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Who We Are
The Adoption Process
When, Why and How to Find a New Home For Your Bird
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She came to us in April of 2006 after being in at least a few homes with little success at a good future. Autumn lived in an environment of heavy smokers. To save on space, please click on this link to read how smoking affects parrots. Smoking Dangers. Autumn plucked herself to the point where she had no feathers except the ones she could not pluck out on her head as well as a few tail feathers…she was completely bare! The owners gave her to someone else who in turn housed her in a garage for an unknown period of time. She ended up in the hands of a caring woman who gave her showers and let her out to sit on play stands for socialization and exercise. She then called us to see if we could take her and continue to rehabilitate her. We took her in and brought her to see Dr. Karen Shaw Becker (www.drkarenbecker.com) at the end of May.
Dr. Becker placed Autumn on a Detox Program consisting of a liquid which is placed in the drinking water (a natural custom blend of flower essences) for the habitual part of the bird’s issue, and also a powder which is sprinkled over the food (a blend of 20 different herbs and nutraceuticals) to assist in detoxification of the skin and organs. Birds do not have true lungs that filter out all the environmental toxins we breathe in. They have air sacs which allow much of the contamination right into their systems. That’s why birds are so much more sensitive to paint, cigarettes, cleaning products, etc. If birds are exposed for a long enough period of time, these toxins build up in their organs, including their dermis (skin) making their skin itchy. The itchiness prompts picking (birds may pick their feathers or they may pick holes into their skin creating open wounds). Once birds pick for a period of time, it becomes habit. We finally saw feather shafts poking out of her back while her wing feathers kept filling in at the beginning of October of 2006.
When Autumn first came to us she was angry, aggressive, fearful, and would lunge at us. Finally in November of 2006, I resigned myself to try to reach Autumn after having no success in finding someone to help her through her behavioral issues. I placed a chair next to her cage and would read to her. It didn’t matter what I read to her, but the tone of my voice which was soft and non-threatening did. I also sat and spoke so softly that she would lean towards me in fascination of what I was saying. And if she began to get agitated, I would speak even softer so she would have to quiet down to hear what I was saying. And I was able to get her to close her eyes and relax by whispering and making soft clicking sounds with my tongue against the back of my top front teeth. The progress was so slow that I didn’t even notice it. She stopped lunging at me. She allowed my hand in her cage to change water and food bowls without showing fear or aggression. And she also began eating treats out of my hand without hesitating or nipping. I write this in the middle of February of 2007. She no longer seems to be the hopeless case that would never respond to human love. With each passing day, Autumn relaxes just a little bit more as she realizes that she doesn’t have to fight the world. She sees that not all humans are abusive and neglectful. Autumn is on her way to recovery.
Happy Beginning…(April, 2007)
Birds have come here to find new homes, but there are those select few that I can never forget. Autumn tops that list. Leaving her story here for all to read and hopefully learn from would serve as a fitting tribute to a bird that taught ME something in life. Lost trust can be found and wants to be found, but as with anything in life it isn’t easy and there are no quick fixes.
I wish to thank Lori Drew, Founder and President of Center for Avian Rehabilitation and Education, for introducing me to Autumn’s wonderful new mom, Barbara Trexell. And I wish to thank Barbara Trexell for the love and care that she has shown Autumn and for spoiling her rotten. We did good. Thank you!
The Moral of this Story
Birds are not decorative pieces to lock in a cage. They need to be respected for the intelligent and loving creatures that they are. Learn all you can about their needs and what is harmful and toxic to them before you bring a bird into your home .
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A Special Thank You to
Center for Rehabilitation and Education (C.A.R.E.) in
Bird Lovers Only Rescue Service
would like to extend a special thank you to those up at C.A.R.E. for their
endless guidance in helping us to strive to be a more well-rounded rescue. We would especially like to thank Alice Jubeck for teaching us clicker
training during our visit on
Through clicker training, Alice and Brian have taught us that each bird is unique and responds differently, i.e. what works for one bird may not necessarily work for another. "Nothing is black and white" and when it comes to birds, nothing could be truer. We have sought the advice of several vets and avian experts and have found each to give their own personal blend on what is considered to be the best bird diets, training techniques, grooming, and so on.
