Home > Pet Parrots > News: Canadian Parrot Refuge Needs $

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

Economy: Parrot sanctuary on brink of disaster

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

Oceanside Star

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 wendy@worldparrotrefuge.org

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  1. Bc
    July 31, 2009 at 8:19 am

    What would happen? she’s already been shut down before location was near Vancouver.

    What they need to do is start rehoming not increase their bird count. It’s so loud in that place the birds are going mad in the wild they can fly away from each other, not be crammed.

  2. Jessie
    July 31, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Eh, you’re probably right. I really don’t know why they don’t find homes for the birds that like to be with people. Right now, what they’re doing isn’t sustainable and when they can’t afford all these birds, they’re going to end up in individual homes anyway.

  3. Bc
    August 3, 2009 at 1:15 am

    BINGO! She’s against bird ownership period thats why! it would be a different story if she was able to support the entire thing herself seeing as it’s to stress her point against bird ownership. But she isn’t (it’s the people with no bird knowledge who buy into it or drop their bird off) What about the birds?

    In realiity very few locals agree with her stratedgy certainly not any local rescues or breeders. Dragging sick birds around everywhere to plea for more funds isn’t fair to a sick bird either. And birds raised being cuddled and pampered are no longer since they’re just birds at the refuge bonding etc isn’t encouraged. WPR will crash eventually….

  4. Bc
    August 3, 2009 at 1:20 am

    People do offer to buy birds but are turned down. There’s a ‘rumor’ she has sold a few on occasion for an enormous amount but sales like this on occasion are kept very private and quiet never to be publicized.

  1. April 30, 2009 at 5:16 pm

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