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Hi, Future Owner!

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How Does Our Adoption Process Work?

We regularly get asked why it takes so long to work through our process from application until adoption. The reason for this is so that we can make absolutely sure that each of our applicants are the perfect home for the parrot they are interested in. 1. You start off by completing the online application form which gives us a basis to work off of where your parrot care is convinced. This allows us to approve people with more knowledge and continue to home checks. 2. People who need to make some changes based on their applications will be sent more information on how to improve their care and once these improvements have been made, we’ll proceed to the home check stage. During the home check we find out which species of parrot and what kind of personality would suit you and your family best in the home. 3. While some families are okay to work with a parrot who needs diet conversion, training and taming, some families would prefer a bird who is already tame and enjoys interacting with more than one family member instead of picking one human and bonding to them. This is perfectly fine; it just might mean that you could potentially have to wait a bit longer for that perfect match. 4. Next up is meet and greets. In this phase we try to arrange some meetings between you and some of the parrots we think might suit your environment (these might not always be the parrot you originally applied for). The reason we do meet and greets, is so that we can allow the bird to interact with the candidates and then see who they do the best with. In most cases this is a good sign for their future together. 5. Once the applicants have met the bird we decide based on feedback from the foster, which candidate they think would be best suited for the parrot as well as looking at their home check and conversations we’ve had with them. 6. If you are not chosen to adopt the parrot you went to meet, do not fret. Just because you weren’t the perfect match for the first parrot you are introduced to doesn’t mean that you won’t meet that perfect match. It just means that it’ll take some more time to find that match. 7. Once you do find your match we issue you with an invoice and have the adoption agreement signed and then you are free to take the new addition to your family home. After you have adopted you and your household get put in a cool-down period that changes depending on the parrot you have adopted, but can last anywhere between 3 and 6 months. What this means is that you are unable to adopt again before this period is over. The reasoning for this is to allow for your new parrot to settle into the home as well as to allow other applicants a chance at adoption. 8. For more information, click the link below or check out our FAQ page.

Invasive Species Permit

Invasive Species Permit

Cheeky Beaks Rescue has been engaging in talks with AIS and Biosecurity in order to further educate ourselves about permitting requirements and to find the best solutions for our fosters and adopters of Rose-ringed Parakeets. We have established a productive working relationship with representatives of these departments, especially in Cape Town. In 2014, the Department of Environmental Affairs declared Rose-ringed Parakeets (a.k.a. Indian Ringneck Parakeets) an invasive/alien/restricted species in South Africa under Category B. Escaped pets have proven to be quite hardy and have survived in the wild, flocking together and forming large feral colonies all over the country that compete with indigenous birds for resources and territories and have been known to spread contagions such as Pscittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) amongst wild bird populations. What are the implications of the Department’s decision to declare then an invasive species? This means that any individual who owns, breeds or transports these parrots are required by law to apply for a permit from the Department. We aim to raise awareness about this relatively new law and assist current and future owners with applying for their permits. Due to the immense backlog of applications, however, the Department has been known to take up to 18 months to issue the documentation to successful applicants. Cheeky Beaks requires our followers to present us with a valid permit or proof that an application for a permit has been submitted and paid for before we can consider any candidates for the adoption of Indian Ringneck Parakeets in our system. Our fosters are also required to have their permits up to date and valid in order to be able to assist with fostering and rehabilitating this special species. Important to note: - There are different kinds of permits – for owning a bird as a pet, for breeding and for transport. You will most likely only need to apply for the ownership permit. - If you are a pet owner, you will need to apply for a permit for each individual bird in your household. The permits are tied to ring numbers or microchip numbers. - If you have had a pet Indian Ringneck Parakeet since before this legislation was instated (2014), you still need to apply for a permit. - The ownership permit is valid for 5 years. - The cost of the ownership permit is R100 per bird (it is not mentioned anywhere on the application form). It costs R50 to renew the permit after the 5-year period has elapsed. - You will preferably need to be able to provide a ring number on your permit application. If your parrot is not ringed, please speak to your regional branch of AIS (Alien and Invasive Species – Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment) and confirm whether a microchip is acceptable. It is possible to have an adult parrot ringed, but you will have to speak to an avian vet about this, as it is not always advisable to do so and can cause safety hazards. Consult with an avian vet about your specific case if you are required to have your parrot ringed. - You will preferably need to have your parrot’s wings trimmed (hard clipped) by an avian vet or professionally trained groomer before AIS sends out a representative to come and do an inspection of your property. This only applies to indoor companion birds. - If you have birds in an outdoor aviary, you will need to have a double safety door installed on your aviary. More information and the permit application form can be found at the link below: If you have any questions, please contact the relevant department directly via email at Visit their website for further reading. For specific enquiries, especially if you are experiencing issues with regards to providing a ring number (if your parrot is not ringed), please request to speak to Mr. Nelukalo from Biosecurity.

