We know that making the decision to re-home your bird in a Sanctuary is not an easy one. There are lots of situations that come up in life that require you to place your feathered-friend in someone else’s care and the emotions involved in this heart wrenching decision are enough to overwhelm and frustrate even the strongest person.
The fact is that it’s not an easy process making sure you choose the perfect new home. You want to make sure that your bird is cared for in the proper and best way and that they will live their long life as happy and healthy as is possible. So we have created a list of 20 of the most important things to look for when choosing a Sanctuary for your bird. Whether you choose to place your feathered-friend with the Florida Exotic Bird Sanctuary or somewhere else if you follow this list to the letter you can be sure that you will have made the right choice and your bird will thank you for it.
Please be aware that there are Sanctuaries that put a great website out there to the public but upon visiting the facility you may find a very different reality than the one they might be portraying online. So here is our top “20 Most Important Things To Look For When Choosing A Sanctuary For Your Bird”.
1. As we just mentioned above, online reality can be really different from the actual reality of a Sanctuary so it is imperative that you personally visit the facility that you are considering and find out the following things before trusting your beloved pet with anyone!
2. Does anyone live on premise at the Sanctuary? Does that person have the medical experience to handle an emergency if one should arise? What are those qualifications? How long have they been in operation?
3. Who is the facility’s vet? Once you have that information make sure you call that vet and find out if they actually know about this facility. Then find out what their habits are of making sure the birds that come in are health checked.
4. Find out if the Sanctuary has a quarantine on premises. This is very important when making sure that your bird and others are protected from the spreading of any disease/illness that might be brought in with new arrivals.
5. Does the Sanctuary have an Intake Building for the acclimation of new birds into the facility? How many birds are currently in their care already? Can they provide references from people that have already released birds to their facility?
6. Has care been taken to secure the birds against wild animals? Is there secure fencing? Is there small gauge wire on the Aviaries? Is there proper lighting at night?
7. Where is the water supply from? Can you see the results of water tests? This is very important because it is vital that only purified, clean water is being given to the birds!
8. What diet are the resident birds being fed? Make sure you look in the bowls too and make sure that the bowls are clean!
9. What is the Sanctuary’s evacuation plan? Do they have a feasible and easily executed evacuation plan? Are they currently ready at a second’s notice to initiate that evacuation plan?
10. All facilities MUST HAVE a Florida Fish and Game Licenseand it MUST be posted where you can see it!
11. The facility MUST be registered with the Department of Agriculture and the current year should be posted!
12. All facilities need to be an APPROVED 501 (c) (3) under IRS tax code. Some facilities are saying they have applied for IRS non-profit but have not actually received this status. You will not be able to use any tax deduction for any donation unless they are. (You can check on this yourself by going to: IRS.ORG, click on ‘Charities and Non-Profits’ then click ‘Search for Charities’and then type in the name and location of the charity. This will give you the EIN number and the status of the organization.)
13. Are the cages clean? This is one of the most basic things but you’d be surprised how many facilities don’t ace this one!
14. Always ask what the long-term plan for the Sanctuary is in case something happens to the head person running it! Any facility that doesn’t have a plan in place for this eventuality is asking for a disaster because life happens and people move on but your feathered friend will still need to be cared for no matter what!
15. Always ask to see who is on the Board of Directors and what their qualifications are!
16. Do they adopt out? If so, what staff do they have to help check out potential homes?
17. How many staff and volunteer members do they have? Always make sure you see other people helping at the facility!
18. Always make sure that you are able to visit your bird once it’s placed at the sanctuary so that you can make sure it is being well cared for and is happy.
19. Make sure that you get a Tax Donation receipt for any monies given to the facility!
20. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! If there is anything that you’re unsure about make sure you ask about it. Trust your gut if the answer doesn’t feel right to you.
If you take this advice and do your due diligence you can be sure that you’ll pick a great new home for your beloved feathered-friend.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact FEBS by clicking here and we’ll be happy to help you out!