Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education

by Parrot Education and Adoption Center
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Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education
Red-lored Amazon found 5/23/17
Red-lored Amazon found 5/23/17

Thank you to all our wonderful PEAC Supporters!

 

As most of you know, PEAC experienced a change in leadership last month when our former Executive Director and Operations Manager resigned in mid-April.  We welcome and congratulate Gail Bradford who was elected by the Board of Directors as our new Interim-Executive Director! Gail, along with our wonderful team of volunteers continue PEACs missions of educating the public on companion parrot care and assisting parrots in need of new homes.

 

Because of your support, PEAC has participated in two major events in the past few weeks – America’s Family Pet Expo in Orange County in April and just last weekend Pirate Days on San Diego Bay. Outreach events at select Petco locations are on-going, and last Sunday, Willow, our adoptable Blue & Gold macaw met many new friends at the Temecula Petco.  We will be including photos from these fun events in our upcoming newsletters, but you may also find our event schedules, and fun video recaps at our Facebook page “@peac.org” (or search for “Parrot Education and Adoption Center”.) Join the online fun and “like” us!

 

You make our work entirely possible, especially with regards to rehoming parrots who come into our program.  Just this week, PEAC was notified of a Red-lored Amazon at an animal shelter in San Diego County. Two days later we received a call from a Good Samaritan who reported turning in a found Amazon to the Department of Animal Services. Surely this must be the same bird!? In speaking with the caller, the Red-lored Amazon had been found in a trash bag at a parking lot. Inside the trash bag was a very small cage secured with zip ties that appeared to have been in place for a significant length of time; it’s possible the bird had been living in this tiny enclosure prior to being left at the site of discovery.

 

This caring individual transported the parrot to the nearest DAS shelter. Both the caller and DAS staff noted copious nasal discharge making the need for immediate avian veterinary care very evident. PEAC’s newest foster flock member is now under expert medical care, and is expected to make a full recovery.  As DNA gender determination is pending we have not yet selected a name for this exceptionally sweet natured parrot. Perhaps you would like to make a name suggestion? We’d love to hear from you! 

 

Taking a moment to reflect on this Amazon and how he was found - dumped, just emphasizes to us the desperate need for organizations like PEAC to exist.  We hear about these types of stories, but it breaks our heart to be part of one. Now he has a chance for a bright future, in part to the Good Samaritan who made sure he found his way to a safe harbor, but also because of compassionate people like YOU, who have supported PEAC’s programs these many years. Your generosity has ensured our ability to accept and provide medical care to parrots in need. We will continue our community outreach, educating the public about PEAC and the resources available to them.  No pet bird should be left as this one was, abandoned and alone. So we extend our deepest gratitude to you, our Donors. Thank you sincerely for allowing PEAC to advocate for and assist these parrots, who have needed all of our help so very much and who will have their lives changed for the better because of your personal effort and investment.

 

And now for some GREAT news - we have found permanent homes for the following foster birds! Buddy (Congo Grey), Gabby (Scarlet Macaw), and Lucy (Green-wing Macaw). Their new families are all thrilled with how their new feathered friends have settled in and are looking forward to making many happy memories in years to come.  As the need to rehoming is ever present, we have accepted three other parrots into foster care this past week; all due to long time owners who have been mandated by physician order to give up their birds due to severe health issues. New foster flock members include: Louise (Congo Grey), Blaze (Red-bellied Parrot) and Niki (Senegal). Please watch our website, Facebook page and PetFinder.com for updates as they progress through quarantine to adoptable status.

 

Again, we thank you for ensuring a new chapter and loving homes for companion parrots, and for supporting our continued community outreach. We’ll be returning to regular educational events within the next one or two months on a variety of topics related to companion parrot care. We hope to see you soon at a PEAC event - Be sure and introduce yourself so we can give you a hug or high-five in person for your support of PEAC and our parrots!

