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  

E-mail: birds@maars.org  

  Captive Bird Rescue, Adoption, Sanctuary & Care Education MAARSianChronicles 

 

Home > News & Events > MAARSianChronicles > Issue 15: March 2006 > Feathered Feature: MAARS Launches a Satellite

Feathered Feature

Emily LaMont has expanded MAARS' services into southern Minnesota in Mankato. (Photo by John Cross, The Mankato Free Press)

Emily LaMont has expanded MAARS' services into southern Minnesota in Mankato.

(Photo by John Cross,
The Mankato Free Press)

MAARS Launches a Satellite

by Emily LaMont, MAARS Mankato Satellite

I fell in love with captive exotic birds while working in a pet store when I was seventeen years old. I soon realized, however, that many of the people the birds were going home with were impulsive, uneducated, and stubborn about changing their ways of bird guardianship. I knew that there were scores of birds without homes and many more in abusive or neglectful situations, and I felt like the sale of birds at pet stores like the one I worked at was perpetuating the problem.

Within two days of each other, two wonderful birds ended up in my care after one was abandoned in the fish department of the store, dog-bitten and in bad shape, and another was under threat of euthanasia by a caregiver who was being evicted. This experience made me realize how serious the problem of unwanted parrots was. What would have happened to those two birds if I had not been able to take them? They would both most likely be dead. When I could no longer stand it any longer, I decided to quit the job. I wanted to be a part of the solution instead.

I was just entering college at the time and was searching unsuccessfully for a career focus. Every possibility fell short of what I really wanted to do with my life: work in avian welfare and rescue. So I decided to pursue a college education focusing on working in a nonprofit organization with the hopes of starting my own avian rescue one day.

Two years into my degree, I took on a summer internship with MAARS, which became a very successful partnership. I loved learning about how MAARS began, how it is currently run, and what possibilities the future holds for this fantastic organization. I also started a bird club in my hometown in southern Minnesota, through which I was reacquainted with a coworker from the pet store, Jade Krizaj. I was thrilled to learn that she shared my same drive for working with parrots in avian welfare.

I’m sure that most MAARSians are aware that the need for the avian rescue, adoption, and educational services MAARS provides is ever-increasing as millions of baby birds are being bred while many of the birds currently in shelters will likely live for up to 50 years or more. In the area where I live in of southern Minnesota, there is an alarming lack of proper resources for those who share their lives with captive exotic birds. There are few (if any) qualified avian veterinarians, rescue groups, or bird clubs that serve this area. It is not uncommon to hear of parrots being passed from home to home or even euthanized because their guardians are unable to work through the many challenges of caring for such complex beings, but have nowhere to turn for help.

Jade and I decided that someone needed to address this issue in southern Minnesota and that we were determined to do it. We approached the Senior Staff of MAARS with a proposal: to create a satellite of MAARS, located in southern Minnesota and providing an extension of the rescue, surrender, adoption, and educational services MAARS offers. The satellite would be able to take in birds from southern Minnesota, provide much-needed education on captive exotic bird guardianship, and facilitate the adoption of MAARS birds from distances that would normally be too far to make adoption possible.

We are excited to announce that this dream has become a reality! The MAARS Mankato Satellite was formed in April 2006 in order to expand the services of MAARS into southern Minnesota. The satellite, which is entirely run by volunteers, currently operates out of foster homes and is raising funds to allow many more birds to be rescued. It is run out of Mankato, Minnesota, under the established mission and philosophies of MAARS. After taking six months devoted to fundraising and set-up, we have just placed the first 11 birds in foster homes and will be holding more local fundraisers to raise both awareness of the satellite and the necessary operating funds.

The MAARS Mankato Satellite will cover all of southern Minnesota and will work to meet surrender requests from neighboring states as well. We are currently seeking foster homes, as there are already many birds in the area needing to be surrendered. We also hope to begin offering the Basic Bird Care Class soon. Local support is greatly needed to keep the satellite up and running. It is through the hard work and loyalty of our volunteers and supporters that MAARS is able to grow and expand. Anyone wishing to volunteer or make a donation to the MAARS Mankato Satellite can contact Emily LaMont at emily@maars.org.

 

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