** The HSUS has avoided mentioning parrots altogether... I would be surprised if their view on euthanasia of parrots were any different from cats & dogs.
I can assure you that it is not. The American public has become acclimated, and to some extent, jaded to the killing of millions of dogs and cats each year and accepts (or is that ignores?) it as long as it is done behind closed doors and out of sight. Not so with parrots, I believe, so they keep a pretty low profile on that subject in order to avoid the public backlash.
Personally, I believe that to some extent both HSUS and the ASPCA have lost focus on their core mission of saving lives and serving animal welfare
to become animal control
organizations instead. As such, they seem to have adopted the philosophy of government-funded animal control agencies to "adopt a few and kill the rest". I don't know. Maybe that's necessary with the overwhelming abundance of unwanted cats and dogs. Not so with parrots though. Not yet anyway. I don't see animal control killing the birds, but I don't see them proactively seeking homes for them eather or even preparing to care for them until a home can be found. That certainly doesn't bode well for the future of any birds that might come into their care. For example...
I was recently contacted by our local Animal Services Department to take in a budgie that had been recaptured from the wild. First time in 8 years that they have called on us so I was looking forward to seeing what kind of provisions they had to care for birds. Upon arrival, I was led to a utility closet where I found the bird in a filthy carrier, covered with a dirty work towel and surrounded by utility sinks, mops and mop buckets that reeked of cleaning solutions. Not a bird cage in sight. What does that say about their preparations to handle the bird over-population problem? They told me that the budgie was "on it's last day", so what do you suppose their solution to it's presense was? Ok, yes, they called and I hope they continue to do so. However, they uses our services but do not support us in any way, so how long can we continue to support them?
And then there is the local humane society the emailed me earlier this week. First time I have ever heard from them as well. They weren't calling about a bird though. They were calling about 2 cages that someone had donated. However, instead of using the cages to expand and improve their own ability to care for unwanted birds(there is not a cage in the place), they put them up for sale in their thrift shop. One might say that they depend on us to handle the birds, but they didn't call to donate the cages. They contacted us to buy
them. What does that say about their preparations to handle an influx of unwanted birds or even their acknowledgement that there is such a need?
My point is that we have not yet reached the point in the bird world where euthansia is technically necessary on the wholesale scale that it perhaps is with cats and dogs. However, it may be the only option they have if they are as totally unprepared for and undedicated to the bird over-population problem as our local resources are. Particularily if there is no local avian welfare organization. Both of these organizations say that they have no need to prepare for unwanted birds because they see so few. Is that because no one wants to turn their bird over to an organization where there is a high probability that it will be put to death? If people are not relinquishing their unwanted birds to such organizations, then what are they doing with them? Or, is bird over-population a myth as so many of these organizations believe?
Yes, if euthansia of unwanted birds is to be avoided, it appears to me that we do need more rescues and sanctuaries dedicated to the avian species but it is not going to happen without the grassroots support of the avian community in particular and the public in general. By grassroots, I mean putting our money where our mouth is. For example, there has been much discussion of the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary lately. They are, no doubt, a model organization and everyone seems to agree that their local rescues should be just like BFAS. I could not agree more. Every rescue/sanctuary should have $34,000,000 a year in public-support donations. Every rescue/sanctuary should have $26,000,000 in surplus cash sitting in the bank. Every rescue/sanctuary should own 3000 acres of land and have another 30,000 under lease from the government on which to expand and care for more unwanted animals. Every rescue/sanctuary should have 1 full time employee for every 5 animals in their care. Every rescue/sanctuary should have one full-time professional administrator for every 250 animals in their care. Every rescue/sanctuary should have hundreds of volunteers to help with the animals care and keep the organization "on target and on their toes". Every rescue/sanctuary should have a world renowned, high-dollar Los Angles PR firm to handle their fund raising, keep their cause in front of the cameras, their names in the press, and on peoples minds. Mostly, every rescue/sanctuary should have the kind of support from the public and the animal welfare community that has made BFAS it is today. It would take no less to have a "Best Friends" in every state in the union, but it would certainly go a long way in insuring that birds never see the wholesale killings common with unwanted cats and dogs today.
Ok, that's my 2-cents worth and I'll get off my soapbox now. Getting back on topic, for those who have not read Nathan Winograd's book, Redemption, it provides a very interesting perspective on the euthansia policies and practices of HSUS and the ASPCA.