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#64616 - 09/21/04 04:48 PM "rescue" from pet store?  
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LKW Offline
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Tulsa, OK
Need help please; seriously thinking about rescueing a U-2 from the area pet store. Has been there for over a year and has now started plucking. They have him in a shoe box of a cage, with only one toy to play with. I know you're never supposed to buy from a store, but I feel so sorry for this particular bird. usually they don't last that long there.
We currently have a 14 month old, female eclectus and had a male M-2 for 8 years that we unfortunately lost last Fall due to an immune/fungal problem. It's taken this long to even consider another Too after losing Sammy, because we were both afraid another Too would never shine a light to Sam, but now I think we're ready.

My question is, is this a good move or should I just hope someone else will take this bird and just hope that it's someone that knows what they're doing. AND how might it affect my eclectus. Of course that's hard to say, but maybe someone has a general idea. I've never had 2 parrots at the same time.

Thanks for your help

Lisa

#64617 - 09/21/04 05:17 PM Re: "rescue" from pet store?  
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IMO, by that U2 sitting there (as awful as this may sound) for over a year ...it has prevented how many birds from being sold it it's spot (you said usually they sell faster). In times like this you have to remember the saying, "Sometimes you must sacrifice one to save many." That is what is happening by this bird sitting there he is responsible for saving the lives of others by his sacrifice. I KNOW what you are going through; I have talked w/ some of the other board members about an ekkie that lost her owner to death and has been sitting in a store miserable for about 1-2 yrs now. She hates most people but has learned the sound of my voice and actually calls to me when she hears me ... it rips my heart out every time I have to walk away. I rarely go in that store (and never buy ... only check on the birds) because of the pain I feel walking away from her ... and I imagine my walking away from her causes some degree of abandonment for her also. The store people HATE her because she hates them so she has never been out of her 20x20 cage since being there.

As far as effecting your ekkie. Well I have a female ekkie and she was very nearly killed by my U2. He hates her, he hates her enough to have broken out of his cage and into her cage to get her. I'm not sure if this is a rare reaction between U2s and female ekkies or a common one. Maybe her vivid red coloration aggravates him. I don't know. All I do know is that I nearly lost my little girl, I have paid large vet bills for her recovery, and that he now has to have a more specialized cage (that I am getting w/ the help of many of the board members).

IMO, walk away ... as hard as it is because if you don't you may be responsible for every bird that then takes his place and goes into an unknown future.

#64618 - 09/21/04 05:42 PM Re: "rescue" from pet store?  
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I hate to say it but paying money to anybody for an animal is rewarding the people for having the animal and NOT rescuing....

report them to your spca (say you saw no water/food) report them to your animal control (is there an illeagl animal in there?)
stirr the pot without telling them you are the one stirring and offer to take the bird from them ...if they insist you buy the cage so be it but do NOT pay for the bird.... all they will learn is that they will make a profit if they wait long enough. Breaks my heart but there is a m2 in situation like m2moms ekkie- he calls me the minute he hears my voice and rushes for cuddles - I buy him toys and bring himn treats but try not to break my heart by going there often- he's been in the store over 3 years now.

hang in there

brody

#64619 - 09/21/04 06:00 PM Re: "rescue" from pet store?  
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LKW Offline
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I agree w/both of you, but it is hard. The owner is an ass and only cares about one thing and it sure isn't the birds. His employees are always telling me the Too needs a bigger cage, but the owner won't let them put him in one. I found a decent deal on a large cage yesterday and put it in the garage-just waiting. I know we're going to end up w/another Too, it's just a matter of when. Sammy did try our patience (and our hearing), but he was a family member. Even took him on camping trips and out on the pontoon w/us and the dogs.
Maybe I should start searching the Tulsa paper for unknowledgable people that purchased that shouldn't have?

Thanks again,
Lisa

#64620 - 09/21/04 07:00 PM Re: "rescue" from pet store?  

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He wont let them put the bird in a bigger cage? You know, I would bet that this pet store owner is hoping that some big hearted person is going to walk by and feel sorry for the bird in the small cage. Why wouldn't he otherwise allow the bird to have a bigger cage? What a creep. I'm wondering, can't this be considered cruelty against the animal? Do you have ASPCA in your area?

#64621 - 09/21/04 07:15 PM Re: "rescue" from pet store?  
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LKW Offline
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We have an SPCA and I have friends involved and I myself work in the veterinary field, but, I won't say unfortunately, the cages and food and water bowls are always clean. It's the emotional stress that bothers me. This Too has already missed the first critical year of its life. Has not been socialized, doesn't have enough room or toys and I just would like to give it a decent home. Can't take any chances w/my ekkie though. I'm seeing our avian vet this afternoon (I'm a drug rep) and will talk to him about it. I DO hate the bird selling business though.

