what Drives Us
About Our Organisation
Parrots are the third most popular pet worldwide, but the most commonly re-homed.
Cheeky Beaks Parrot Rescue is a registered NPC (enterprise number 2019/633/199/08) and NPO (246-693) that was founded on 1 October 2019 when the need to have a national parrot rescue and re-homing network was realised to provide a safe and reliable system for birds generally being offered as “free to a good home” on social media and classifieds.
We encourage re-homing (with strict adoption protocols) because this reduces the chance that birds will be sold to breeders or given to people who do not know how/have the time to care for them properly. We encourage re-homing because this discourages potential adopters from supporting the pet trade if they cannot find a bird to adopt in any of the local sanctuaries or rehabilitation centres across South Africa. We also aim to raise awareness about the plight of surrendered parrots and educate the public on proper parrot care.
Our aim is to help re-introduce neglected, abused, lost or surrendered birds back into a family environment instead of establishing another sanctuary to provide such birds with a “forever home”. We exist alongside sanctuaries because some birds do benefit from the one-to-one attention, resources and family structure that can be dedicated to them specifically if they are re-homed. Some birds do not do well in sanctuaries, just as some children do not do well in the foster care system. Sanctuaries across South Africa are full to the brim and there are many people who contact rescue centres on a regular basis to ask if they can adopt birds.
Cheeky Beaks Parrot Rescue has an online application system. People can apply at any time to adopt. When a bird comes to our rescue, we refer to our system and choose the applicant who can provide the best home for the specific bird. If we cannot find a match within the applications currently in our system, we will post adoption notices on our online platforms and accept new applications for that specific parrot. We create a shortlist of the best potential candidates based on our team’s collective input and proceed to arrange home checks. When a candidate’s home check is approved, we encourage him/her to go and meet the bird first before making a final decision about adoption. We enforce strict guardianship contracts and surrender agreements whenever we are approached to assist with a bird anywhere across the country. It is important to us to ensure that all parties involved are clear about what is expected of them as well as our role in facilitating a temporary or permanent new home for any particular bird.
Furthermore, please be aware that we do not “sell” birds. We do not help people sell their birds. We do charge an adoption fee which varies based on the species of the bird. This fee covers administration and travel costs (when home checks are conducted or the bird is transported to a foster or forever home by one of our volunteers or team members), as well as contributes towards a health check and medical treatment for the parrot. We also need funds in case of an emergency vet visit for a bird in our care. We are a non-profit company and all funds which enter our business bank account goes straight back into helping birds. We are transparent about all our finances and are willing and able to provide proof of our expenses upon inquiry.
We require that either the current owners or the chosen adopters book a check-up at their nearest registered avian veterinarian either directly before or directly after the bird has been adopted – and that a copy of a signed wellness certificate is emailed through to us. If neither of these two parties are able to arrange a check-up, one of our volunteers or team members are able to assist with transport and funding if necessary. We aim to have all re-homed parrots tested for common contagious diseases such as Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) and Avian Chlamydia before entering a new temporary or permanent home.
We have placed over 300 parrots into new forever homes and foster care environments over the last 12 months. Of those parrots, African Greys, Indian Ringneck Parakeets and Budgerigars were the three top surrendered parrot species. In accordance with the Department of Environmental Affairs’ legislation, Alien and Invasive Species (AIS) ownership permits are required for certain parrot species in South Africa. We aim to educate current and potential owners of invasive or restricted species about the permit application process and requirements and do not adopt out any of these parrots without the potential adopters having submitted proof of their permit or permit application.
We at Cheeky Beaks Parrot Rescue believe in the 5 freedoms outlined by the NSPCA.
- Freedom from thirst, hunger, and malnutrition;
- Freedom to express normal behaviour;
- Freedom from discomfort;
- Freedom from fear and distress;
- Freedom from pain, injury or disease.
We aim to raise awareness about our network at veterinary clinics and pet stores around the country in order to assist more parrots in need. We work with various private and public sanctuaries to find the best possible environment for each individual parrot that comes into our care.
We work alongside private and public rescue and rehabilitation entities and focus on providing a support structure for parrot owners in need of guidance and training.
We also aim to provide a safe haven for stray parrots found across the country until they can be reunited with their rightful owners.
An underrated form of rescue
When people think about Rescue, often it is in terms of taking a pet from a bad situation and transferring them to a new, loving and carefully vetted home. This is usually done after a period of rehabilitation where health and behavioural issues have been addressed. And yes, very often, this is what the work of Rescue revolves around. But if this is ALL it is, it is destined to fail with far too many animals falling through the cracks. Any Rescue Organisation that does not also strive to address the root causes of animals being surrendered and abandoned is simply trying to put a band-aid on a haemorrhage, or bail out a sinking ship with a teacup!
The key to successful and sustainable animal welfare work is to both increase the number of animals moving out of rescue into permanent homes and, perhaps more importantly, reduce the number coming in. We all know the statistic that pet birds are the third most popular pet but the most frequently surrendered. What if we could turn this around by addressing the reasons birds are surrendered in the first place? There are many ways to do this and one of the ways is through Pet Retention Services.
These services aim to educate and empower the original pet guardian so that the bird can stay in his or her original home. Services which include:
- In-person or virtual consultations where problematic issues such as screaming, biting, feather destructive behavior etc can be addressed.
- Online resources (videos, PDFs etc) that provide bird guardians the information they need to have a successful and happy relationship with their bird.
- Assistance in accessing the correct veterinary care for sick birds.
- Rehabilitation in foster care away from the home environment. Often this is the most successful and helpful to the bird. The original family remains involved in the process and the bird returns home once rehabilitation is complete, along with education and ongoing support.
Do you have a bird in your life who is not doing well that you are beginning to think of surrendering to a rescue organisation? Did you know that this may not be your only option? If you could change one or more things in your bird’s life would you consider keeping him/her? If so then talk to Cheeky Beaks Parrot Rescue today to find out what services may be available to you to keep your bird healthy and happy in your home. We can assist in all the ways listed above! Yes, if you still need to surrender we are definitely there for you but please don’t feel that if you contact us you will be forced into this option. Our preference is to work with you to keep your bird if at all possible!
If you are a Cheeky Beaks supporter, please resist the urge to demand that a bird in a bad situation be removed and never returned to their original home. People have the capacity to learn and grow and if they are open to this not only can we save the bird the stress of being rehomed, we have helped create one more good home for a bird and we all know that we desperately need more of those! Support Pet Retention as a form of rescue. Perhaps one of the best, most sustainable ones we have available to us!