I'm SO glad to be out of that tiny cage!!!
I'm SO glad to be out of that tiny cage!!!
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Beanie looking good
Beanie looking good

Looking at the calendar today, I cannot believe we are already at the end of February.  Time seems to go by way too fast for those of us who work in rescue.  PEAC is starting out 2017 in good financial standing, due to the great success of our year-end fundraiser. Not only did we have Globalgiving matching our donations on one of these days, we also had an anonymous donor who pledged a donation of $1 for $1 up to $20,000, which we took full advantage of.  2016 saw PEAC running at a deficit, due to some significant veterinary expenses that we had for parrots including Major, Blaze, and Beanie. With the large matching donation, we will be able to pay off all charges that we had incurred in 2016.

90% of our budget each year goes directly to veterinary costs.  Each parrot that comes into the foster program undergoes a comprehensive veterinary evaluation, which includes various tests along with the physical examination.  The cost for this is $300-$400 per parrot.  Some of the parrots come to us with serious psychological problems, requiring the use of prescription medication to help ease their anxiety.  Currently we have two parrots that are struggling with feather destructive behavior (FDB).  On entering the program, KT and Rubio each had very little feather covering on their chest, abdomen, and legs; additionally, Rubio was destroying his wing feathers.  After just a few months, the changes in them are quite amazing.  Both are showing tremendous feather regrowth, and are preening naturally, without any signs of over-preening, which is part of FDB.  PEAC, alongside its team of avian vets, has worked hard on a protocol that seems to show promise with parrots suffering with FDB, when they receive treatment at the early stages of the condition.  The protocol is not only about using medication, but also includes dietary changes and environmental enrichment, which includes daily showers and plenty of time in natural sunlight and fresh air in our outdoor aviaries. Toys are provided which simulate the texture and design of a parrot's feathers, and we try to get them to use these to relieve their anxiety, instead of taking it out on themselves. 

PEAC has a busy calendar with our outreach events so far this year.  We have been invited to participate in the South Orange County Pet Expo, the America's Family Pet Expo, the Turquoise Animal Hospital Exotic Pet Expo, and Pirate Days at the Maritime Museum of San Diego, as well as our regular monthly outreach events at the local Petco stores.  Additionally, we are working on getting approval to do a monthly outreach event at the local Petsmart stores.  PEAC's main focus continues to be education, and we try to participate in as many events as we have sufficient volunteers to cover, as this is the best means of getting the message out about the plight of companion parrots in the USA.  As we are all aware, cats, dogs, and fish are the three most common companion pets in our country; parrots have recently dropped to fourth place.  Even though this may signal that fewer parrots are being purchased as pets, it does not reflect the large number of birds needing to find new homes, for a variety of reasons.  PEAC's education focuses on providing information to people considering a parrot as a pet, so that if they choose to go forward with this, they are prepared for the longevity of the bird, as well as the cost and care of the animal.  In the Spring of 2017, we will resume our pet therapy program that we offer to the local military personnel in San Diego.  With San Diego being a big military town, PEAC feels it is important to give back to the community that supports us. We are also hopeful that in the Spring, Rady Children's Hospital will allow us to begin doing an outreach event, to provide the children there who are struggling with illness to have an afternoon of fun while learning information on these amazing winged wonders. 

Each year your financial support goes toward purchasing teaching aids, such as the coloring book we use for kids 12 and under, which explains how to care for a pet parrot. This year with your donations, we will also begin to offer a "Congratulations on Your Adoption" care package, which among other items, will include two videos by a world-renown avian behaviorist: one on parrot body language and the other on basic training techniques using positive reinforcement.  With the growth of the organization, we have realized the importance of liability insurance, especially when you consider that we are working with wild animals.  Without your donations, PEAC would have been left open to liability, should an accident occur.  Our webpage will soon begin to have links to PEAC-approved informational sites, so that when someone logs on to our webpage, they will have, with one click, a large resource library which we hope will answer most questions on parrot care.  