Lisa

#64622 - 09/21/04 10:12 PM Re: "rescue" from pet store?  
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Hello:

My very first U2 rescue was David, who was stuck in a pet shop in Los Angeles in a 2 foot by 2 foot by 2 foot cage with one perch and no toys for at least 2 years. He was fed only sunflower seeds.

I visited him often after meeting him, and every time I walked away it killed me. Eventually I bought him, in 1995, to save him from his horrible life. I paid the pet store $1,500 for him. They overcharged, they were enriched, and no doubt they replaced him with yet another U2 in the same cage, to suffer as David did. By buying him I supported the pet store and its evil trade.

But consider this too: I was and am not responsible for the cruel treatment of exotic birds by pet stores, and my rescuing of this bird was not the cause of other birds' suffering. The responsibility for that cruelty remains with the traders, and those of us who adopt birds are not required to take the blame for the cruelty of others.

There are many ways to take a stand against the trade in exotic birds. But there are also exotic birds suffering in tiny cages in pet stores all over the world. Your rescuing one bird makes no difference to the suffering of the millions of exotics, and indeed encourages the pet stores to buy more. But it does make a difference to that one bird that you rescue.

That choice is your own. If you cannot live with yourself, to witness the loneliness of this bird and not rescue him, then rescue him and save his life. If on the other hand, you can live with sacrificing the one on behalf of the many, then leave him where he is, and congratulate yourself on being a great warrior in the war against the exotic bird trade.

But don't let others tell you one choice is good and one evil. Each choice has good and bad points.

I wear an avian Tshirt that states in big text "Don't buy - Adopt". And I have rescued several birds by adoption. I also have David, my beloved U2, and as far as he is concerned, if I could go back to the time I first saw him trapped in that tiny cage, and have the chance to choose differently, I would not change my choice for the world. I would do the same thing again.

Remember, rescuing a bird from a pet store makes absolutely no difference to anything, except to the life of that one single bird.

Your choice.

regards
Colin

#64623 - 09/21/04 10:30 PM Re: "rescue" from pet store?  

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Colin, methinks this is a very sticky point you’re making. Who is to decide what cage size is too small? As far as I am concerned, all cages are too small because birds are supposed to fly free. Therefore, using your logic, I could easily argue that it’s ok to “rescue” any bird from any pet store. Then how is this different from just going out and buying a bird?

I think it is best to stick with what has been presented numerous times on this list by it's moderators and one janitor. They have taken the systemic (and holistic) stance that purchasing a bird from a petstore makes room for another bird to be placed in there for sale. This contributes to both petstores and breeders and the cycle continues. Therefore, your claim that "rescuing" a bird from a petstore makes absolutely no difference to anything, except to the life of that one single bird, doesn't hold ground.

In order for the cycle to come to a halt, we have to stop feeding the greed.

#64624 - 09/21/04 10:41 PM Re: "rescue" from pet store?  
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Well these are good points and I agree 100% with them. Buying birds from pet stores perpetuates the cycle of abuse and no one should ever buy a bird from a pet store.

But my point was, having said that and agreed with you 100%, I am very happy, and do not regret, that I rescued David, a very big U2, from a short unhappy life in a 2 foot cube.

regards
Colin

#64625 - 09/21/04 10:49 PM Re: "rescue" from pet store?  
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I swear I know how you feel, Lisa. I cry every time I walk into or out of a pet store selling birds, but I have lost sleep over individual birds that I have a connection with. It's absolutely heartbreaking. I understand what Colin is saying, but please, I am begging you, don't do it, please. There is an article by Liz Wilson on the upatsix website about tactics petstores use to sell birds, and among them are the sympathy sales they get so rich from. You'll have to rescue that one, then the next, then the next, then the next, and it never stops. And you are only one person, yet you are not. We are all only individuals, and we do make a difference. I know that sounds (gag) corny, but please, in this instance it is very true. Keep an eye on that bird, give him company sometimes, but leave him there. He is doing a great deed for other birds, and doing his part to slow down the breeding industry.

#64626 - 09/21/04 11:02 PM Re: "rescue" from pet store?  

