."  In addition to showing children the location of the "treasure chest" filled with toys provided by the Museum, ARC gave out our own prize for completion of the hunt - - the parrot coloring book.  Although inclement weather and the birds' irritability caused by the weather forced us to leave a bit early each day, by the time the two-day event was over, we had given out almost 100 of the coloring books that you, our donors, have enabled us to provide to the children of Southern California.  ARC would like to thank Robyn Gallant, the Maritime Museum's Director of Public Events, for all of her assistance with this project.

Our next scheduled outreach event will be CityFest Street Fair and Music Festival in August.  This is a huge celebration of community spirit through music, crafts, food, etc. which spans five city blocks and attracts over 150,000 attendees each year.  We hope to hold a mid-year fundraiser in the next couple of months, to give all of our loyal supporters a chance to help us gain funding to purchase a professional display booth to use for CityFest and our larger events throughout the years to come.  Such a booth will also enable us to exhibit at the three-day-long America's Family Pet Expo, the nation's largest pet expo, which is held each April in Orange County, California.

After successfully completing the steps to become a partner with Petsmart, ARC has been accepted, and we participated in one outreach event at a Petsmart store this Spring.  This partnership also enables us to apply for the many grants that  Petsmart Charities provides.  Check the "Events" page on our website, where we soon will be posting our monthly Petsmart appearances for the Summer, and then watch for us at one of the scheduled Petsmart stores in San Diego County.

And finally, our outreach program also encompasses our plan to develop an internship program.  We are currently hammering out the details of the internship, and our plan is to have the intern work on developing outreach programs for ARC to use in the schools and other facilities, such as nursing homes and Noah's House, a local facility for the mentally challenged. We are hoping for donations toward program handouts to provide to the schools and other groups, as that will help introduce ARC to more of the public. 

Please let us know if you would like to stop by the ARC facility for a visit.  Visits are by appointment only, and you can find contact info on our website, AvianRehabilitationCenterUSA.org.  With the recent outbreak of Newcastle's Disease and West Nile Virus in many exotic avian species at local fairs and a few backyard flocks, we ask that you please wear attire that has not been around any type of birds, whether or not they appear ill. Upon arrival, you will be asked to step in a dilute bleach-and-water solution tray, so please wear appropriate shoes so that this will not be a problem for you. This is a very small effort we can make to ensure the safety of our birds.

ARC would like to THANK YOU ALL for your generous donations and your comments.  We do read and take to heart your comments, so please feel free to contact us directly at any time.  In closing, we wish all our donors a happy and safe Summer season, and we look forward to seeing you at one of our outreach events this summer!

Kindly,

Eric Kern, Founder and President

Melanie Airessohn, Co-Director and Board Secretary

Rancho Bernardo Earth Day #2
Rancho Bernardo Earth Day #2
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San Diego Earth Day #1
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San Diego Earth Day #6
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Petsmart Sports Arena Rosecrans St #1
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Petsmart Sports Arena Rosecrans St #2
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Petsmart Sports Arena Rosecrans St #3
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Petsmart Sports Arena Rosecrans St #4
Turquoise Expo #1
Turquoise Expo #1
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Turquoise Expo #7
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Kaela and Lola
Kaela and Lola

I am honored to show ARC's support of International Women's Day by introducing you to one of our most valuable employees.  Kaela Duran is a young woman in her early 20's with whom we have had the privilege of working for the last several years.  Kaela is a graduate of El Capitan High School in Lakeside, CA, and was a member of the FFA and 4H.  She had the experience of raising a pig with the school program and a goat with the 4H.  Kaela has always been a lover of animals, from farm livestock to all sorts of companion pets.  She initially came to us seeking information on how to best care for her two beloved cockatiels.  After departing another parrot rescue and opening Avian Rehabilitation Center, I was able to offer Kaela a paid position within my orgnaization.  Kaela is detailed in her work, and gentle and kind, using positive reinforcement training techniques in her bird-socialization/bird-handling duties with every parrot that calls ARC home.

This summer, ARC will be starting its first internships. One will involve developing a program that may be used in elementary and high school classes to help the younger generation understand the issue of extinction of parrot species in the wild vs. their over-population in captivity. The second internship position will be to develop programs to use in assisted-living institutions for the elderly and the mentally chanellenged.  We will be incouraging women who have an interest in exotic avian species to apply to these exciting postions.

Below is Kaela's story in her own words:

"I never had any experience with birds and then we went to Hawaii for my High School graduation present. We took a taxi and the driver took his cute little Cockatiel to work with him every day and he ran up and down the dashboard of his car. I got to hold him and fell in love with him.

"Months later our Veterinarian called us and asked if we were interested in adopting two Cockatiels as their owner had passed away. They came as a pair, so we took them. They both whistled and they sang so sweet. We had them about 6 years when one of them passed away about a year ago due to liver failure. Of course we did everything we could to save him. The remaining Cockatiel was lonely.

