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When I'm Gone

Thanks to Tracey Emery, valued member and foster carer for this article on the future of our parrots.

caged Macacw A timely reminder to all of us the very real problems our parrots can face through our lack of thought and preperation-please ensure yours has the benefits of her advice and your planning.

Many times when I was an ACO I would receive phone calls from older people who had bought a parrot for company or because their children had left home, they had usually phoned for advice, and after giving them as much as I could, I would ask them "Have you thought about what will happen to the bird when you are gone?" The usual reply was "the bird will be long gone before me". Many people who have parrots don't realise how long they are going to live, so they don't make provision for them, there are no guarantees in life, even if you obtain your bird in your 20's it may still outlive you,simply because its lifespan is so great, or because something unforeseen could happen to you.

As a responsible owner, could you answer the question of who or where your bird would be looked after in those circumstances? Have you done all you can to ensure your birds welfare 'when you are gone?'

I have a husband who would continue to look after my parrots, and children who would do the same, but not all people feel the same way. Some owners have no family or their family wouldn't want their bird, or their lifestyle may not be suitable.

Think about the long-term welfare of your parrot and ask yourself the following:

1. Who would be willing to take on your parrot and be responsible enough to cover all the costs, put up with the mess and noise, have the time, patience and care required and still love and understand him/her?

2. Is your chosen person REALLY keen to do this, or just agreeing for now?
Ask them to be entirely honest.

Bongo Grey 3. Even if your chosen person would take on your bird, what if their ciucumstances should change due to illness, arrival of new family members, job changes etc?

4. Think of an alternative to your family member or friend, in case they find later that it is too much to cope with.

5. Consider making a will (this is by far the best option) or at least provide clear written instructions for your family and friends, stating what you want for your bird, your first choice and back up plan.
Otherwise your bird may end up being sold or given away with no thought for its welfare.

Birds are classed as 'chattels'-no different to your car or furniture unless you make them so.

6. Research all the options and make sure that what ever happens your bird's welfare is top priority.

7. *There are many rescues and organisations that will take on birds that have no where to go, but you must make sure that the organisation you choose is the right one for your bird.
Ask many questions of them, you need to be sure you are making the right choice. You owe it to yourself and most importantly to your bird to ensure you do your research well and that their furture wellbeing is entrusted to the right people.

*Should you wish to make provision for your bird upon your death, and/or leave your bird to Safehaven in your will, we can arrange for a confidentioal consultation with one of our representatives to help you come to a decision and to answer any questions you may have.

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