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Rescued Birds Up For Adoption

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, February 22, 2010
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All kinds of colorful birds filled the community room at the Carmichael Library, from Budgies to Macaws….including a Parrot named Albert.


"He thinks he's a squeak toy today. He loves to talk."


Albert has a cone around his neck…sort of what you'd see a dog with medical issues wearing. He's perched on top Erin Sarmento's shoulder. 

"Albert lost his owner. His owner had him for about 9 years and when he died he just couldn't deal with the stress and he ripped out all his feathers. So we have to put a cone on him."

"A lot of these birds do have baggage like each of us has baggage…a lot of history."

Bill McKechnie is one of the volunteers at Mickaboo. He says lately, they've been deluged with abandoned birds.

"Sometimes we have challenges where we're literally overwhelmed with so many birds coming through and right now is one of those times."

Before the recession hit, Mickaboo used to take in around 60 to 70 birds. Mickaboo's Sacramento area coordinator Francie Waller says now it's three-times that amount.

"People are losing their homes so they have to make decisions what to do and pets including parrots are some of the first things to go. We've even had some people actually leave birds in their homes when they're foreclosed to fend for themselves."

Birds like Peppermint…a snow white king pigeon perched on Elizabeth Young's shoulder. She's got him wearing a leash in case he flies away…and a diaper in case…well…

"It's nice because it keeps my white shirt white."

Young rescued Peppermint from an animal shelter…and a troubled history.

"As a little baby he was about six-weeks old, he had been scribbled on by somebody with a red Magic Marker so he looked like a candy cane which is why they named him Peppermint. He was a basket case. And we took him in. Nursed him back to health and now he's snow white and perfect."

Once birds like Peppermint have recovered, they're ready to be adopted…by people like Elizabeth Hernandez. She's here with her two teenage daughters.

"We used to have a bird but he flew away so my daughters here they're very sad about the situation and once we heard about this we all joined in excitement because it's not easy to buy one because of the economy situation lately."

Mickaboo's Francie Waller says their whole goal is to link pet birds with caring families and they have a stringent approval process to make sure the birds get to the right homes.

"It's also part of our adoption contract that if they could not take care of the bird anymore then the bird is to come back to Mickaboo so that it's not being passed around and around again."

In that way Waller says they hope to break the cycle of abandoned birds.

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