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The Beakly Standard

  • It's a good idea to add items for avian care and enrichment to your donation needs list, so that you'll be ready with the appropriate supplies when feathered visitors arrive at your shelter. Michelle Riley/The HSUS

With all the purring, woofing visitors that shelters have to care for, adapting to the arrival of someone who chirps can ruffle the feathers of the most adaptive kennel manager. Many shelter s opt to work with local bird rescues to handle their avian visitors, which is a great option; good bird rescuers not only have the knowledge to care for particular species, they’ll have housing options that will improve upon what a crowded and hectic animal shelter can provide.

But for shelters that don’t have immediate access to an avian rescue partner, the best place to keep a bird is somewhere warm (65-85 degrees F is ideal) and away from the sounds of predatory animals like cats and dogs. Or as you might call this place, “not the shelter.”

Kidding! In all seriousness, consider an administrative office, an unused or low-traffic storage space, or your small-animal room. Caging should provide ample space for a bird to spread her wings, a variety of perches and food and water dishes, and enrichment items for any feathered friend who’s spending more than 24 hours with you. It’s smart to add items for avian care to your donation needs list so that you’ll have supplies around when birds come in.

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