"A couple of years ago I decided I wanted to learn more about birds so I looked on the Internet and found PEAC. I talked to their Director at the time, Eric Kern, who is now director of ARC, and he agreed to let me volunteer for him and the dozen or so Parrots he had. In exchange for cleaning the cages, feeding the birds etc. Eric taught me how to care for and how to socialize with the birds. My volunteering eventually turned into a part time job with Eric. I love working there. The birds are given great care and we ensure the cages are clean and fresh food 3 times a day. I love socializing with the birds and several of them say my name and I like to hold them and give them lots of love.

"I eventually agreed to Foster a Blue and Yellow Macaw named Lola who had been a Foster failure a few times. I knew she needed a lot of love and attention. The first couple of months were tough but I continued to hold her every day and she turned out to be the most loveable sweet Macaw. Lola requires a lot of time and attention and she is very spoiled. She loves to be held and give kisses. She will yell Mama if she wants to be held and she laughs and laughs when she is outside or on her perch with the window open. She is super spoiled with all of her toys and her expensive diet of sprouts, nuts, vegetables, and pellets. Our Cockatiel is no longer lonely as he and Lola are good buddies, always together."

Kaela's words speak for themselves.  I would encourage our supporters to consider making a donation to ARC on this amazing day of recognition of women.  Your donation will help ARC continue to support the advancement of young, talented worman like Kaela.  Donating $10 is as simple as texting "Give 30226" (without the quotes) to 80100. All donations made to ARC on March 8 will go directly to assisting our efforts to recruit young woman like Kaela, who share with all of us a great love of our feathered friends.  It's with your generous help that ARC is able to support our local community by developing pet therapy programs and offering public educational programs on exotic birds and their welfare, and to continue our work of rehabiltating birds that are in need of a tender touch and kind gestures to help them once again trust human caregivers. 

Lola Blue and Gold Macaw-a former resident of ARC
Lola Blue and Gold Macaw-a former resident of ARC
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Gandalf has been adopted .
Gandalf has been adopted .

The Board of Directors and staff of Avian Rehabilitation Center want to THANK YOU, OUR GENEROUS DONORS, for all you have done for our Sanctuary and Adoptable Avian Flocks over the three months since we joined GlobalGiving.

 

Our GlobalGiving Year-End Fundraising Campaign was successful. We were most fortunate to gain a significant number of new donors and funds over the required amount to secure us a permanent membership on the GlobalGiving team. All told, with the donations from YOU, and the matching funds from GG, we have raised a total of     $ 9,445 since November 28, 2017. This is quite a substantial amount for a 501(c)3 that has only been in operation since May 2017!

 

An important benefit we have gained from our GG membership is TEXT-TO-GIVE $10. By simply texting GIVE 30226 to 80100, you can quickly and easily give $10 to ARC! So, please share this information with friends, co-workers, and family. Ask them to join you in supporting the work we do for parrots and other exotic avian species.

 

Avian Rehabilitation Center is a completely transparent organization. At the time this report is being submitted, we will also begin posting all of our financials on our website, AvianRehabilitationCenterUSA.org, on our GlobalGiving project, goto.gg/30226, and on our GuideStar page, https://www.guidestar.org/profile/82-1505613. We want to be sure you know where your donations are going! We welcome your questions about our financial information, our facility and 5-year plan for growth, the Outreach and Pet Therapy Programs with our parrots that we will be instituting this year, and any other questions you may have concerning our organization. You may submit your questions to us via email at ARCCoDirector@AvianRehabilitationCenterUSA.org or through our Contact page on the ARC website.

 

Below are just a few of the categories showing where your donations have gone.

 

Avian Rehabilitation Center

Yearly Totals for 2017

Expenditures

Feed-Produce                                                                                                     $ 9,917.15

Parrot Enrichment Materials (including materials to make toys)                 $ 1,490.98

Veterinary Care                                                                                         $     787.57

Total Animal Care______________________________                       $ 11,586.70

 

Attached to this report as a document is the 2017 Year-End Financial Report, which was reviewed and approved by our Board of Directors on February 18, 2017. We are thankful for our anonymous donor’s contribution, as we would not be in the black if it were not for that organization’s support and encouragement of the work we do at ARC. We hope to hold a summer pledge drive, and are asking our supporters to email us some ideas of things you might like to participate in. Your input is taken seriously, and we make changes when we can, based on your suggestions.

 

Here at ARC, we offer the best avian care and rehabilitation based on the latest research and aviculture practices. We use nothing but organic produce, which, as you know, putting on your evening dinner table is much more expensive than traditionally-grown produce. We also purchase only human grade nuts, either from a local market in nearby El Cajon or online at Nuts.com. We buy seeds specifically grown for sprouting and we grow the sprouts ourselves. To round out the feeding routine, we offer all the birds here at ARC Caitec Pellets, as we find a baked pellet with no artificial colors or additives fits best with our practice of providing a well-balanced and nutritious diet for all our residents, both parrot and otherwise. Many of the parrots we take in have not been on an appropriate diet, and Caitec pellets seem to have an enticing smell and taste that even parrots on a seed-based diet transition over to quickly, with little hesitation. All of the components to this well-rounded diet equal an estimated $85 per parrot per month, and with 20 parrots on average, it adds up fast. When our Board meets and discusses finances, we all agree 100% that our feeding routine is one that we are not willing to change or cut back on.

