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my journey to rehome bonded parakeets

hiss-tiel

Checking out the neighborhood
Joined
3/7/22
Messages
1
I guess I just want to get this story out there because I already know what the right thing to do is. It's just that it feels impossible to do.

A little background: This all started when I was living with my parents a couple years ago. I had always wanted a pet bird, specifically a cockatiel. After I was unable to finish college due to mental health issues, my parent finally caved in. I did hours and hours of research because I understood the commitment of having a cockatiel since they live so long. I was very thorough with everything relating to my new bird. I made sure to wait several weeks before getting one as my room had just been painted, I bought an air purifier, the cage was very sizable for a cockatiel, and I also made sure not to use aerosols or anything scented near my room. Now this may sound obvious and routine to you bird lovers out there but I know that you know that most people who own birds do not take care of them well and do not research or take into consideration how sensitive birds' lungs are. In my research, I especially made sure that I could handle the noises that cockatiels make every day since noises can sometimes overwhelm me. I knew I had wanted a cockatiel for months and finally bought a lutino cockatiel whom I named Chief. She was everything I had hoped for and I made sure to do everything exactly right with her care.

A few months later, I got a job and moved in with my girlfriend's family. The family consisted of my girlfriend's immediate family which includes her mom/dad and two sisters (10 Becca and 13 Lily) and there were also family friends who lived in the house as well. Honestly, the house felt more like an apartment complex most of the time but everyone got along. It wasn't long after I moved in that one of the family friends, let's say Sal, that lived upstairs across from us had a friend come over, let's call him Rick. Rick had brought two birdcages, one cage with two parakeets and one cage with two canaries. He asked if I wanted the parakeets since he knew I already had a cockatiel. For many reasons, including not wanting more pets, not talking with my gf about it, and spreading my attention thin between pets, I easily told him no.

Now these were all extremely young birds, most likely bought around the same time, and were being given up because apparently, Rick's daughter was allergic. I don't believe that for a second considering the type of person the family friend was and how the birds were most likely being neglected. I base those judgements on the fact that the cages for both sets of birds were comically small and how after I told this man no, he decided to go into Becca's room and leave the parakeets there. This visit was not planned or discussed and my girlfriend's family had no idea this man was dropping off pet birds in Becca's room. My gf's family was not even there at the time to say yes or no and Becca had never expressed any interest in a pet or pet bird. I'll come back to the parakeets being downstairs later. As to what happened to the canaries? Sal decided to take them and ended up killing both of them within a month. The canaries ended up fighting and the one killed the other and then Sal killed the other one by feeding it outdoor birdseed. If you need an image in your mind so that you can hate this man, he makes me think of what the adult version of Sid from the first toy story would be/look like.

Now obviously I had no knowledge that Sid would end up killing his birds, this had happened later but I digress. Back to the parakeets that were left in Becca's room. After Rick had left, Sal made a passing comment about the birds going to Becca and when I went downstairs to her room, there they were in the dark. I grabbed the birds before the family came home and took them into my room. I decided to take care of the parakeets since Becca would need a lot of research to take care of birds and since I was still dealing with mental health issues, I felt I was in no shape to teach Becca how to take care of a bird. I also didn't trust my gf's family to take care of the unexpected pets. This might sound harsh but my gf would agree. They would buy Becca's sister Lily every pet that she wanted. She had a gecko, hamster and a cat all within a couple months. Lily would get bored of one pet and move on, leaving the last pet to be neglected; the hamster's cage smelling like ammonia, the gecko not being fed for weeks and Lily's room smelling terrible from the cat's litterbox. If my gf's family had trouble keeping up with geckos and hamsters, I had little faith that they would take care of a bird properly with all the intricacies. My gf and I decided to keep the parakeets since we didn't have much of a choice since Rick had just left. We never considered how long we would keep them or since they were unwanted should we take them to the pet store? We took them out of necessity and didn't consider these things.

