It started out, as it so often does, as a love for parrots and birds and the wish to house them well and
enjoy their company. It turned into, as it so often does, a hoarding situation with over-breeding and the
inability to care for, feed, clean, and keep them correctly. When their reclusive owner died, the birds were
discovered. It was too late for some, and it was barely in time for the others. It was a nightmare of years of
neglect, starvation, cage-bashing boredom; bare cages, some did not even have perches to sit on but only
rusted bars to hang from, nothing for stimulation, filth piled high, floors rotted out, cages hanging crookedly
from the falling-in ceiling and the crumbling, rat-infested, wet floors. Day after day after month after year of
nothing at all to do but try to find a way to be comfortable in their bare prisons.
I'll never forget walking into that house and that building for the first time. The birds were silent. They just
stared. The feeling of despair and suffering and panic was one of the most palpable I've ever experienced.
You couldn't breathe for it. Even now, typing this, I can't stop the tears and the feelings of dread and horror
that just... emanated from that very place. So much suffering.
So we broke open the doors and we pulled them out and we vowed that they would never, ever, know one
minute of suffering again. The macaws were never put up for adoption; I brought one home, my friends
Karen and Ruth took the others. We drowned ourselves in all the knowledge we could to make sure we
provided them with the best care possible, and we still continue to learn. It has been a long few months of the
birds letting go of their fear and anger and learning to trust us. They scream in volumes that have been
likened to jet engines. They had so much anger and pain to let go, and often it was directed at us with beaks
that exert 2000 lbs of pressure. We did not give up.
The smaller parrots have all been adopted and most are thriving. Some did not live very long, but at least
they did not die in that place.