Calgary-based parrot rescue organization at risk of closing

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WATCH: For the past 15 years, Birdline has been taking in abused, neglected or abandoned parrots. Unfortunately, volunteers and donations have dwindled over the years, and the organization may have to close its doors. Tiffany Lizée reports – Jan 6, 2020

For the past 15 years, Birdline Canada Ltd. has been rescuing abused, neglected or abandoned parrots across Canada.

“I’d say probably within five years, we had over 50 parrots,” said Anna Lawrence, sole operator of the Calgary-based organization.

Birdline Canada Ltd. is a government registered non-profit organization, located in Calgary, Alta. Courtesy: Birdline/Facebook

Since it opened, the non-profit organization has helped over 200 parrots and is currently housing more than 30.

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Her goal has been to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome the exotic birds, but with limited resources, she has to rely heavily on donations and volunteers.

The parrot rescue community encounters many unique issues. Courtesy: Birdline/Facebook

The costs of food, toys and vet bills can add up.

“You can have simple things like broken blood feathers, which may only be $40 or $50, but if you’re talking about major surgical procedures like amputating wings on large parrots, easily the cost can exceed $1,000,” said Dr. Leticia Materi, a veterinarian with Calgary Avian & Exotic Pet Clinic.

Birdline brings all its exotic birds to Calgary Avian and Exotic Pet clinic. Courtesy: Birdline/Facebook

The clinic has treated birds from Birdline since it opened and offer the organization a discount.

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“We’ve done some major wound repairs. They get heartbreaking cases where animals are injured, they’re ill and sometimes they need intense medical care,” said Materi.

“I’m sure it’s in the thousands of dollars that they’ve had to spend on those animals.”

Birdline Canada Ltd. aims to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome exotic birds.

Lawrence said she understands the costs of treatment for the exotic birds and refuses to allow them to go without the proper care and attention.

“Every bird will get what they need, regardless of the cost. If it means I don’t eat for two months, I don’t eat, but they will always have what they need,” said Lawrence.

Unfortunately, over the years, resources have become thin and it is becoming increasingly difficult for Lawrence to handle on her own.

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“It’s just getting harder and harder to continue that aspect of it. I’m just me; I cannot be everywhere at once,” said Lawrence.

The home-based rescue facility suffered a huge loss in 2014 when 27 parrots in its care died in a devastating house fire.

Lawrence was able to rebuild her organization, but it has come to the point where donations have dwindled and she can’t take in any more birds.

“It really is too much for one person and it would be very irresponsible of me to try without the money,” Lawrence said.

Birdline is looking for food, toys and cash donations but also hopes will people will volunteer and foster the friendly chatterboxes while she works on finding their forever homes.

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