Sometimes Giving Up Is Your Best Choice

By Abi Strachan

Often in rescue, we encounter various situations resulting in the surrender of birds. Let me tell you, we only want what’s best for the bird. Yes, we’re under pressure, and our resources are stretched thin, but we will never turn away a bird in need.

The purpose of this article is to highlight the sometimes very necessary solution of re-surrender.  

Pictured (left): Dino, a Congo African Grey that was recently re-surrendered to our organisation because the adopter had fallen on hard times and was unable to cover the veterinary costs for this sweet bird. Dino has since found his new forever family who already love him to the moon and back. 

Pictured (right): Rosie, a female Alexandrine Parakeet that was re-surrendered because the adopter came to the realisation that they were simply not what Rosie needed. No matter how hard they tried, they just were not the right home for this bird in the long run. They made the choice to return her to us and we found her the family that she’s been searching for.

 

So you adopted a bird from us years ago, and since then your life has been turned upside down. You’ve moved, your family dynamic and circumstances have changed dramatically, whatever the reason may be, you’re now faced with the possibility of “failing” your rescued companion. It’s not failure. Failure would be forcing everyone to endure a less than ideal situation. Failure would be breaching your contract and rehoming your bird to your cousin’s uncle’s friend because they once had a budgie. Failure would be ignoring the mental health and wellness of your companion in order to save yourself from admitting that it’s just not working. Making the difficult decision to contact us, and put the needs of your beloved bird above your own emotion and pride, is anything but failure.

Pictured (Above): Piet and Koos, a bonded pair of male Ringnecks that were re-surrendered after being in their adoptive home for almost a year, due to unforeseen circumstances that forced their adoptive family to move away and the new living conditions were not favourable to keeping parrots. They have found their new home and are thriving now.

I can assure you, our only interest is the best interests of the bird in question, and should the situation arrive where you need to rehome your beloved pet, we will welcome them with open arms. We will not judge you, there will be no passive aggressive social media posts about how you gave up, we will show nothing but love, compassion and support to you through this difficult time. It’s what we do, and we do it, for the birds. Every single time. So you adopted a bird from us years ago, and since then your life has been turned upside down. You’ve moved, your family dynamic and circumstances have changed dramatically, whatever the reason may be, you’re now faced with the possibility of “failing” your rescued companion. It’s not failure. Failure would be forcing everyone to endure a less than ideal situation. Failure would be breaching your contract and rehoming your bird to your cousin’s uncle’s friend because they once had a budgie. Failure would be ignoring the mental health and wellness of your companion in order to save yourself from admitting that it’s just not working. Making the difficult decision to contact us, and put the needs of your beloved bird above your own emotion and pride, is anything but failure.

Often, after a few years, the bird has matured and its needs have changed, and you’re suddenly unable to meet them. That’s OK. That’s why we say in our contract that if for any reason at all you are unable to retain ownership of the bird we must be contacted. It’s not because we really enjoy having 20 fosters at a time, it’s because we keep the best interests of the bird in our minds, at all times. There is nothing wrong with asking for help, that’s why we exist. We will go through all the options with you, because as we’ve previously said, pet retention is a vital part of rescue, but if it’s not possible for you to keep the bird we will be right there, and we’ll start the process all over again, with a smile on our faces. Making birds happy is what we do, the fact that our adopters are always ecstatic when they get to take their new friends home is just a bonus.

Pictured (Above): Pixie, a Blue and Gold Macaw that was signed over to us again due to unforeseen pressure from elements beyond the adoptive family’s control. She is currently in rehabilitation with one of our team members in the region and we are working through options to find her perfect match.

We’re your friends through this, and not a single one of us will cast any judgment or harbour any resentment towards you for doing what is best for the bird. Life happens, and particularly the last 18 months odd, a lot of people’s worlds have been obliterated, we’re a lifeline, we’re here to help. If you find yourself in the position of not being able to keep your adopted bird, reach out to us, not only is it in the contract you signed, but it’s the right thing to do.

Pictured (Above): Clyde, on the right, who was adopted by a wonderful family last year. Unfortunately, circumstances beyond their control changed and forced them to make a decision to rehome Clyde again. He had also lost his bonded mate (another species of parrot that he bonded to in the adoptive home) and was in dire need of healthy avian company again. We were absolutely thrilled to find him a home with another male Eclectus that had also been longing for a friend. The two of them hit it off like they’ve known each other forever!
This applies to every surrender, not only re-surrenders. We will always act in the best interests of any bird that we are contacted about.
We’re not judge and jury, we’re a resource than can and will help.