I want to reach out to all of you and thank you for your support during our year-end campaign, as this is not an accomplishment of PEAC; it's an accomplishment of you, our supporters.  Outside of financial support, PEAC is also in desperate need of volunteers, especially those who are willing to open their homes to a foster bird.  In just a couple of months, we have gone from having no birds on our waiting list, to having to reopen our waiting list, as we just do not have the foster homes necessary to take in all the parrots that come to us looking for a second chance.  Along with our growth has also come the need to form some new committees, including the event committee, the fundraising committee, and the committee on grants; and we are in need of volunteers to sit on these committees.

WITHOUT THE PHYSICAL SUPPORT OF A STRONG VOLUNTEER BASE,

PEAC WILL NOT SURVIVE OR GROW,

NO MATTER HOW MUCH MONEY WE GENERATE WITH FUNDRAISERS. 

As spring approaches, we who have parrots will begin to deal with the breeding behaviors that come around for most birds every year.  Keep an eye out for information relating to this topic, as one of our new monthly seminars will be about how to manage your feathered friends during what can be a very tense time of year, not only for them, but for you, their owners, as well.

In closing, I want to thank all of you for everything you do that helps keep PEAC moving forward.  We are in the middle of celebrating our 20th year of service to the Southern California area and abroad, and we hope to be around for another 20 wonderfully successful years.

Blaze at her new doctor's office
Blaze at her new doctor's office
Major in his new home
Major in his new home
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Blaze ready to go to her new home
Blaze ready to go to her new home

 

It’s so hard to believe we are publishing our last newsletter of the year.  Along with the last newsletter also comes our yearly fundraising campaign.  Last year’s campaign failed to reach our budgeted need for $20,000.  We raised slightly over $10,000, which for an organization of our size is nothing to be ashamed of.  This year our budget has only increased by 25%, due primarily to the rising costs of veterinary care and housing needs of our foster flock.  This year, we are looking at a budget of $30,000, which goes 90% to the care and needs of our foster flock, and 10% to our educational work.  This year, we may just make it, as we have an anonymous donor who is willing to match dollar for dollar up to $20,000.  This is a first for PEAC, and is absolutely amazing.  So with that being said, once you receive our fundraising emails, postcards, and calls, please give generously, so that in 2017 we may continue to grow our organization in its goals of educating people in all things parrot related and providing a safe haven for birds who are in our foster flock and in need of finding a home.

To update you on our educational work, we are still setting up an informational booth at the Temecula Petco every third Sunday of the month.  We are starting to fill out the application to Petsmart so that we may set up at various stores one Sunday a month.  After the holidays, we will start a new program on the last Sunday of the month, a discussion at the Department of Animal Services Conference Room on Gaines Street, on a variety of topics related to parrots, both companion parrots and those living in the wild.

Just two weeks ago, we started working with our military on pet therapy sessions with the larger parrots under our care in Jamul.  This is a very exciting program as we endeavor to help those in our community and at the same time get some good socialization for our foster parrots, especially those who have not had much handling in their lives prior to entering the PEAC foster flock.  Due to privacy issues with this outreach program, including the HIPAA laws, we are not able to identify those participating in the project, but we definitely are able to give you updates on how the people and parrots are benefitting from it.

PEAC is always there for the parrots in our area, but we also feel strongly about participating with those people who make up our beautiful community.  Being a military town, we felt it was a positive thing for the military personnel and the parrots to join ranks.

The last item I want to update you on is our greenwing macaw, Blaze, who came to PEAC in terrible condition and poor health.  We found her in a 36”x36” cage with no room to move around.  Due to weak muscles and bones as a result of having a blood calcium level of 30% below normal, and weighing only 845 grams, she ended up fracturing her wing and needing surgery to re-set it with a pin placed to stabilize the bones while they healed.  She is having the pin removed in one week, and is now weighing in at 1031 grams and looks amazing!  Her feather and skin color are healthy and brilliant and her sweet personality is coming out more and more every day.  She has a long way to go before she is strong enough to leave her 24x48x24 acrylic cage that was generously donated to PEAC by San Diego Plastics, Inc., and move into a normal parrot cage and be safe to climb about and play in one of the outside aviaries.  We already have someone interested in potentially adopting her, and we are hoping that this may be her forever home.

