Dear Family, Friends, Members, and Supporters :
MAARS has begun the exciting and challenging steps to update our mission. We will still be advocates, educators, and caregivers to parrots, but we will be doing this a sanctuary, not as a rescue organization.
MAARS has gone through a great deal of change in the past 3 years that have, at times, regretfully impacted our ability to consistently communicate. During this tumultuous period, our primary focus remained the health and well-being of our flock who depend and trust in us to take care of them.
When we moved in 2009 we were excited and cautious in that we knew the health of the flock could be in jeopardy. A move is a stressful time for everyone. In April 2009 we received test results that showed our flock had been exposed to Proventricular Dilation Disease (PDD). Current research suggests that it is an immune-mediated disease caused by the Avian Borna Virus (ABV) and that between 40 to 60% of the captive parrot population are ABV positive. Very little is known about this disease including how it is transmitted, which ABV positive birds will become symptomatic for PDD, and how to cure it.
2009 and 2010 were an emotional and challenging time for our volunteers, senior staff, and board of directors. We reached out to vets, colleges, and other professionals to better understand the disease and develop an effective treatment plan. This lead to partnerships with veterinary researchers both locally & nationally; University of Minnesota, Texas A & M, and Dr. Vicki Schultz amongst others. These partnerships helped us stay abreast of new research and treatment protocols relating to the disease. In late 2009 we formulated and implemented a ground-breaking treatment plan that has proven with time to have successfully stabilized the health of the flock.
We are happy to let everyone know that our flock is doing well. They are playful, energetic and boisterous. This is due to the multi-year efforts of the MAARS team, from our dedicated medical staff to volunteers and supporters.
Due to the lack of knowledge on this disease and the danger of exposing additional parrots to PDD, we can no longer pursue our intake and adoption program. For this reason, we are referring all adoption applications to other adoption organizations. We will work with foster homes when former MAARS parrots need to be surrendered back into our care.
The upkeep and medicinal support the flock needs to maintain the best possible quality of life is expensive. Over the last year, MAARS has tried some new fundraising events in an attempt to be able to fulfill these needs and counter the loss of funds associated with no longer handling adoptions. We hope this will be our greatest area of development in the next year. As these initiatives are in their early stages, we need your help. Please take time today to make a donation or purchase items that benefit the flock from the links below. Given that MAARS is a non-profit organization staffed completely by volunteers, all donations go directly for the health and well- being of our flock. All contributions are greatly appreciated.
From each and every member of the MAARS team and our flock – Thank you