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I hear ya Colin and your bird is a lucky one. Most of the members here have purchased a bird at one point or another. I just think that today, knowing what we know, and understanding the depth of the problem, we need to take a stance against the practices of breeding for greed. I know it is heartbreaking and difficult to walk past an innocent creature that is held prisoner like that. It's devistating. But look at the rescues and see what is happening there. There are so many birds in need of a home. Some of them are plucked, emotionally spent and displaced because one dreamy eyed person at one point thought it would be a great idea to buy the bird from a store, and then one day reality hit. All these animals are living, feeling and intelligent creatures and they don't deserve that sort of a life.

Please think about the discarded ones. We have to stop paying breeders money to breed more birds so that they can make the problem bigger.

#64627 - 09/21/04 11:47 PM Re: "rescue" from pet store?  
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ColinH,

I recently took in 2 breeding pairs of green rump parrotlets from a bird supplier/breeder. I paid a total of $130 for the 4 birds, two cages, two breeding boxes, 2 lbs of food and 6 sprays of millet. At the time, there were 5 eggs total in the breeding boxes.

I post on a few bird forums, and here's a reply I got about what I did:

.........

New poster here,hi all!
I have to be blunt here...
You sound like such a sweet ,well-meaning person,but I fear for you.
The breeder is ripping you off and you are going back for more??
I have never sold (or given away for that matter)an ill or injured bird in my life and never will. The fact that my aviary is and has been free of sickness and injury has a lot to do with it,BUT I would still never pass a problem to someone else if I had unfortunate birds.
You have to protect your heart and wallet. If you think you are easily talked into taking/buying more sick or injured birds,screen your calls so you don't have to talk to that breeder.
Birds are a fragile creature and from what you described,your new birds may be on the way "out".
My advice would be to stay away from the breeder.She has your number in more than one way.
Now IF you want to run a bird rescue,I hope you are rich because you are going to need the money,and god bless your giving heart!
Advice is just that-advice. You can take my advice or leave it. No one had cautioned you yet so I thought I would...
At least please do not add those birds imperfect DNA to the pet population by breeding them. Only the tip top,healthy birds should be bred,and then only if there is a need. It's disheartening to spend many HOURS a day feeding and handtaming babies only to have trouble finding homes for them because the market is saturated.
Good luck what ever happens with these birds and I DO wish them a healthy recovery if it's possible. Cheers!

..........

This was my response:

I definantly understand your concerns.

I've been working with Humane Societies and steadily with two rescues for 12 years. I also work with a few other rescues as needed.

When looking at the ammounts paid for the last 4 birds I took in I didn't look at a "bargain" for what I got. Strictly speaking in a financial sense, the money spent was quite a bit less than it would have been if I had had to purchase new equipment for them and never would have touced at the "going rate" for these birds, especially as breeder pairs carrying mutation lines.

Because these were rescues and because I have worked with vets for so long I have an avain vet willing to see and treat these birds for no cost.

When I personally take animals in I dont just do it on impulse even if in this situation it seems that way. I weight their life value, my time and level of dedication and finances and resources I have available to invest in the animals I am dedicated to.

While some animals I have have special needs due to genetics, former neglect or bad housing situtaions or genetic issues none are less valueable than any other of God's creatures.

Unlike you, I could not cull unnecessarily if there were an accident to take place. I can see with extreme genetic defects the need to do so, and with some accidental injuries too. However, noone should ever believe themselves above having something happen.

Since you are a breeder I don't know if you are clear on how rescue works - rescues and rescuers - or individuals with a good head on their shoulders - NEVER breed rescued animals and they know better than to continue a line with defects.

I have to ask, since you would not rehome or sell a bird with an imperfection, what is your policy on breeding a pair that produced bad eggs once or twice or threw a clutch with a bad chick? Will you kill the breeders due to their bad record or do you keep them for the remainder of their lives? Have you even been in a situation like that?

Staying away from the breeder may be an option. However, that definantly means the demise of animals in a negligent way. If I have the means to take in birds that can recover and if the demand is reasonable (or free) and the breeding of less than favorable lines can be stopped - would it be worth it? Would it be worth it to those that are saved?

This person buys from all over the USA and ships her birds all over the USA also. People out of state definantly don't have a clue what the birds they purchase or order come from and many in state dont drive the distance to check things out when bulk discount shipping is available.

In all, what a person does has to weigh heavily on their pocketbook, heart, and in what they know they can invest - heart, soul and time.

.......

I have worked with PMR (puppy mill rescue) and it's the same heart breaking thing with the dogs - do you leave them to breed out and die, or do you give in and sometimes help those you know you can?

In many ways, I think it's Win/Win whatever you decide.