Bird Lovers Only Rescue Service acknowledges the quality of services that C.A.R.E. provides for its birds, and values the continuing opportunities to learn from the insightful staff at C.A.R.E.
All of us
at Bird Lovers Only Rescue Service extend our sincere heartfelt thanks to the
students and staff at
Carol assembled a slide show presentation of the different birds at the rescue along with success stories of those who have been adopted. Carol began the presentation by educating the students on the responsibilities of bird ownership as well as the expected life spans of various species. Then Irena Schulz, Founder and President of Bird Lovers Only Rescue Service, described a few of the birds at the rescue and why the owners relinquished them. She explained that birds go through hormonal changes during the "toddler" years as well as "puberty" and many do not understand that these phases are temporary. Many people are not informed of the changes that the birds go through and also are not taught how to work with the bird during these difficult stages. This was followed by several wonderful success stories with a brief description of how they ended up in their happy homes. The presentation closed with a question and answer period.
Bird Lovers Only Rescue Service hopes that the presentation was as much an inspiration to those who attended to learn more about our feathered companions as much as it was an inspiration to us to continue to strive to do everything we can to better the lives of birds.
Thank You to South Suburban Caged Bird Association
We at Bird Lovers
Only Rescue would like to thank SSCBA
for the very warm welcome we received during our presentation on
All Creatures Great and Small
Stacy Niemiec (708) 945-6923
Member of Pet Sitters International
Services include in house bird
grooming (nail, wing, beak trims) and pet sitting of all creatures. Service area includes
Lovers Only Rescue Service would like to thank Stacy and Kristin for the
outstanding grooming on the birds at our rescue.
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Bird Lovers Only Rescue Service, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) designated not for profit donation-based bird rescue which takes in unwanted, neglected, abused, and special needs birds. We find the most suitable and loving permanent homes for our rescues. Bird Lovers Only Rescue Service, Inc. relies on your charitable support so that we may continue to adopt birds to families such as yours. Donations offset the cost of food, cleaning supplies, vet visits, bird toys, and many other operating expenses.
Note On Adopting A Bird
Some birds come to our rescue with their own cage and toys. In the case where we receive a bird alone, the applicant must be financially able to purchase an appropriately sized cage for the particular bird being adopted. The applicant must show proof of purchase of the cage along with its interior dimensions to ensure that the cage is of appropriate size for said bird prior to the adoption appointment.
Note On Relinquishing A BirdEach bird being relinquished must come with their own cage and it must be CLEAN and in good condition (no broken parts or sharp edges) and must not be a health concern with regards to rust or other corrosion. If the cage is deemed to be in poor condition upon arrival, the owner must make a donation to offset the cost of a new cage
The goal of Bird Lovers Only Rescue Service is to find the best possible permanent home for our birds with regard to safety, health, and happiness of the bird.
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The Adoption Process
1) Fill out an Adoption Application (must be filled out completely).
2) Be sure to be specific as to what types of birds you have had experience with as well as the types of birds that you now own.
3) Please be specific in your answers concerning what is toxic or unhealthy around birds.
4) Be sure to list your avian veterinarian in the application along with his/her address, phone, and fax numbers. If you do not have an avian vet because you have not had a bird in at least a few years, then please list your regular vet if you have dogs or cats. If you have had NO pets in years and cannot supply a vet as a reference, a phone interview is necessary. Please contact us via email to setup a phone interview. We do not call the applicant. It is up to the applicant to call us at the time and day specified and agreed to.
5) You must also list at least one character reference. More weight is given to a character reference if they hold status in the community such as a pastor/minister, physician, teacher, employer, etc. Less weight is given to family members and friends.
