Bird adoption, sanctuary, rescue, and care education services for parrots and other captive exotic 'pet' birds. Based in Minneapolis - St. Paul (Twin Cities) area of Minnesota and serving Midwest.



P.O. Box 821  Stillwater, MN  55082  

Phone: (651) 275-0568  Fax: (651) 275-0457  


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Home > News & Events > MAARSianChronicles > Issue 14: February 2006 > Take Action for Avian Welfare: Join the AWC Pet Store Watch Team!

Take Action for Avian Welfare

The online Avian Welfare Coalition (AWC) Pet Store Watch program allows you to report bird conditions you observe at small and large pet stores. (Photo by Photo by Dr. Jaime Pajak)

The online Avian Welfare Coalition (AWC) Pet Store Watch program allows you to report bird conditions you observe at small and large pet stores.

(Photo by Dr. Jaime Pajak)

Join the AWC Pet Store Watch Team!

MAARS is often contacted for assistance on behalf of birds living in sub-standard conditions. The calls and e-mails MAARS receives are from compassionate and concerned individuals who have witnessed a disturbing situation at a pet store, hotel, commercial business, or the home of a friend or acquaintance. While MAARS has no legal authority to act on these reports, we are able to offer our advice and experience regarding the actions they can take.

Sometimes, just developing a relationship with the bird's guardian, providing him or her with educational materials or resources, and offering simple suggestions can greatly improve the bird's living conditions and quality of life. When this approach is unsuccessful, or not an option, it may be necessary to contact agencies that have authority to investigate and intervene when there is a violation of federal, state, or local laws or statutes. However, if a legal violation cannot be cited, there may be little that can be done despite the fact that the animal is not receiving quality care.

Often, people are tempted to purchase an animal to rescue him or her from a bad situation. This may end the suffering of that individual, but it rewards the animal's guardian, who may then obtain another animal who will be similarly mistreated.

If you have witnessed animal cruelty, neglect, substandard conditions, or an animal in severe distress, here's what you can do:


Refuse to patronize the establishment responsible for the animal's care and politely let the business owner know why you are doing so. If the business is owned or operated by a large corporation, write a letter to corporate executives expressing your concerns.


Familiarize yourself with state anti-cruelty statutes, regulations governing pet stores and commercial facilities, as well as the Federal Animal Welfare Act.


Minnesota Statutes: Chapter 343 - Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Minnesota Statutes: 346.40 - Pet Birds in Commercial Facilities

Other States

Current Law and Suggested Approaches to Improving Captive Bird Welfare

by the Animal Protection Institute (API)


The Animal Care Program and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Authority Under the Animal Welfare Act: Basic Questions and Answers


Federal Animal Welfare Act and Regulations

by Rutgers University School of Law - Animal Rights Law Project


File a complaint with local law enforcement, animal control agency, or humane investigator.


If you have witnessed what you feel is inappropriate care, accommodation, or treatment at a pet store (even if it is within the bounds of the laws of your state), please submit a confidential online report through the Avian Welfare Coalition (AWC) Pet Store Watch program. Although the AWC does not have the authority to take legal action, the AWC maintains a database of pet store conditions and can contact the store's owner or corporate headquarters about your report without divulging your personal information.

Avian Welfare Coalition Pet Store Watch Program

PETCO Pet Store Watch Evaluation Form

PETsMART Pet Store Watch Evaluation Form

General Pet Store Watch Evaluation Form

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