Grant Winner: Miss Vicki’s Parrot Village

Posted by Jennifer on August 1st, 2011

Congratulations to the recipient of our 8th grant!

We’ve received so many wonderful submissions for the Purina Veterinary Diets® $50,000 Veterinary Care Fund! We were so moved by the amazing lengths rescues and shelters go to give homeless pets a chance at getting healthy so they can be adopted – and thought you would be too! So we’re sharing some of the submissions, and all of the recipients’ stories here on our Shelter Blog. Here’s how a $2,000 grant would (or, in the case of our recipients, WILL) change the life of a pet or pets in their care:

Miss Vicki’s Parrot Village, Inc.
Fayetteville, Georgia

We had an emergency surrender of ten cockatiels on the 4th of July. All ten arrived crammed into tiny cages that were barely large enough for a finch. We thought that maybe they were just travel cages, but we later found out that each bird had been living in the cages, some as small as 12″x12″ for as long as eleven years. We immediately put them into larger cages, still too small, but acceptable for the 30-day quarantine period. We added toys and perches, which are a necessity but something the birds had never had. We also added new food and water bowls, as theirs were too dirty to clean.

With this $2,000 grant, we can pay for the $540.00 vet bill that we had to charge, we can also pay for the $220.50 bill to Avian Biotech for the Psittacosis testing we had to have performed. With this money, we will also be able to provide each bird with a new cage of the appropriate size so they can stretch their wings from inside the cage for the first time in many years. We will also be able to stock the cages with a variety of toys and perches to keep them entertained for a very long time.

These birds have never had toys, which are vital for the environmental enrichment of intelligent parrots like cockatiels, and many never had perches. They spent their years clinging to the bars of their cage or sitting on the floor of their cage. Both scenarios are very unhealthy for their feet, as they need perches of different textures and sizes, just like they would find in the wild. Also, by including these new cages with their adoption, it increases the chance they will be adopted. Fifty percent of our capacity is consumed by cockatiels because they are so overbred, so we need to use additional perks, such as cages, toys, free wing trims, etc to entice adoptive families to choose our birds over those that are elsewhere.

These cockatiels have had a tragic life for the past few years, and they can live for as long as 30 years, so this grant can improve their remaining 20 years. For this opportunity, we thank you and appreciate your time and consideration.

I have attached pictures of the following:

The first picture was one of what we thought was a baby cockatiel because it was so small. It is actually an adult that is severely undernourished at 60 grams.
The second picture is of Nipper. He is a male cockatiel that has spent the last 11 years in that cage, as you see it. No toys and not even enough room to stretch his wings.
The third picture is of Rupert. We named him Rupert after the guy from Survivor because he is a survivor. He is the result of a brother/sister mating, and he was left with them in their cage for the past 4 years. They were too young to have babies, so they didn’t know what to do with him. The cage was 14″x16″, which is too small, so they plucked him bald and bloody his whole life.
The fourth picture is of Rupert just eleven days after getting his own cage. He has gained 4 grams, and he has tons of new feathers growing in.
The final picture is of Tang, and this is what the grant money will provide for these cockatiels. Each cage will be of the appropriate size, allowing for movement in all directions, there will be toys of all sizes, perches of differing textures, shapes, and sizes, and everything will be bird-safe.
Thank you again for your time and consideration in offering us this grant that will truly change the lives of 10 wonderful cockatiels. They aren’t flashy, but they deserve the best life we can give them. I look forward to hearing from you.

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