6) Once we receive the application back from you, we send out the reference forms to the vet and to your character references. We will notify you when the reference forms are sent. On average, it takes a vet about two weeks to return the completed reference form to us. If your particular vet is a busy one, it may take a month or more. It is up to the applicant to contact the vet to ensure that they have received the reference form and to check the status of it. Your adoption application is not complete until we receive the references back and will not be considered for adoption until we do.
The board members of Bird Lovers Only Rescue Service consider the applicant’s length of experience and with what types of birds. We receive birds that are very tame and sociable that will do well in most households. However, we also receive birds that have been neglected or abused for years and have physical and/or psychological concerns that will only be considered adoptable to applicants who possess the skills and experience necessary to retrain and rehabilitate the bird. We also receive special needs birds that have handicaps due to birth defects or injury which may require more frequent visits to the vet. In this case it would be necessary for the applicant to have the financial means to be able to provide such care.
When a bird comes to Bird Lovers Only Rescue Service, the board members interact with the bird to determine its temperament and then review all active and approved files to find the most fitting individual/s for the birds needs. The tame, sweet birds go to families with children or to those who do not possess the experience to work with birds that have emotional or psychological scars from neglect or abuse. Likewise, we select applicants who have the skills, patience, and experience working with neglected and abused birds and we try to match a specific bird up with the most suitable applicant that can provide its needs. Once the board reaches its final decision, we then notify this applicant that he/she has been chosen to adopt a particular bird. An appointment is made for the adoptive individual/s to agree to and sign the adoption contract. At this time a ‘Communication Request’ form is given to the new owner if the previous owner wished to receive an email or picture of the bird that they relinquished. It is understood that the new owner is not under any obligation to honor the request. It is at the new owner’s discretion whether he/she will communicate with the previous owner in any way. The new owner receives the new bird as well as any cage, toys, food, or books that may have been supplied by the previous owner in the transfer of guardianship to Bird Lovers Only Rescue Service.
There is no ‘waiting list’ for our birds. One applicant may wait several months, while another may acquire a bird in a matter of weeks. We do not adopt out on a first come, first serve basis. We match up birds with applicants. The board does not consider names or dates of applications in their decisions. Each time a new bird comes to our rescue, each applicant is re-evaluated for their suitability to the bird.
If you have little to no experience with birds, do not expect to adopt a medium sized bird or larger. Each person should start out with smaller birds such as finches, parakeets, or cockatiels to learn how to care for and interact with a bird. You may apply to our rescue to adopt a smaller bird if you have insufficient experience with a bird.
If you do not know what is considered toxic to birds or unsafe to use around them, you cannot adopt a bird and then find out later. You MUST know what you are getting into prior to getting into it. We will not consider applications that have these areas left blank.
Also, if you own birds larger than the finches, parakeets, or cockatiels and claim that you have no vet or have not taken them to a vet, this will not be looked upon in your favor.
Bird Lovers Only Rescue Service reserves the right to approve or deny an application for adoption based on the information given to us by either the applicant or the references.
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Any permanent lifestyle change which affects the amount of time you interact with your bird. Permanent lifestyle changes include:
1) Death in family
Primarily the person which the bird was bonded to.
Bird becomes jealous and develops an attitude.
3) New baby
Attention is taken away from bird due to new addition in the family.
Primary caregiver or person the bird was bonded to is living elsewhere.
5) New job
Extended hours away from bird
Unable to care for bird’s needs due to own health and well-being.
7) Moving and unable to take the bird along.
8) Desire or need to travel which leaves bird with someone other than the primary caregiver or ‘human mate.’
