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Cockatoo Rescue and Sanctuary-WA

Julie Long

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Julie Long
Does anyone have any experience/information/etc about The Cockatoo Rescue and Sanctuary in Stanwood, Washington? I’ve read their website cover to cover, and it looks good but I’ve got some misgivings about some things. Their policy of no pre- (or post-) surrender visits..EVER makes me nervous. You just drop your bird off at the gate They will not send picture updates but if you call they’ll tell you how your ‘too is adjusting. So, not to be cynical, but how do I know it’s not all a complete sham and I surrender my bird thinking she’s going to get a beautiful sanctuary retirement with other umbrella cockatoos, and it turns out they just turn around and sell her to someone else? Also, the website says they are a nonprofit, but they are not a registered 501(c)(3). They have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, but that’s because no one has made complaints. It’s completely possible no one has made complaints because no one ever sees their bird again and anytime you call, I’m sure they would just tell you your bird’s doing great. Google earth shows the address as containing multiple small buildings and a couple of large ones with skylights, which the website does mention in their descriptions. You can’t get close enough with the satellite imagery to see exactly what the smaller structures are. Could anyone help or suggest where I could find more information? Maybe a state or city resource around the sanctuary?
 

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expressmailtome

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Bump.
 

JLcribber

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I have heard of this place which has been around for quite a few years. Their reputation is good. their job is to care for birds. Not peoples feelings.
I surrender my bird thinking she’s going to get a beautiful sanctuary retirement with other umbrella cockatoos, and it turns out they just turn around and sell her to someone else?

Well there is no such thing as a "beautiful sanctuary retirement" for any parrot going to any rescue. Things are always tough for these well meaning places. Under funded. Full to capacity. Expensive medical needs. Volunteers. Fundraising etc.

You are relinquishing responsibility for your bird. They are assuming that responsibility along with all the other birds in their care. You give up the rights to that bird when you get rid of it. There may be a beautiful retirement sanctuary somewhere (I have no idea where) but sure would not be free and you would expected to "fund" this retirement regularly and ongoing for as long as that bird is there.

So I am implored to ask why are you giving this bird up?
 

Julie Long

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I wanted to “give up“ Bimma because she is one of the last legally imported wild-caught umbrella cockatoos. She is intelligent, beautiful, thoughtful, and has all of her natural instincts. Sadly, she lived the first 25 years of her life in a cage in my father-in-law‘s living room with no toys (My mother-in-law doesn’t like them because she says it makes the cage a mess) and chewing her feathers from boredom and stress.

Then I had her for about seven years and gave her all the stimulation and freedom she could want. I was at home with her all of the time and she was like a child to me, I was so devoted to her. I had a small dogwood tree in my yard and she loved climbing around in it searching for the food I tied from the branches. One day it started raining, and she rushed to the top of the tree above the leaves and started flapping her wings to bathe. She never EVER liked bathing in any way I tried. She was generally very quiet, but that day when late afternoon came she started calling loudly for the flock to come to bed. She constantly watched the sky and ignored the smaller birds, but one day there was a hawk high in the sky circling around and she screamed the daylights out and moved quickly inside the cover of the tree branches, screaming a warning to all that were listening. She’s a wild, beautiful creature who was tragically stolen from the natural life she should have lived.

When my ex and I divorced, her father took Bimma back, where she now lives again. It makes my heart hurt knowing she’s back to having to live as a living room ornament. I just was looking for a place where she could be with other wild-caught ‘toos because I can’t bear the thought of her living the next 25-40 years of her life in that cage. I thought if I could find a good place that wasn’t going to breed her or turn right around and sell her into god knows what kind of conditions, it would ease my heart so much. Umbrellas are so social, and being wild caught makes her imprisonment all the more tragic and heartbreaking.

Which brings me back to trying to vet the Cockatoo Sanctuary in Washington. Their policy of zero admittance under any circumstances, even when you drop your ‘too off, even to see if the birds are actually still there, is highly suspect to me. They say that you can contact them in the first month to check on how your bird is doing, and they will write you back in reply, but will not send photos of your bird in the environment.

I just find all of that highly suspicious, and the photos they have on their website could have been taken anywhere. I just hoped that someone had first-hand knowledge about the place and whether you can even hear the birds from the road. I mean, what if they just take your bird saying they’re going to give it a beautiful environment to live in like all the photos show, and then immediately turn around and sell it off to some terrible breeder? I just can’t stomach the thought of that.

Anyway, I was trying to do some research and vet the place before appealing to my ex mother-in-law’s heart strings to convince him to allow Bimma to retire with other wild caught umbrella cockatoos and not live the rest of her life as a novel living room ornament.
 

GoDucks

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I wanted to “give up“ Bimma because she is one of the last legally imported wild-caught umbrella cockatoos. She is intelligent, beautiful, thoughtful, and has all of her natural instincts. Sadly, she lived the first 25 years of her life in a cage in my father-in-law‘s living room with no toys (My mother-in-law doesn’t like them because she says it makes the cage a mess) and chewing her feathers from boredom and stress.

Then I had her for about seven years and gave her all the stimulation and freedom she could want. I was at home with her all of the time and she was like a child to me, I was so devoted to her. I had a small dogwood tree in my yard and she loved climbing around in it searching for the food I tied from the branches. One day it started raining, and she rushed to the top of the tree above the leaves and started flapping her wings to bathe. She never EVER liked bathing in any way I tried. She was generally very quiet, but that day when late afternoon came she started calling loudly for the flock to come to bed. She constantly watched the sky and ignored the smaller birds, but one day there was a hawk high in the sky circling around and she screamed the daylights out and moved quickly inside the cover of the tree branches, screaming a warning to all that were listening. She’s a wild, beautiful creature who was tragically stolen from the natural life she should have lived.

When my ex and I divorced, her father took Bimma back, where she now lives again. It makes my heart hurt knowing she’s back to having to live as a living room ornament. I just was looking for a place where she could be with other wild-caught ‘toos because I can’t bear the thought of her living the next 25-40 years of her life in that cage. I thought if I could find a good place that wasn’t going to breed her or turn right around and sell her into god knows what kind of conditions, it would ease my heart so much. Umbrellas are so social, and being wild caught makes her imprisonment all the more tragic and heartbreaking.

Which brings me back to trying to vet the Cockatoo Sanctuary in Washington. Their policy of zero admittance under any circumstances, even when you drop your ‘too off, even to see if the birds are actually still there, is highly suspect to me. They say that you can contact them in the first month to check on how your bird is doing, and they will write you back in reply, but will not send photos of your bird in the environment.

I just find all of that highly suspicious, and the photos they have on their website could have been taken anywhere. I just hoped that someone had first-hand knowledge about the place and whether you can even hear the birds from the road. I mean, what if they just take your bird saying they’re going to give it a beautiful environment to live in like all the photos show, and then immediately turn around and sell it off to some terrible breeder? I just can’t stomach the thought of that.

Anyway, I was trying to do some research and vet the place before appealing to my ex mother-in-law’s heart strings to convince him to allow Bimma to retire with other wild caught umbrella cockatoos and not live the rest of her life as a novel living room ornament.


Can you convince them to give the bird back to you? Sounds like living with you would do her soul more good than a sanctuary would.
 

JLcribber

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Thank you for being this bird's advocate. I have not heard anything bad about that place but I'm way up in Canada. They do not sell or breed birds.

It seems to me that any alternative is better than back to room ornament. She will be with others of her own kind. That alone would be reason enough for me to go in that direction.

There is no easy life for these creatures in our imprisoned world. I wish you strength and courage in your decision.
 
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