#64628 - 09/22/04 12:52 AM Re: "rescue" from pet store?  
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That is one of the TOUGHEST things to do... to see a bird that you feel you must rescue from a pet store, and try to walk away, I don't doubt that one bit.

#64629 - 09/22/04 12:55 AM Re: "rescue" from pet store?  
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Colin you expressed exactly how I feel so eloquently, thank you. I think the only way to avoid making a decision like this that is hard on your heart but is actually the right thing to do is to avoid going into pet stores altogether. For me both choices are painful, do I bring one home, save her and sentence others in her place or do I sacrifice the one i'm emotionally attached to for the good of many theoretical faceless birds for the good of a seemingly unattainable cause? Its a hard choice and although I know in my head what the right thing to do is could I do it, would I do it...? I don't know. Good luck in your decision, its a hard choice and its only yours to make.
Cindy Q

#64630 - 09/22/04 01:19 AM Re: "rescue" from pet store?  
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I am just angry at the cycle. frown

#64631 - 09/22/04 01:42 AM Re: "rescue" from pet store?  
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Well I guess I started quite a string here! It is a mess and I'm leaning towards not getting him.
Talked to my avian vet today and he suggested getting one from a breeder so I'd know what I was getting, but there we go again; perpetuating the ugly cycle. He's afraid that I may not be able to get the plucking that has started in the last month, under control and that I'll have the next 30 or so years (if I make it that long smile ) w/a naked bird w/major problems. He knows me and knows that when I get an animal, it's for life. All of my dogs (only 2 now, just lost one to cancer) and the cat were all rescues.

The problem is that I'm the caretaker. My husband loves them all, but Mom does the feeding and cleaning unless I'm out on business. I don't know that he could handle a Too w/severe problems. Mild problems I believe I can resolve; even if it takes the local avian psychologists help.

So for right now I think I might let the cage sit in the garage and I'll just cogitate for a while.

Thanks,
Lisa

#64632 - 09/22/04 01:58 AM Re: "rescue" from pet store?  
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Are there any rescues in your area where you could spend more time with an adult 'too?

#64633 - 09/22/04 02:08 AM Re: "rescue" from pet store?  
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I'm not aware of any rescues. I did find a local bird club site and found someone that had a 12 yr. old U-2 and 8 yr. old M-2 that needed homes, because she had too many and and didn't want to diversify her attention too much.
I sent an e-mail, asking if she still had them.

Lisa

#64634 - 09/22/04 05:33 AM Re: "rescue" from pet store?  
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Lisa this is the most difficult question of retail animal sales. It is also the number one reason that pet stores remain in business, "Sympathy buys".

Tell them that you will pay the cost of the bird, they don't lose money, they get rid of the merchandise.

Will they replace the baby? Unfortunatly, yes.

Once you get him picket the hell out of this store, let me know the name and address.

Tami

#64635 - 09/22/04 07:59 AM Re: "rescue" from pet store?  
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This is really a tough decision. It seems that most people on this board go through the same things on a very frequent basis.

Hopefully with sites like this and people who visit stores and talk to people it will make a difference some day.

I was going into the two big chain stores on a regular basis - and when someone was checking out the birds I gave them a mytoos business card and pleaded with them to check it out. The local Petsmart had two cockatoos, one a U2 and the other an Eleanor - on a day or minute that I wasn't there the large U2 was purchased by someone. Its very discouraging and I've been trying to keep away from the Petstores because its so heartwrenching.

The Petno store has a beautiful Rose Breasted Cockatoo there and for a mere $2,700.00 you could be the proud owner of this bird - its been in there for several months. One day I was in the store checking out the birds - Petno does not lock the doors to the bird room so anyone can go in there - there were two teenage boys in there teasing the birds and I told them to get out. Then I noticed that some employee had left one of the padlocks off the cockatoos cage!! It was the little spot where the food dish went. I looked around and there was nobody around (there's usually only 2-3 employees in the store at any given time) and as I looked around I managed to get the food bowl out and the holder out so I had a clear path to the bird. I almost took the bird out reasoning that I could put her in my shirt and scurry right out of the store. I was so close, but something (common sense??) made me stop. I put everything back together and padlocked the door. Since then I've decided to stay away from the stores for awhile - after all, if I got caught (and I'm sure I would have when the bird started screaming and flapping around and biting me inside my shirt!!) then what would I have accomplished??. I may have made the newspaper, but who would be home taking care of my babies?? And the minute the price of the bird or the right?? person comes along the bird will be sold and another put in its place. Seems pretty hopeless.

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