Image by Lakshmi Narasimha
Image by Janosch Diggelmann

What We Require From Adopters

Every bird deserves a home, but does every home deserve a bird? We have a strict and thorough adoption process at Cheeky Beaks. No single person is responsible for making a decision as to whether or not a candidate is approved for adoption. Every decision is discussed by the entire team, to give an objective and impartial view based only on facts. Most of us have no knowledge of the person and home we’re discussing, other than the information submitted on the application form. These birds have been ripped from their natural habitats, mostly generations ago, and are now forced to live beside us. So it becomes our duty to ensure that their every need is not only met, but exceeded. This means that unfortunately not everyone will be approved. There are certain criteria that are not negotiable when it comes to welcoming a feathered friend into your home. We require adopters to be able to provide these basics at the very least: - A suitable cage: None of our birds come with a “free” cage. In some instances the cage that the bird is using in foster care may be available for purchase at a reasonable fee, this income helps subsidize the birds that require extensive treatment, long-term care, or arrive with nothing at all. In other instances there is no cage available to sell to the adopter, and it becomes the adopters responsibility to provide a new or decent second hand cage of an appropriate size. If you are unsure of the size requirements, ask us, we will happily guide you, but we will not allow a bird to be homed in a less than adequate cage. - Financial stability: Birds are not cheap pets, and many people think that adoption is the cheaper option compared to breeder bought birds. These birds are not lesser being because they’re “second hand” If anything they deserve even better than hand-reared babies, as most of them have experienced some sort of trauma, loss or inadequate care. You will need to be able to cover the costs of food, care, enrichment and medical expenses, even in emergencies. We have “Project Ray” which assists less fortunate families in caring for their existing birds, it would be unethical and irresponsible to home a bird to someone who is not able to carry the costs of its care. Fostering is potentially an option for those not currently able to adopt; this is however not a shortcut to adoption. - Transport: Many of our adopters don’t have their own transport, but they have access to transport. Before even taking a bird home you are expected to go and meet the bird in its foster home, if you can’t manage that, can you realistically manage an emergency situation late at night if your bird is injured or ill? Another factor to consider is the distance you are willing to travel. You are expected to meet the bird you apply for, it’s only under very special circumstances that this is not mandatory, so if you’re not willing to drive the hour to meet the bird you saw us post about, look for ones closer to your area. Our website is divided up into provinces under the “Adopt” menu. - Knowledge: You don’t have to know everything, none of us do, but there is a wealth of information available online, from our pages and channels as well as several others, we regularly post refreshers and new information, the is information everywhere and if you’re that unsure of what to trust, ask. You should be able to research and learn at the very least appropriate husbandry before even considering an avian companion. We are always on standby to guide you and educate you, we send out countless links everyday to useful articles and resources, use them. While we’re here to guide you, you have to show willingness to learn. - Patience: We are a volunteer run organization, we all have daily responsibilities and families and do this in our free time. Not only do you need to exercise patience with the adoption process, but with your new bird as well. Your new bird has likely undergone some extreme changes recently, and so the first few months can be rocky. You need to be prepared to show endless patience and understanding. If you get frustrated because you tried calling the case manager of a bird 4 times within an hour and they didn’t answer, what does that show us you’ll do if your new feathered friend is having trouble adjusting and won’t step up, or go back into the cage? - An avian vet: If you’ve never owned a bird before we can guide you to a reputable avian vet, but we do not have personal experience in every town of South Africa. It is advisable to ask around, get to know the avian specialist vets in your area. It’s often useful to post in a local community group looking for other bird owners who have a trusted avian vet. - Respect our process: It’s been mentioned before, but it’s simply not possible to fall in love with 3 or 4 pictures you’ve seen online. Every single bird has their own unique personality, and a picture can’t portray that. We review your application, and make a decision whether or not you should meet that specific bird based on what we know about the bird that we have gotten to know and love. Often home checks are conducted by volunteers and not Team Members, this means that the person doing your inspection may never have met the bird you’ve applied for, it is their job to assess your home for compatibility with a bird, not that specific bird. Home checkers have no influence on our decision and the inspection needs to be objective and factual. Often not even all team members have all the information on a specific bird readily available when conducting your home check. The home check is just that, confirming your suitability as a bird home. Sometimes we may take a bit to reply to a message, or miss your call, respect our time. I can promise you that we all want to home every bird in our system, but we do sometimes get busy. If you feel like you’ve slipped through the cracks, pop the Team Member handling the case a message, we’re all human and mistakes happen. Messaging every Team Member because one didn’t reply immediately is waste of everyone’s time. We all prefer texts to calls, as we all have our daily duties to get through and don’t often have the time to dedicate to a call, but a message will get read and responded to when we have time, or an answer for you. The list of official Team Members is always available on our website, and they are the only people that can and do make decisions. We take recommendations from our fosters and volunteers, but as previously mentioned, all decisions are made by the team, as a team. - Honesty: Far too often we get multiple applications from one person with very different responses. We notice, and it raises red flags. If you don’t know what an Eclectus diet should look like, don’t try and fake it. There is no excuse to not research your answers when submitting an application. This is a summarized version of some of the key expectations we have of adopters, we also have a comprehensive guide that you can read by clicking the button below. While many may feel it’s too strict and time consuming for a pet adoption, we will not waive this simply because you feel you’re the best applicant. Human children take years to adopt, a parrot is dependent on you for a lot longer, why should the process be any simpler? These are sentient beings with complex emotions and personalities, they deserve far more than we could ever offer them, but it’s our duty as an organization to ensure that we home them to those that understand this and will treat them accordingly. We could not do this work without our adopters and we value each and every one of you that has stuck through the process and made the changes required to succeed in adopting, or researched thoroughly and been approved immediately. You are the reason we can help more birds, without you we’d all just be a bunch of hoarders with a very limited reach. Just know that every ask we have has a solid backing to it, and is a requirement for good reason.

