People frequently ask why we charge adoption fees when we do not "pay" anything for the birds that people relinquish to us. Please have said to us, "If you really loved the birds, you would just give them away to a good home."
Although, it is correct that we do not pay for 90% of the birds taken in, many unseen expenses occur. Since Dee's Haven is a small, non-profit, volunteer rescue, we do not receive funds from a parent company such as the ASPCA or a humane society. In addition, we do not receive money from the city or county. We do not receive federal grant money. All of the funds to operate this rescue come primarily from adoption fees, donations and from us.
We will take in dozens of birds each year. We not only take in birds that people relinquish to us but we also take in "found" birds that have landed in people's yards. Obviously, these birds have no cages of their own. IF a relinquished bird comes with no cage, or in a cage that is not an adequate size or just too filthy and rusted to use, we must supply a cage. Roomy, sturdy cages for parrots are very expensive and we must keep a constant supply of them available. Sometimes people who no longer have a bird for one reason or another will donate the old cages, but very often we must buy one.
Then they must have perches--different sizes and materials and toys--lots of toys.
Now let's talk about food. All of the birds at Dee's Haven receive an excellent diet consisting of natural and fruity pellets, a high quality parrot mix, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables and other nutritious food. Because we never know how many birds we will be housing at one time or for how long, we cannot predict food cost from week to week.
The biggest expense is that of an avian vet. Sadly, the majority of birds relinquished have rarely seen the inside of a vet's office. We do have the cost of lab work, x-rays, medicine and supplies if required. This can run anywhere from $70.00 for an office visit up to thousands of dollars for an injured or sick bird. Then there can be surgery and medication. Rescued birds (found) are usually in sad shape. Birds of prey, dogs, cats or other predators may have attacked them, and/or they are suffering from exposure and malnutrition. They require extensive medical treatment just to survive. We have been asked, why not just pass these vet costs on to the adopting parents? In some cases we do, but let me ask you--if I told you that to adopt a rescued Cockatoo, that had required surgery, ongoing vet care and medication, the adoption fee would be $3,500.00, what would you say? No way would be the typical answer. But that could be the amount we have invested in the bird who will be adopted by a great family for about a $400.00 fee. If we have a $3,100.00 loss on every bird how could we afford to continue helping other birds? So if we have adoption fees for birds that only have basic vet care and great food and a cage that goes back into Dee's Haven to help the next injured bird. See our page Cost of 1 Cockatoo.
Along with all the necessary physical supplies that a "free" bird requires, there are also emotional needs that we must deal with. Birds are not domesticated like a dog. They are wild creatures that in order to stay tame and bonded need constant human interaction. They take time to adjust to a new environment and new people. Some adjust quickly depending on their early socialization while other can take longer. With neglected or abused birds it takes even more time for one to gain the bird’s trust. This adds to the expense of their up-keep. Sadly, these birds stay with us is usually much longer because most people do not want to adopt a special needs bird with "a problem." Some birds come to us that no amount of rehabilitation will ever make a "good pet". Because of this, they stay here permanently.
When you adopt a bird from us, you are not just adopting that particular bird, but helping to provide for every bird that has come through our doors. You will be adopting a companion who will provide you with years of happiness. Some birds, do cost very little in care, but there are others who cost a small fortune.
All in all, your adoption fee provides for numerous services provided to the parrot loving community and its feathered friends. We consider these adoption fees money well spent.
Adoption fees are the same with or without a cage. If a bird comes in with a cage it goes with them as well as perches and toys. If a bird comes in without a cage, we may have to use a spare one we have. If you need to purchase a cage we will be happy to sell you one if we have one available or you can usually pick them up at Bird Fairs or on Craigslist.