The Nature Chest Bird Shop and two very generous customers have been aiding the relief effort being provided by 911ParrotAlert in the Lousiana area affected by Hurricane Katrina. This group is providing a much needed help to the birds and their humans affected by this storm. Here is a description of the group:
911 Parrot Alert is a young but growing organization (founded by Donna Powell in June of 2004) with the sole mission of finding, rescuing and returning lost or stolen companion birds to their rightful families. This organization is a major web presence, with over 3,000 members working in concerted effort to save every bird, one at a time, and reunite it with their family if possible.
When Katrina struck New Orleans, 911ParrotAlert responded immediately by answering distressed summons’ from evacuated or evacuating households to rescue and foster their feathered pets until their owners could come back and claim them, as in many cases owners were not given the option to bring their animals with them to shelters. 911ParrotAlert is currently based in Baton Rouge, which was far enough away to avoid a lot of the disaster but close enough to be useful in recovery efforts. Offering direct rescue and long-term sanctuary is considerably beyond the scope of 911ParrotAlert, which is normally just to find and return lost birds, but the crisis and resultant needs were too great to ignore.
911ParrotAlert works very closely with Dr. Tully at Louisiana State University to care for and maintain these parrots until they can be reunited with their owners. Contact has been made with the American Federation of Aviculture, ASPCA, HSUS, KARE and other animal welfare groups, to recover and maintain exotic birds left behind or escaped during the hurricane. Both K.A.R.E (Knapptime Adoption Rescue and Education) and Mattie Sue Athan, the well-known author of companion parrots, have traveled from their respective bases to directly lend their hands in this crisis.
911 Parrot Alert members have organized into Task Force Teams, soliciting donations of cages, food, supplies, veterinary assistance and transportation to deliver them to the areas where rescued birds are being cared for. The response has been overwhelming and the 911 volunteers are tireless in their endeavors to save these birds from starvation, disease and death. Veterinarians, avian caregivers and administrative support people are flowing in from all over the US and Canada to help, on-site, with this mission.
Donation & disaster-related information may be obtained via Internet at www.911parrotalert.com