News: Canadian Parrot Refuge Needs $
This is a wee bit old, but I’ll post this story just to raise awareness. It’s kind of sad to think about, especially since I’ve heard good things about the care that the birds receive at this refuge. What would happen to the birds if the refuge owners can’t pay the bills?
Edit: Okay, a quick search revealed that they got a grant to keep afloat.
1) Flood of surrendered birds, lack of funds threatens Island refuge
The World Parrot Refuge has room to house the unusually steady stream of extra birds that arrive each week, but not the money to pay for their care.
The Coombs sanctuary desperately needs funds by the end of March to continue caring for the flock of 700 birds. The B.C. Gaming Commission provides money but that endowment dropped about $15,000 this year in an economic downturn that refuge co-founder Wendy Huntbatch believes is to blame for the centre’s woes.
Parrot owners are surrendering their pets more often — more than 15 birds have arrived since January — and visitors have dwindled, and donations with them.
Huntbatch, a lifelong animal welfare advocate, is desperate for help and cannot accept a worst-case scenario if the centre runs out of money. It has provided a home for life for parrots since it first opened on Vancouver Island with 400 birds in 2004.
“I have no idea what would happen. I haven’t faced it yet,” said Huntbatch on Tuesday.
“We simply cannot shut down. You just suddenly get to a point where it’s like, ‘Oh my God, (money) is not there.'”
It costs about $300,000 each year to operate the 23,000-square-foot facility that allows the parrots to fly in large enclosures designed to mimic natural surroundings. Care for each parrot costs about $500 but medical bills can drive that cost up.
On average, about 100 parrots arrive at the centre annually.
For information, call 250-248-5194 or visit worldparrotrefuge.org.
Edit: Looks like they got some good news!
Grant, donations keep parrot refuge flying
Published: Monday, March 30, 2009
It looks like the World Parrot Refuge’s money problems are over for a while. A flood of donations recently was capped Thursday by a grant of $50,000 from the BC Gaming Commission.
The Coombs-based sanctuary provides a home for more than 700 birds. In the past several months, parrot owners have been surrendering their pets more often, said co-founder Wendy Huntbatch. Nine more birds arrived in the last week. Three of those are financially supported, she said, but two require medical attention.
An ailing cockatoo will now get an MRI to determine its illness, she said. By Thursday, the centre had received nearly $6,275 in donations, said Huntbatch, which is far more than what the refuge would normally see in such a short time.
In a month, the refuge usually receives about $10,000 between sponsorships, gate receipts and donations, but that figure dropped significantly over the winter. Huntbatch was overwhelmed by the support they received.
“You get caught up in the process of trying to make ends meet,” she said. “You don’t realize people really care. It’s absolutely huge for us.” Heartwarming stories have also filtered through to the refuge when people learned it could be shut down.
Two young girls spent their allowance making crafts, which they sold around the neighbourhood, said Huntbatch. They then got their grandmother to drive them from Duncan so they could donate their $20 profit to the refuge.
Another young boy donated his birthday money. Huntbatch figures as long as people keep visiting, particularly during the busy summer season, the refuge wil stay afloat. In the meantime, its website will expand to include more featured birds and sponsorship opportunities.
To contact Huntbatch, call 250-951-1166 or email firstname.lastname@example.org