What to not say to a rescue

When you work in rescue, you talk to a lot of people. People wanting to surrender and those wanting to adopt. Occasionally we hear some rather odd, or even unpleasant things. This blog is going to be about some of the things that get said to us, and how they do not impress us (as that is usually the motive behind these phrases).

  • “I used to breed”- While we appreciate the honesty, if you think about it, its quite odd to say that to a rescue. You used to fuel the pet trade which we see the consequences of. I am also not sure where people learnt that “if you truly love an animal, then you become a breeder”. I might be biased, but I’d say that the epitome of loving an animal would more likely be working in rescue.
  • “I have a lot of love to offer”- This is almost an odd thing to say as I’m not sure why anyone would get an animal if they don’t plan on loving it. I’d assume you are a bird lover if you are applying to adopt. Furthermore, birds can’t survive on love alone. They need a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle. This continues in our next point but don’t just tell us that you will love the bird, SHOW us.
  • “I will give him/her a good home”- This is essentially a non-negotiable pre-requisite. It’s not that you can’t say this, its more about we want you to SHOW us. Show us the BIG cage you will get for the bird, show us that you offer your birds ample enrichment, show us that you are willing to offer a high variety diet.
  • “If you don’t give me an animal, then I will go buy one”- Threating or manipulating us to get what you want will not work. We are more than happy to adopt out birds, but you have to put in the effort and be a good candidate. If you want to support the pet trade, then we can’t stop you.
  • “I want a parrot that can talk”- If that is the number one factor driving you to get a bird…  Don’t! These are living creatures. You cannot expect them to act like “that one parrot that you saw on a funny Facebook video”.
  • “I want a cockatoo because they are cuddly”- Absolutely not. We can only assume anyone saying this has not even spent 24 hours with a cockatoo. Furthermore, no one should be cuddling their birds, touching their wings and back, triggering hormonal responses. The reality is that what people actually want is a golden retriever with feathers.
  • “My kids want a bird”- Yes, but do you? You cannot expect any child, even the most respectful and responsible, to be the main carer for another living being, especially when animals cannot verbally communicate their needs and wants. Unfortunately, kids are also likely to lose interest over time.
  • “I have had parrots for 20 years”- While having experience interacting with parrots is good, if you have been improperly caring for the birds for the past two decades then all this experience means very little. Do you realize how much parrot care has changed in 20 years? We meet first time bird owners who have done a ton of research and we are far more impressed with them.

So how do you impress us?

Be patient. Be kind. Be open to suggestions for improvement. Be open to learning. Be open to meeting multiple birds. Have a high standard of care. It’s that simple.