Today marks the one year anniversary of Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary becoming involved with the World Parrot Refuge. On May 29, 2016, 42 volunteers from Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary and Night Owl Bird Hospital started their day very early on the 6:20AM Ferry to Nanaimo. Our goals for that day were many, most importantly, the medical condition of close to 600 parrots was evaluated by a team of three veterinarians. So many tears were shed on that day. Eleven critically injured and ill birds were pulled and transported to Night Owl Bird Hospital in Vancouver where they received long overdue care, many more quickly followed in days to come. We cleaned, we scrubbed, we brought toys and food. We very quickly realized that wasn’t going to be enough.
On that first weekend, to be perfectly honest we didn’t know what we could do or how we could possibly help. As a very small, volunteer run rescue group with a limited budget, how could Greyhaven take on Canada’s largest animal rescue effort and remove almost 600 parrots with unknown medical issues from a rat-infested building? On that first weekend, the answer became perfectly clear ‘We have to do this because no one else can”
To repeat, this was Canada’s largest animal rescue and possibly the largest in North America. It was done entirely by loving, generous people who volunteered their time because these birds mattered. It was accomplished because of each of you, who donated money, cages, food and time. Without the huge network of people cheering for the birds and the life they deserve, this could not have happened. This rescue effort was done with very little support from the animal agency that receives huge provincial funding to protect and enhance the lives of animals in B.C.
One year later and we have 190 of the 584 parrots in our care waiting for new homes. It’s incredible to see how the birds have transformed. From terrified and emotionally shut down, they have learned to trust and are so excited for the chance to cuddle and interact with people. They love music and dancing. They tell us a little bit of their previous lives through the words they say and the behaviors they exhibit. An opportunity to shower is truly cause for celebration. We have learned so much about this beautiful flock most importantly… Cockatoos really are aiming for world domination
The outpouring of love and support from all of you has been incredible and has allowed us to ensure the parrots receive everything they need while they wait for their new homes. Your overwhelming generosity, moral support and cheering us on has made a HUGE difference and we love each of you from the bottom of our hearts. Your support has provided medical care, bought food, toys and cages, cuddled birds, cleaned poop and provided so many loving homes. You have all been a very big part of this journey and we hope you will stick with us until the last bird finds a home.
This story is far from over. As mentioned, we have 190 birds still waiting for homes. Greyhaven and most importantly, the birds need your support. Our outstanding bill at Night Owl Bird Hospital is over $500,000 and while many of you are probably shocked at this, it amounts to about $1000 per bird. Given that none of these birds had received medical care for many, many years, this is not a high amount.
You have made a huge difference in the future of the birds and we hope that you will continue to do so until the end. Every bird matters and this flock, given their history matters even more. They deserve a second chance to know love, security and safety. We are so close, please help us end this journey.
Please donate, volunteer or adopt, thank you so very much!