Second Chances for Parrots (part 4)

This is a continuation from part 3 of this blog about Debbie Huckaby’s guest speaker presentation at the June Long Island Parrot Society (LIPS) meeting. You can find part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 5 here.

When Debbie spoke about the Emergency Parrot Rescue program that BOPS operates, I must say, hearing and seeing the vital work that BOPS is doing through this community service took my breath away.

Debbie started by explaining that "This provides a vital community service wherein Birds of Paradise performs in an emergency parrot rescue capacity for abandoned, neglected and/or abused parrots. An emergency parrot rescue event occurs when the sanctuary is notified of captive parrots in a distressed state. Typically, we serve parrot(s) that have suddenly lost care from a guardian due to death or sudden illness—but we have also been called to action in cases of extreme neglect when a guardian has stopped providing adequate care for one or more parrots in their possession."

Debbie continued, "True to our mission, we provide these innocent parrots with the love, respect and dignity they deserve in a nurturing, stable environment for the duration of their natural lives. Without this service, the future faced by these parrots in unthinkable as was evidenced by the Troy Parrots, and most recently, the North Port 15 Parrots."

She told the story of three rescues and started with a one sentence statement on each that only someone living this experience could share: "2011, Troy Ohio, these parrots resorted to the unthinkable"; "2014, Zephyrhills Florida, good intentions—wrong environment"; and, "2018, Northport Florida, a hoarder with no plan in place."

As Debbie walked through these 3 rescues the room became silent and there were tears in her eyes. Her emotions were palpable. She showed pictures from the scene, the "before." And you felt her love for these parrots… and her frustration about situations like this. You felt the fear and anguish these parrots suffered. But then came the "after" pictures and your faith was restored. You instinctively understood that sometimes a tragic event can lead to a good outcome—but only through a lot of hard work and dedication—only through second chances.

Debbie then spoke about the immediate needs for the rescue program—a smaller quarantine facility for the rescued birds; an emergency rescue veterinary fund (as many of the parrots BOPS rescues during these events are in distress); and an emergency rescue transport van (as BOPs is currently relying on volunteers with SUV’s to aid in transport during an emergency rescue event.) I for one think the van sounds like an awesome good will community support gesture for a business that has one to donate 😉

One interesting point Debbie brought up while discussing the quarantine facility is that upon completion, BOPS would also use it to provide a free shelter as a service to the local community. She explained that on the heels of Hurricane Irma, it became clear that there was a great need for a shelter where parrot owners could bring their parrots, so they and their families could safely evacuate to a "human" shelter—with no fear of being turned away because they had parrots with them.

CONTINUE READING: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

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