In celebration of National Bird Day on January 5, 2009, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is supporting the Avian Welfare Coalition’s (AWC) efforts to help make birds count at shelters nationwide and raising awareness of the plight of captive exotic birds.
“The ASPCA and AWC are expanding the resources available to animal shelter organizations so they can better provide for the specialized care and permanent placement needs of exotic birds,” said ASPCA President and CEO Ed Sayres. “Even when bred in captivity, birds are not considered domesticated animals, and their wild nature presents special challenges for traditional shelters that are already filled with homeless cats and dogs.”
Added AWC President Denise Kelly, “We’re pleased that the ASPCA is supporting us on this important initiative. We want to help shelters gain the basic knowledge to care for exotic birds within a shelter setting.”
Specifically, the ASPCA is offering to shelters a guide called Captive Exotic Bird Care: A Guide for Shelters – a joint project of the ASPCA, AWC and the Born Free USA United with Animal Protection Institute – at a 20 percent discount when ordered from the ASPCA Online Store through February 15, 2009. The AWC also offers a hands-on training workshop for shelter staff and volunteers on the care of exotic birds upon request.
Consumers interested in raising awareness for National Bird Day may purchase T-shirts that read “Think Outside the Cage” from Born Free USA. National Bird Day’s “Think Outside the Cage” message is also available on five posters that can be purchased for display at local animal shelters, libraries or schools.
According to the AWC, parrots and other exotic birds are the fourth largest population of animals kept as companions, and they represent the largest population of captive wildlife in the U.S. Many of the over 100 self-described bird rescue or sanctuary organizations in the U.S. are already filled to capacity, often leaving local animal shelters as the only option available to receive unwanted, abused, or abandoned birds.
For complete details on purchasing T-shirts or posters, please visit www.nationalbirdday.org.
More information on National Bird Day can also be found at www.aspca.org and http://www.avianwelfare.org/shelter_outreach.htm.
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) was the first humane organization established in the Americas, and today has more than one million supporters throughout North America. A 501 [c]  not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. The ASPCA provides local and national leadership in animal-assisted therapy, animal behavior, animal poison control, anti-cruelty, humane education, legislative services, and shelter outreach. The New York City headquarters houses a full-service, accredited, animal hospital, adoption center, and mobile clinic outreach program. The Humane Law Enforcement department enforces New York’s animal cruelty laws and is featured on the reality television series “Animal Precinct” on Animal Planet. For more information, please visit www.aspca.org.
About the Avian Welfare Coalition
Formed in 2000, the AWC www.avianwelfare.org is a working alliance of conservationists, veterinarians, avian welfare, and animal protection organizations dedicated to the ethical treatment of parrots and other captive birds. The AWC works to raise awareness about the plight of parrots and other captive birds and to serve as an educational resource for the human community, lawmakers, and the general public. These efforts aid in preventing the abuse, exploitation and suffering of captive birds, address the crucial issues of rescue, placement and sanctuary for displaced birds, advocate for legal protections for birds living in captivity, and support legitimate conservation programs aimed at preserving birds’ rightful place in the wild.