Visitors to my parrot shop/rescue occasionally get irritated with me when I tell them that the first thing I want them to do before I’ll even discuss allowing them to adopt one of our rescued parrots is to fill out a six-page application which includes details about their living arrangements, history with other birds, references (which will be checked), etc. I get the impression that many of them have just decided that they want a bird and my role in this little fantasy is to hand one over. After all, aren’t they doing me a favor by taking one of them off my hands?
Here’s how I see this: I want to see commitment. Many of these birds have been passed from home to home many times over the years. Many of them have suffered terrible neglect because their people had no idea what they were getting into before taking on the responsibility of caring for them. Many have been abused. The application is the first test. If you’re willing to take the time to fill it out, then you’re demonstrating commitment. I would say that well over 90% of the people I ask to do this walk away and never follow up. Some of them may be put off the idea of getting a parrot at all by our conversation, which – believe it or not – also makes me happy. If you’re that easily discouraged, you won’t have the tenacity it takes to have one of these very demanding creatures in your life. Others will go grumbling to the nearest breeder or pet shop saying “who does he think he is?”, and plop down a few thousand dollars for a bird that will most likely find itself homeless and broken-hearted in a rescue a few difficult and unhappy years later. Those who do fill out the application have cleared the first hurdle. There are more.
In the end, the only thing that matters to me is knowing that I have done everything I possibly can to help ensure that the home I choose – and make no mistake, the choice is mine – will be the last stop for the parrot I’m placing. It’s not a science, and not every placement will work out, but hopefully more will than won’t. So before you come to me or to any other parrot rescue, ask yourself just how much you’re willing to do to welcome a parrot into your life. Now double that and if you’re still interested, come see me. You’re exactly who I’m looking for. I really want to get to know you . Before you do though, please fill out the application.