Months go by without any issues with the birds. I give the parakeets all the care I give to Chief and let them out all the time. I don't spend time with the parakeets though, when I walk by I always say hi to Chief but not often them. They have always been more like a pet goldfish; simply meaning that I will give them treats and new toys, but they've always felt more like decoration instead of a pet. Rick gave them to us not hand tame and they were more afraid of us than I think parakeets normally would be so I never trained them. I think it never left my mind that I never wanted them or asked for them. My gf and I were actually looking into getting another cockatiel around the time we decided to keep the parakeets but didn't end up buying another cockatiel. Eventually my mental health declined again and I was unemployed for most of the year. Taking care of three birds became cumbersome and for whatever reason, the parakeets chirping became overwhelming and unbearable. After a couple months my gf and I decide to find a new home for the parakeets. However, since the parakeets are bonded we knew that we couldn't give them to petco or somewhere similar. Eventually my gf finds someone to take the parakeets. They are perfect, this person had multiple rescued animals including multiple birds and a hedgehog! When the time came though, we couldn't give away the parakeets and cancelled. We became so sad at the thought of the room being quiet without them and them flying around the room. It was mostly my fault, I felt that I was responsible for these birds and that I was failing them.

Several months after we almost gave away the parakeets it only got worse. I resent having the parakeets now. Every time I see them or hear them I am reminded that I should have given them away. Before what I say next, I hope that you can find it in your hearts to forgive me and understand that I am dealing with severe mental illness and struggle with keeping myself together. It has gotten so bad lately that I have hit their cage when they chirp loudly and put them in the closet to stop them from chirping. Again, I know how I have treated these parakeets was wrong but understand that their chirping isn't just a nuisance to me, it triggers anxiety attacks for me. As I mentioned before, I struggle with having the parakeets but also with trying to give them away. I know it is the right thing to do. No matter how hard it is to give them up, I know that if I keep them, I will only resent them more. I finally got the courage today to call a family owned pet store that I actually got Chief from, they keep bonded parakeets together which makes me happy. I am taking them this week and I can only pray that they find a loving home. I know parakeets aren't treated well in general and are known for being returned and not wanted. I regret contributing to that statistic immensely but I know that I can't give them the love that they need.
 

finchly

Cruising the avenue
Avenue Veteran
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
5/16/14
Messages
12,609
Location
SW Florida
Real Name
Finchly
You're doing the right thing.
 

Winn

Walking the driveway
Joined
4/21/22
Messages
160
I guess I just want to get this story out there because I already know what the right thing to do is. It's just that it feels impossible to do.

A little background: This all started when I was living with my parents a couple years ago. I had always wanted a pet bird, specifically a cockatiel. After I was unable to finish college due to mental health issues, my parent finally caved in. I did hours and hours of research because I understood the commitment of having a cockatiel since they live so long. I was very thorough with everything relating to my new bird. I made sure to wait several weeks before getting one as my room had just been painted, I bought an air purifier, the cage was very sizable for a cockatiel, and I also made sure not to use aerosols or anything scented near my room. Now this may sound obvious and routine to you bird lovers out there but I know that you know that most people who own birds do not take care of them well and do not research or take into consideration how sensitive birds' lungs are. In my research, I especially made sure that I could handle the noises that cockatiels make every day since noises can sometimes overwhelm me. I knew I had wanted a cockatiel for months and finally bought a lutino cockatiel whom I named Chief. She was everything I had hoped for and I made sure to do everything exactly right with her care.

A few months later, I got a job and moved in with my girlfriend's family. The family consisted of my girlfriend's immediate family which includes her mom/dad and two sisters (10 Becca and 13 Lily) and there were also family friends who lived in the house as well. Honestly, the house felt more like an apartment complex most of the time but everyone got along. It wasn't long after I moved in that one of the family friends, let's say Sal, that lived upstairs across from us had a friend come over, let's call him Rick. Rick had brought two birdcages, one cage with two parakeets and one cage with two canaries. He asked if I wanted the parakeets since he knew I already had a cockatiel. For many reasons, including not wanting more pets, not talking with my gf about it, and spreading my attention thin between pets, I easily told him no.