 

YOUR DONATIONS also assist us in our planning for ARC’s future. In 2018, with your generous giving, as well as support from grant opportunities we ourselves will be applying for, we hope to expand with four new outdoor aviaries. We have come to understand how vital it is to a parrot’s health to have natural sunlight and fresh air, so we provide outside aviaries for our parrots to enjoy time in. We are working with our designer, Keith Pospychala, not only to build the four new aviaries, but also to design and install a 40’x60’x20’ enclosed area for training and working with the wide variety of avian species here at ARC. This new enclosure will provide easy access in and out of the parrot play area on good weather days. This large new enclosure will allow us to give the birds that spend a large amount of time in their cages, for a variety of reasons, a way to have access to natural daylight and fresh air, while remaining protected by the enclosed area from predators or the occasional curious delivery person.

 

This year, as we do every year, we will be repainting the aviaries and replacing old perches with new ones. Additionally, we will be designing a jungle-gym-type set of perches for the outdoor training area, once it is installed. Unfortunately, due to our location, natural predators such as coyotes and bobcats do exist. This is the reason that all of our aviaries have wire cloth buried one foot under every enclosure, which stops animals from digging in (or sometimes digging out, as some cockatoo residents do like to play on the ground!). THANKS TO YOUR GENEROSITY, we will also be installing a three-line hotwire fence to deter any unwanted visitors while the birds are outside during daylight hours. We take every parrot inside to its sleeping cage before sundown, so no one is outside unattended. We do leave our peafowl and other un-tame avian residents to remain outside all day and night year-round, with little “huts” in their enclosures or protection from the elements. The hot wire fence will provide these outdoor residents of ARC added security, and will give a little more peace of mind for our staff.

 

We have recently adopted out Gandalf, the Moluccan cockatoo from the cruelty case we worked on in conjunction with our local Dept. of Animal Services this past fall. Gandalf, a Moluccan cockatoo, came to us from living in a horrible cruelty/hoarding situation, with several broken feathers from trying to move around in a cage that was too small, as well as a broken toe (most of the parrots from that same hoarder had toes that had been either broken or bitten off). Gandalf showed severe signs of phobia. We thought he was cage possessive at first, as he was very defensive when asked to step up to exit his cage; however we soon learned that instead, he was frightened of the cage. This was noted after he was removed from his cage with a towel and then placed on a play tree. He was then asked to step up, but when we tried to place him back into his cage, he had a serious panic attack. The staff therefore chose to leave him on his tree until such time as he was able to be moved from the play tree to his cage without having a panic attack. Gandalf has chosen his new family, which was indicated by his positive response when in their presence. Prior to his meeting this family, we attempted an interaction with another family, but Gandalf’s response was all-out panic. His new family has had cockatoo experience with their beloved Charlie, an umbrella cockatoo, who also had some challenging behavioral issues that they worked through. We look forward to updates on how Gandalf is doing in his new home.

 

We have recently taken in an extremely neglected military macaw, who we named Rima. She was found to have a severe sinus infection, and is currently being treated with antibiotics and nasal flushes daily for a few weeks. Our avian vet estimates her age to be in her mid-30’s due to an early cataract formation, which is most common in parrots of that age group. Additionally, she has a collapsed lens on the other eye, so her sight is somewhat compromised. She is an amazing bird, who despite years of neglect and lack of handling, was stepping up when asked, with no signs of aggression, within just a few weeks. Rima is reticent about being preened by her handler, so we are working on exposing her to positive interactions with people. She is easy to give injections to, as she does not require toweling for her antibiotic injection twice a day. She just stands there during the injection, and acts as though nothing is happening. We are also working with her so that being toweled for her nasal flush is a game, and not something to be frightened of. Despite her current medical issues, once she has a clean bill of health she will be an amazing companion for someone who is interested in a beautiful military macaw.

 

Attached to this report is a calendar of our upcoming events in the Southern CA area. Please email or call us if you’d like to have any information on these events, as we always enjoy meeting our donors in person and being able to show them firsthand the work we do. If you know of any animal adoption or outreach events that you would like to see us participate in, please notify us with details, and we will, of course, check to see if we have time to participate. If we do, we will reach out the coordinator of the event to ask about participating, either this year or next.

 

In closing, we want to invite all our supporters, near and far, to set up a time to visit our facility in person. We encourage you to come see the work we are doing with parrots, as well as the educational outreach we do with the general public. WE CANNOT THANK YOU ENOUGH for the part you play in the work that ARC does, here in Southern CA and abroad!

 

Warmest regards,

 

Melanie Ariessohn, Co-Director and Board Secretary

 

Eric Kern, Founder and Board President

rima
rima

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Organization Information

Avian Rehabilitation Center

Location: Jamul, CA - USA
Website:
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Avian Rehabilitation Center
Eric Kern
Project Leader:
Eric Kern
Jamul, CA United States

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