So in closing, I just want to encourage you all to reach out to your co-workers, friends, neighbors, and family to donate to PEAC during this year’s fundraising campaign.  Globalgiving now allows you to donate via texting on your phone. It's an easy way to give a $10 donation. Just Text GIVE 15372 to 80-100 to donate $10 to Save Companion Parrots through Rescue & Education.  It’s simple and easy!  So let’s together make a difference in the lives of our companion parrots by doing our part in raising this year’s goal.  I know it’s possible, as I know how dedicated our volunteers and members are.  PEAC, for 20 years, has gained an outstanding reputation, not only here in Southern California, but throughout the state as well as the country. 

I want to thank all of you in advance for your generosity and hard work in reaching our goal.  I wish all of you a wonderful upcoming holiday season, and I look forward to reporting to you the results of this year’s fundraising campaign. 

20 year anniversary
20 year anniversary
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Blaze with RVT Amber
Blaze with RVT Amber

Recently, PEAC was involved in one of the most serious cases of neglect of a large parrot we have ever seen.  Blaze is a 20-year-old greenwing macaw who was being cared for by her owner’s 80-year-old mother at the time PEAC was notified of the case.  On August 23, a call was received from a social worker at the Scripps Encinitas Hospital, just outside of San Diego.  The social worker notified PEAC that a patient of theirs, who owned a greenwing macaw, was not going to make it through the night. The macaw needed to be taken into a rescue, as the family was not able to continue caring for it.  At first, PEAC was not overly alarmed, as about 30% of all the parrots that come into the foster program are from owners who have passed away; and their families, who do not want the birds, relinquish them to PEAC so that a new home may be found.
The director, Eric Kern, and a volunteer, Carrie Mix, arrived at the home to find a parrot in very poor care.  Her cage was only 36" square, not even large enough for her tail to hang down, and definitely not enough room to move around to properly groom herself.  She had sores on her wings from rubbing on the bars of the cage, and she was covered in feces, not only on her tail but on her wings, back, and chest.  The cage had not been cleaned in a very long time, and had droppings 10” deep in the bottom tray which came up over the grate. Her tail was resting on this pile of droppings, as she could only relieve herself in one spot, since she could not move around due to the size of the cage. The room Blaze was kept in was full of fruit flies and other insects drawn by the deplorable conditions of not only the room, but the entire residence. 
Blaze appeared to have not been handled very often, and when we opened her cage door she showed fear behavior and had to be wrapped in a towel for restraint so that she could be safely placed in a carrier for the ride back to our facility in Jamul. We were not aware of how poor her condition was, and because she was covered in feces, she was placed on a stand in a shower room.  Once Blaze saw the water come on, she became very animated and began to call and talk and act like a bird that finally felt the comfort of water on her dirty feathers, and she danced back and forth on the perch.  As accidents do happen, even with skilled handlers, Blaze lost her balance and fell off the perch. For a parrot with strong bones and good health the fall would have been a minor mishap, and the bird would have promptly gotten back on the perch to continue its shower.  This was not to be the case with Blaze. 
Due to weak bones and poor muscle tone, she shattered both bones in her left wing, and was rushed to one of our avian vets for an emergency evaluation.  X-rays where performed, and it was obvious that she would require orthopedic surgery to place a pin in one of the bones. It was hoped that this would stabilize the other bone, which had a couple of smaller fragments that had sheared off.  The x-rays also showed evidence of an old fracture to the femur in one of her legs.  It had obviously never been treated by a vet, and had healed on its own without being set, which caused that leg to have a permanent slight bow in it and carries the risk of arthritis developing as she gets older.  Surgery was performed on her wing the following day, and she did amazingly well.  The pin pulled the one bone together and allowed it to act as a splint for the other bone, which aligned well; and the fragmented pieces fell back into place.  Blaze stayed in the hospital for a couple of days while PEAC worked hard to secure a company that could provide a 24"x48"x24" acrylic box for her to call home for the next six weeks while the fractured wing healed. 