What Does The "Status" Of Each Bird Refer To?

Not all the birds listed here are immediately available for adoption. Often when birds come into the care Cheeky Beaks Rescue, they are in need of medical treatment and rehabilitation that could take months before they are officially ready to join their new families. Our dedicated network of team members and fosters across the country spend many hours working on helping them overcome their trauma and behavioural issues as much as possible, socialising them, converting them to a healthier diet and doing basic training with them so that they are able to be handled and can respond to certain commands, all of which will make their transition to their forever homes much more seamless. During this time (it can take anything from a few weeks to multiple months), you are given the opportunity to sponsor the parrot in question. You can either commit to a monetary donation (a debit order with a minimum monthly amount of R100 for the long-term foster and rehabilitation cases would be our recommendation), or you can gift them a hamper to the value of R300, which includes healthy formulated food, toys and perches from some of the awesome local small businesses we love to support. For the pluckers, one of our directors, Kimberlee, from New Leaf Collars, will add a custom made soft collar to the hamper. Read more on the Donate page. Birds that are in foster-to-adopt care are not included in this list. So, what does the “status” of a bird mean? - Available = Ready to be adopted. - Sponsorable = The parrot is in rehabilitation and not available for adoption yet, but we are taking applications and we would love for you to show your support by sponsoring him/her during this process. - Fosterable = We are looking for a very special kind of candidate to take over the fostering and rehabilitation of this specific bird. In certain cases, birds are moved to “halfway houses” once they are surrendered, or the surrendering party is able to temporarily keep the bird with them until we find the perfect foster home, especially if it is a bird that is in need of some potentially long-term behavioural training and rehabilitation. If you are experienced with the species in question and are willing to offer your services as a foster to Cheeky Beaks, please check out our FAQ for more information about what is required of you and submit an application (the link is at the bottom of this page). - Reserved = One or two applicants have made the shortlist for the adoption of this specific bird and the adoption will be finalised after the final step or two, e.g. a pre-adoption vet check or a meet-and-greet session. We are no longer accepting applications for this parrot.

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