Friday, September 16, 2005

Can You Help with the 911ParrotAlerts Work in Louisana?

What is needed:
Send donations to Donna Powell, 16365 Woodmere Ave, Baton Rouge, LA 70819. The organization is 911 Parrot Alert. At this time, checks should be made out to Donna Powell. (She is completing FEMA paperwork for the 911 Parrot Alertorganization.)

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED. They need volunteers to help with the birds (give food and medicine, clean cages, assemble cages, etc.). They also need people who can type the band numbers and descriptions of the birds into a database. (A digital camera would be a good idea.)

ACCOMMODATIONS. The volunteers are staying at Donna's house in BatonRouge (80 miles north of New Orleans). There are several bedrooms and sofas and lots of space. They have electricity, water, washing machine and dryer, etc. Bring a cot or air mattress and sleeping bag. If you have a tent or camper, that would be helpful.

EQUIPMENT & WHAT TO BRING. There are a number of volunteers going into New Orleans to rescue birds. This requires rubber boots, long pants, gloves, hard hat, etc. Disposable paper clothes are useful. If you have a shot record, bring it. TAKE SUPPLIES (food, safety gear, etc.)

GETTING THERE -- GAS AVAILABILITY. You'll be able to get gas ifyou're coming from the north or west. Coming from the east, you'll need toget gas BEFORE Pascagoula, Mississippi.

COMPUTERS. They would like a faster computer. Donna's is an older(slow) computer and many people are trying to use it. The could also use a laptop with a wireless card. Mattie Sue said this is the best way to communicate in New Orleans.

BIRD RESCUE. They went into buildings to rescue birds. Some were alive, others had drowned. They did get a couple birds back to their owners. The animal shelters have hundreds of dogs. They're asking the bird rescue folks pick up the birds.

PHONES & HELPING. They don't have the staff to answer the phone and it's extremely hard to call in. There are more calls than the lines can handle. Priority is given to outgoing calls. They ask that is you can help, come. There will be a place for you to stay.

WHAT DO THE BIRDS NEED? Mattie Sue asked for toys for the small birds. There are(correction) about 300 birds. A large number of them are cockatiels and budgies.

INFO FROM TEXAS BIRD GROUPS. There are trucks from the Houston area taking supplies to Donna's home/911 Parrot Alert on Thursday, Friday, andSaturday (September 14-16).

Here's another e-mail from Mattie Sue (09/13/05): Subject: Re: Sense of order (lack of) Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2005 22:59:57 - 0400 Donna picked up 50 and KARE picked up 38 and we got about 30 from LSU,so more than 100 came in on Monday. Yes, we still need lots of help, but we need it in a concerted way, including administratively gifted individuals who can do more than get birds, wash cages, wash toxic soup off emaciated survivors. We made it into the city today. Nightmare like something from a science fiction movie. Mold and high water mark and starving dogs foaming at the mouth in deserted streets. Luckily we had lots of dog food to strew on the streets. Saw an expensive collection of mostly macaws, bodies of drown birds, if only they had raised the cages. The water made it just to the top of the cages and the birds drown in their cages. Three blue and golds managed to escape (well, they were pairs, so there were probably four, but we didn't stay in the mold and chemical covered room to find the other body) and survived because they weren't locked in their cages. Yes, we may have 500 by the weekend, but we still need help doing exams and evaluations and cataloging, monitoring, planning appropriate diets, trying to find owners of, and caring for the 200-300 we have. We were able to return two cages of small birds to their happy owners today. FEMA is convinced that the owners will come back to Louisiana to reclaim their pets within two weeks. It will be interesting to see if that happens. xoxoxo, ms

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