Now these were all extremely young birds, most likely bought around the same time, and were being given up because apparently, Rick's daughter was allergic. I don't believe that for a second considering the type of person the family friend was and how the birds were most likely being neglected. I base those judgements on the fact that the cages for both sets of birds were comically small and how after I told this man no, he decided to go into Becca's room and leave the parakeets there. This visit was not planned or discussed and my girlfriend's family had no idea this man was dropping off pet birds in Becca's room. My gf's family was not even there at the time to say yes or no and Becca had never expressed any interest in a pet or pet bird. I'll come back to the parakeets being downstairs later. As to what happened to the canaries? Sal decided to take them and ended up killing both of them within a month. The canaries ended up fighting and the one killed the other and then Sal killed the other one by feeding it outdoor birdseed. If you need an image in your mind so that you can hate this man, he makes me think of what the adult version of Sid from the first toy story would be/look like.

Now obviously I had no knowledge that Sid would end up killing his birds, this had happened later but I digress. Back to the parakeets that were left in Becca's room. After Rick had left, Sal made a passing comment about the birds going to Becca and when I went downstairs to her room, there they were in the dark. I grabbed the birds before the family came home and took them into my room. I decided to take care of the parakeets since Becca would need a lot of research to take care of birds and since I was still dealing with mental health issues, I felt I was in no shape to teach Becca how to take care of a bird. I also didn't trust my gf's family to take care of the unexpected pets. This might sound harsh but my gf would agree. They would buy Becca's sister Lily every pet that she wanted. She had a gecko, hamster and a cat all within a couple months. Lily would get bored of one pet and move on, leaving the last pet to be neglected; the hamster's cage smelling like ammonia, the gecko not being fed for weeks and Lily's room smelling terrible from the cat's litterbox. If my gf's family had trouble keeping up with geckos and hamsters, I had little faith that they would take care of a bird properly with all the intricacies. My gf and I decided to keep the parakeets since we didn't have much of a choice since Rick had just left. We never considered how long we would keep them or since they were unwanted should we take them to the pet store? We took them out of necessity and didn't consider these things.

Months go by without any issues with the birds. I give the parakeets all the care I give to Chief and let them out all the time. I don't spend time with the parakeets though, when I walk by I always say hi to Chief but not often them. They have always been more like a pet goldfish; simply meaning that I will give them treats and new toys, but they've always felt more like decoration instead of a pet. Rick gave them to us not hand tame and they were more afraid of us than I think parakeets normally would be so I never trained them. I think it never left my mind that I never wanted them or asked for them. My gf and I were actually looking into getting another cockatiel around the time we decided to keep the parakeets but didn't end up buying another cockatiel. Eventually my mental health declined again and I was unemployed for most of the year. Taking care of three birds became cumbersome and for whatever reason, the parakeets chirping became overwhelming and unbearable. After a couple months my gf and I decide to find a new home for the parakeets. However, since the parakeets are bonded we knew that we couldn't give them to petco or somewhere similar. Eventually my gf finds someone to take the parakeets. They are perfect, this person had multiple rescued animals including multiple birds and a hedgehog! When the time came though, we couldn't give away the parakeets and cancelled. We became so sad at the thought of the room being quiet without them and them flying around the room. It was mostly my fault, I felt that I was responsible for these birds and that I was failing them.

Several months after we almost gave away the parakeets it only got worse. I resent having the parakeets now. Every time I see them or hear them I am reminded that I should have given them away. Before what I say next, I hope that you can find it in your hearts to forgive me and understand that I am dealing with severe mental illness and struggle with keeping myself together. It has gotten so bad lately that I have hit their cage when they chirp loudly and put them in the closet to stop them from chirping. Again, I know how I have treated these parakeets was wrong but understand that their chirping isn't just a nuisance to me, it triggers anxiety attacks for me. As I mentioned before, I struggle with having the parakeets but also with trying to give them away. I know it is the right thing to do. No matter how hard it is to give them up, I know that if I keep them, I will only resent them more. I finally got the courage today to call a family owned pet store that I actually got Chief from, they keep bonded parakeets together which makes me happy. I am taking them this week and I can only pray that they find a loving home. I know parakeets aren't treated well in general and are known for being returned and not wanted. I regret contributing to that statistic immensely but I know that I can't give them the love that they need.
Kudos to you for doing the research and finding a facility that will re-home them together!
My personal opinion is the guy who abandoned them to your GF's family's care was selfish.
It's far better to re-home a pet you're not prepared to care for than it is to try to care for a pet you're not prepared for!
 
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