Birds are pets first then they quickly become family. We call them our feathered children, but if we could understand their language they would be calling us their mate. They come to life when their human mate walks into the room, and they call for their mate when he/she leaves the room. They want AND NEED interaction and affection. No one can devote all the hours in the day to their bird. But the amount of time must remain constant or personality changes occur. Some will become sad, withdrawn, spiteful, angry, jealous, bite their human mate, or even begin to hurt and mutilate themselves. The conscientious bird owner must recognize the difference between a temporary lifestyle change and a permanent one. Seek a new home before the bird’s personality changes become permanent or difficult to reverse. There are not enough experienced and qualified bird behavior specialists out there to take on the task of retraining all the ‘problem birds’ nor should it get to point of needing one. Bird owners often hold onto the bird because they believe that the demands of work or family will lighten up and they will once again be able to spend time with the bird. Others have gotten so attached to them that they feel guilty in finding a new home for them. And still others believe that the bird is better off with them and could not possibly be happier elsewhere even though the bird is stuck in its cage with little or no interaction. As the months become years, the personality changes become more ingrained. PLEASE DO NOT WAIT UNTIL YOUR BIRD IS A PSYCHOLOGICAL AND/OR PHYSICAL MESS BEFORE YOU FINALLY DETERMINE THAT YOUR BIRD WOULD BE BETTER OFF ELSEWHERE.
There are many ways of finding a home for your bird.
1) You can place an ad and sell your bird to anyone interested in buying it, not knowing the care or love it will receive in its new home.
2) You can ask your family, friends, and even co-workers if they would be interested in taking your bird. The advantage to this is being able to visit the bird from time to time.
3) You can contact your vet’s office and ask if they know of anyone who may be interested in providing a good home for their bird. This is always a good place to check since vets will know who takes good care of their birds and may be able to refer you to an interested client.
4) You can contact a bird rescue and ask what their adoption policies are. The advantage to this route is that the rescue will check veterinary references as well as character references of the applicants interested in adopting your bird. A rescue has the time and ability to scrutinize applicants and find the most suitable, permanent, and loving home for your bird.
Bird Lovers Only Rescue Service is not open to the public. For more information or questions regarding our rescue service, please email us.
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How You Can Help
1. Donate When You Come To Adopt
We have a limited supply of "Techniques For Raising The Ultimate Pet Bird" by Joyce Howland. This video can be yours for a minimum donation of $100 when you come to our rescue to adopt a bird in need of a permanent, loving home. This video was written and produced by the author and avid aviculturist, Joyce Howland, because of her love of birds. The video is packed full of tips on hand feeding, weaning, behavior tips, how to check your bird for illnesses, cage set-up and much more! Joyce believes that when birds are given the proper respect and understanding they will respond in the same way toward their human owners.
2. Make A Cash Donation
No gift is too small. Each donation goes to cover costs of bird food, cleaning supplies, vet visits, and many other operating expenses.
Make a secure donation through the following
PayPal link. No account is necessary to make a
Friends and Contributors
Click Here for Parrot Toys and more from WindyCityParrot.com
Bird On The Rocks
Custom Handcrafted Flagstone Perches, Manzanita Perches & Parrot Stands
For Great Leather Bird Toys Parts, Please Visit www.twinleather.com/leatherproducts
- Joyce Howland - Friend, Author, Producer....Breeder of the Magnificent Hyacinth Macaw. Visit her website at www.birdlady.com
- Tim Wiesemann - "Finch Wize" - Finch Breeder, Buyer, Seller click here to email Tim
- Dr. Karen Shaw Becker - The best Board Certified Avian Vet you'll ever meet. Visit her website at www.drkarenbecker.com
- The Chicago Bird House
14416 John Humphrey Drive
Orland Park, IL 60462
708-349-9055 call for store hours
They board birds as well as do nail and wing trims. Let them know that Bird Lovers Only Rescue Service sent you.
946 Joliet Rd.
Dyer, In. 46311
Scott Stowers, General Mgr.
All Creatures Great and Small
A Member of Pet Sitters International
Services include in-house bird grooming and pet sitting of all creatures. Serving Orland Park, Mokena, Frankfort, Homer Glen and Tinley Park.
Professional Dog Trainer
217-962-0372 (cell) 224-757-5741 (home)
Behavioral Disorders, Obedience - All Breeds, All Ages
Please fill out an Adoption Application
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To Request a Volunteer Application please click
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Bird Lovers Only
Schererville, IN 46375
M, T, W, F 2pm - 8pm
Click here for a list of pets at this shelter
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