by Karen Windsor

There is an estimated an estimated 40 million parrots in the U.S. today and 2 to 5 million being added annually. The shelters, sanctuary’s and rescues are all full….how long before they will be euthanized like dogs and cats? We are their only hope to stop this crisis.


  1. I always see these articles telling me how many parrots and or dogs are added to the pet market each year.
    Do you have any statistics on how many are lost due to accidents, getting loose, old age or illness?
    Because most of my customers had a pet they loved dearly and they have died.
    I have rehomed many older birds and continue to raise new birds. Its silly to think that animals will stop reproducing because shelters are full. One of the reasons that shelters are full is because of the high adoption fees they charge.

    • I do not know how many are lost due to accidents, illness, old age etc. I am sure the number is high though. While I have seen discussions on the subject, it is near impossible to add up the numbers since so many are not reported to any particular agency that I am aware of.

      Part of the problem is the cost to care for the animals relinquished into the rescues and they have no source of funding other than donations. Vet care for parrots in particular is quite costly and even just one well checkup per year can be a few hundred dollars. Then you combine that with the cost of food, toys, cages etc and very quickly one bird has now cost many hundreds of dollars just upon entering the rescue. Then you add up the cost over a year or so and you are looking at well over a thousand dollars, and this is providing the bird is healthy. I do not know of any rescues that make a profit off of an adoption fee. I do not believe that shelters are full due solely to the adoption fee, however if one cannot afford the adoption fee, can they truly afford all the care and expenses that will be required to care for that pet? I do know that the avian rescues are taking in multiple birds weekly and far less are being adopted out. The economy has made it very difficult for donations to be as plentiful as they once were. Many rescues are being run out of the pockets of the caregivers themselves. Many are also having to close their doors and discontinue taking in pets. The more this happens then the more unwanted pets will be Euthanized.

      While I know fully that breeding will not end, I will continually pray that ALL breeding mills will be shut down. This would ease the over population crisis greatly!


      • Very Well said. But I do think that if someone, wants to adopt a pet, and they can not afford the fee, then may be they should donate there time, to the shelter. I would be up for doing something like that, if there was a bird, dog or cat or even a horse I wanted. I have rescued a lot of animals, in my life. And I not only gave a donation, but also helped the organization. 10 years ago, I adopted a mix breed dog. I filled out all the forms, and it was almost like adopting a child. I had a home visit too. I passed. I think I payed, $150.00 to cover the vet cost of this dog. I still have the dog. But he has developed a health condition, and I have spent thousands on getting him well. The point I am trying to make here, is that these people did there homework on me… They checked me out, like a fine tooth comb, and knew that I would go the extra mile for this dog. I also did home checks for this rescue, and I personalty, met people, got to know them, as a person, not what they had in there pockets. Lots of time, someone would rather, spend money on giving a pet a good life. I do see both sides of the “coin” I hope that things will change for rescue, I realize, that everyone wants what is best for the animal, that it dose not keep going back into rescue. This is why people need to be able to match the right pet to the persons, life style. I truly believe, there are good people out there, to adopt pets.

      • I completely agree with Deborah. The trend I am seeing that is so disturbing is older people buying baby parrots – parrots that could potentially live 90-100 years. Everybody wants a baby parrot – something they can dress up and treat like a human baby. They have no plan for their pet’s life after they die. These birds that were once spoiled and given every possible treat or toy and showered with attention will wind up in a cage for the rest of its very long life – lucky to be fed fresh food (not of the bird’s choosing) for many years – alone. I wish these people would adopt birds from sanctuaries instead. It makes me sick to think of all these birds that should be flying free – soaring above the canopy of the rain forests – trapped in a cage with little to no attention – for years on end. This is tragic.

    • I SOOO agree. We were recently looking for a Rott for my husband. I found several and the adoption fees for these animals were higher than I could have bought a purebred with NICE papaers!!!!!!

      I’ve also seen this with “Adoptions” on horses and birds too. That is such a disservice to the animals. Makes me crazy!!!!!!!!!

  2. No offense….I love birds and have many rescues of my own. But most rescues in my area charge almost as much for a bird as a new one from a breeder would be. Yet the dog rescues on the other hand do not care what the breed of the dog they have up for adoption and charge a flat fee. Then you add home visits and such…….again not done with most dog/cat rescues. No offense but i don’t want strangers in my home or stopping by whenever they feel the urge. So perhaps part of the problem is this….so to avoid these hassles….most people would rather just buy from a breeder. Or take in birds when and where they can.

  3. Its so refreshing to find others that feel and express the concern that we do. Breeding is out of control period, there are not enough restrictions in place. Until the shelters and rescues have placed all adoptable animals the sale of new babies should be extremely limited. The use of the term re homing fee on public websites has backyard breeders making an extra buck!

  4. The cost to vet a bird is higher than dogs and cats.
    Their care is more expensive and they are higher maintenance too.
    Birds are so intelligent, they get mental illnesses.
    Birds aren’t domesticated. They’re few generations from the wild.
    Bird shops will charge the same price for a 20 year old cockatoo than a 2 year old, sometimes not even vetted.
    Also to prevent hoarders, breeders, and brokers, rescues need to do home visits. Most breeders and bad shops don’t care.

    If people can’t endure the “hassle” of all that, well, that’s how you weed out the bad adopters… Hopefully they’ll think to themselves “Wow, all that for a bird, maybe I don’t know what I’m getting into” or they’ll go to a breeder and they’ll end up back at the rescue when they relinquish their bird they’re not ready for.

    This is why we go to shows to educate people about the truth and reasons why we do things the way we do.

  5. I’d like to know who is doing this “estimating” that concludes there are 40 million parrots in the US today. Seriously..sources? References? Not just “Because Mira tweti said so!” The numbers are available form several independent and reliable sources, none of which even come close.

  6. The only “overpopulation” occurring on planet Earth is due to homo sapiens not controlling its own numbers. We humans are an embarrassment as a species and hell bent for leather on self destruction. But before we self destruct, we’ll create armageddon on all other life species. There is not excuse for not limiting our own population. It is the root of all evil on Earth if you really examine all the issues. It boils down to too many humans, not enough land and resources and not distributed evenly amongst us.

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