PEAC is so grateful to San Diego Plastics, which in just two days fabricated the box and donated it to us. It would have cost around $2000-$3000 for the grade and thickness of Plexiglass we needed to use.  We will be publishing their logo and contact information in our upcoming newsletter, and will be placing them on our website, which is once again under construction.  The initial cost for veterinary services for the emergency evaluation, surgery, and three nights in the hospital cost PEAC around $2000.  Blaze has already had one recheck visit, which included blood work again to check for infection, a change of dressing on the surgical site, and a prescription for antibiotics, which cost around $300.  She will have several more rechecks and dressing changes before the healing is complete.
Blood work on the first recheck showed a very elevated white blood cell count, which could be caused by the fracture but could also indicate infection, so we are continuing the injections of antibiotics for two more weeks.  When things are all said and done, Blaze’s medical care will cost PEAC around $5000.  This unexpected emergency comes just a few months before our year-end fundraising campaign.  Life is always unpredictable, which we discuss in our adoption class when we address making arrangements for your parrot in the event of your death.  PEAC already was operating on a shortfall of $10,000 for the 2016 yearly budget.  We rely solely on donations from caring people like you, who give so generously during the year and always come through when we ask for our year-end campaign; that is when we collect 90% of the next year’s operating budget. 
PEAC is celebrating its 20th year of educating people on topics that relate to parrot ownership, in addition to finding forever homes for parrots that make up our foster flock.  Blaze, like many of our foster birds, will have a long rehabilitation process before she is ready to go to her forever home.  She will be one of the first birds used in our latest outreach project, which involves active-duty service personnel.  On Sept 15, four active-duty service members will begin coming twice a week to our facility in Jamul, to work with and interact with the parrots that are in various stages of being rehabilitated.  These individuals are struggling with mental illnesses such as PTSD. Many of the birds that come into our foster program also suffer similar emotional issues, and these are addressed and worked on during the rehabilitation process. San Diego is a military town, and this is one way our organization can give back to the community which we call home. 
We will conclude this report by just once again asking you to consider making a donation to PEAC to help cover Blaze’s vet expenses, as well as new cages that some of our foster birds desperately need, educational expenses, and our daily operating expenses that we struggle with due to the shortfall on our fundraising for this year’s operating budget.  Thank you in advance for your generosity, not only with your financial gifts, but also for the time you give by reading and keeping up with our work, and for the hours of volunteering many of you give each year.

Sincerely,

Eric Kern, Director

Note:  Some of the pictures of Blaze are hard to view, so please be aware before viewing.

Blaze with RVT Amber
Blaze with RVT Amber
Blaze stabilized in hospital waiting for Surgery
Blaze stabilized in hospital waiting for Surgery
Blaze in her hospital container
Blaze in her hospital container
Blaze at PEAC 1
Blaze at PEAC 1
Blaze after surgery in her new home
Blaze after surgery in her new home
Blaze in her home donated by San Diego Plastics
Blaze in her home donated by San Diego Plastics
Blaze settling in for her 6 weeks of healing
Blaze settling in for her 6 weeks of healing
Blazes former home on the way to the dump
Blazes former home on the way to the dump
The tray has 10" of feces built up on it
The tray has 10" of feces built up on it
This cage will NEVER contain another parrot
This cage will NEVER contain another parrot

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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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Organization Information

Parrot Education and Adoption Center

Location: San Diego, CA - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Gail Bradford
Executive Director
San Diego, CA United States
$85,512 raised of $100,000 goal
 
1,748 donations
$14,488 to go
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