Friday, August 22, 2008

Please STOP Overbreeding!

I run a rescue/sanctuary and am literally overwhelmed by the calls and emails that I receive from people who wish to relinquish their birds. There are certain birds that are exhaustingly overbred, and then there are birds that really should not be bred for captivity period.
Throughout the years I have met breeders who educate the potential owners on responsible bird ownership and those who do not. Perhaps many do not know the consequences of overbreeding or the breeding of certain species who do not thrive well in captivity.
At this time we are filled to capacity. Being filled to capacity means something different for each rescue and sanctuary. I do not allow more than 30 birds here at any given time because it would mean that the birds are not receiving the care and attention that they need and deserve otherwise. There are many "mom and pop" rescues and sanctuaries opening up because of the increasing numbers of displaced birds. Many of these mom and pop rescues mean well, but are not equipped, funded, or educated enough to properly care for them. But when 501c3 rescues and sanctuaries are filled to capacity and have waiting lists for birds who need to be relinquished, these mom and pop rescues are the only answer for some who cannot wait in line on a waiting list.
Because of the ease of breeding parakeets, cockatiels, quakers, lovebirds, and other small birds such as these, these birds have become grossly overpopulated. Even if I wanted to, at times I wouldn't be able to GIVE these birds away. There are just not enough homes out there. And even fewer homes are available for such high maintenance birds such as cockatoos. In my experiences, I have yet to meet anyone who has kept a cockatoo for longer than ten years. These birds were not meant to be kept in captivity. They are loud and destructive, not only to furniture but to themselves as well.
I plead with EVERY breeder out there. We have a serious problem with displaced birds. Please discontinue the overbreeding of these overpopulated species and those who really do not thrive well in captivity.