People frequently ask us why we charge adoption fees, when we do not pay anything for the birds that people relinquish to us. People have said to us; “If you really loved the birds, you would just give them away to a good home”, or “If you got them for free you should not charge an adoption fee”.
Although, it is correct that we do not pay for most of the birds taken into our rescue, many expenses do occur that are unseen. Since we are a small, private organization, we do not receive funds from larger organizations such as the ASPCA or a Humane Society, and we receive very little from the public. In addition, these organizations receive funding through the city and county for providing their services. We do not. We also do not receive any federal grant money. All of the funds to operate this program come primarily from adoption fees, donations and out of our pocket.
The biggest expense in this program is that of avian veterinarian care. Sadly, the majority of the birds relinquished have rarely seen the inside of a vet’s office. We do have the cost of all laboratory work, x-rays, medicine, and supplies. This can run anywhere from $70.00 for an office visit up to thousands of dollars for an injured or sick bird. Rescued (found) birds are usually in poor shape. Birds of prey, dogs, cats or other predators may have attacked them, and/or they are suffering from exposure and malnutrition. They require extensive medical treatment just to survive.
We have been asked, why not just pass these vet costs on to the adopting parent? In some cases we do, but let me ask you, if we told you that to adopt a rescued Cockatoo, that had required surgery, ongoing vet care and medication, that it would require a $3500.00 donation, what would you say? “No way”, would be the typical answer. But that could be the amount we have invested in the bird, who will be adopted by a great family for a $400.00 adoption fee. If we have a $3100.00 loss on every bird, how could we afford to continue helping other birds? Our adoption fees are considerably less than a breeder or pet store would charge for the same bird, and you get the satisfaction of knowing you may have saved the life of your bird.