The Adoption Process
Before diving into our application, please watch our video below "Are Your and Our Adoption Expectations Aligned?" This video contains important information regarding Parrot Partners Canada, our values and our expectations of YOU the adopter. It also outlines what we feel is a compelling case of why you would want to invest upfront and go the the extra mile
To start the process of Adoption, one must first fill in an application.
We do our best to keep our applications short and easy to complete, while still collecting the required information. Expect the application to take 15 minutes to complete and to answer questions regarding:
- Contact information
- Current home environment
- Past animal experience
- Past parrot experience, if any
- Hopes and expectations about parrot ownership
Our Adoption Team is notified as soon as you send the application. Depending on the volume of applications or the time of year (holidays etc.), you can expect a response in three to five business days, possibly sooner.
Home Safety Check
After we receive your application a member of our adoption team will contact you and arrange a mutually convenient date and time for your home safety check. The home safety check is an essential element in the adoption process. Every year thousands of parrots are lost, stressed, injured, made seriously ill, or killed through ill-advised cage placement, unsafe handling practices, or through using everyday items in the home. The Parrot Partners Adoption Team is trained to spot safety issues in the home and to suggest methods to mitigate those hazards before an accident can happen.
Meet the Parrots
Build Relationships and Learn the five Parrot Partners Behaviours
Why can't I just pay the adoption fee and take the bird I want home?
- Many of our parrots have been cherished and loved companions who through illness, accident or other life event find themselves in need of support. They have been anxiously and often tearfully entrusted to us on the proviso that we find them, not just any home, but the best possible home and relationship. We also promise every relinquishing owner that we will set the new relationship up for success and we will provide the new relationship with amble support to help ensure a high quality of relationship for all parties. It is because we make and take those promises to a parrot’s former owner so seriously that prospective adopters are never allowed to walk into our centre and walk back out with a parrot.
- Just because you choose the parrot doesn’t mean the parrot chooses you! There is no doubt in our minds, or the minds of those who have owned parrots, that they have clear preferences for who they like, who they are comfortable with and who they want to associate with or allow to be in their flock. Indeed, after eighteen years, in which we have worked with thousands of parrots, we have witnessed first-hand a very marked difference in the willingness, warmth and patience of a parrot who has chosen to relate and build a relationship with a human versus that of a parrot who has not chosen but rather has been forced into the relationship. When training, relating or living with an intelligent wild animal such as a parrot a relationship that is started and built upon mutual respect, choice and trust has a much higher chance of success, longevity and mutual satisfaction than does a relationship which is ill-prepared and forced.
- Parrots are highly social flock animals who form and rely on networks of relationships with humans and non-human animals alike. The ‘cash and carry’ model of parrot acquisition does not take the innate needs and desires of a parrot into consideration, favoring instead to subjugate them to meeting the immediate desire and convenience of the human. Parrot Partners Canada is an avian rehabilitation and training facility and as such it is our policy and our practice that human desire and convenience is subordinated first to the benefit and needs of our parrots and then to ensuring the adopter/parrot team is set-up for long-term safety and success. Tearing a parrot from its chosen and bonded network of conspecifics and parachuting it into a foreign environment with unknown (and often nervous) predators is, at best, an unnecessary and stressful practice. At worst, and especially with specific parrot temperaments, it’s a cruel practice and as such is an anathema to our purpose and being. Can a parrot survive the stress of being parachuted into an unknown environment with unknown predators? Yes, but for what reason, other than convenience and greed, should a parrot have to survive it?
OK, I get it. No cash and carry. What can I expect at this stage of the adoption process?
First order of business is to relax and spend some unpressured quality time with the parrots getting to know them, their species specifics and their unique personalities. This gives the parrots time to be in your presence and to ‘size you up’.
How will I know if a parrot has chosen me?
- try to catch your eye or gain your attention,
- show a desire to move closer to you,
- initiate or willingly participate in one-on-one interactions such as asking for head ‘scritiches’ or singing, dancing etc.
- interact and train with you willingly
What if a parrot doesn’t choose me?
This doesn’t happen often, especially if you’re being calm and respectful and following the direction of our trainers or behaviourists. Ultimately, however, we can’t make them love you if they don’t, but we can offer you some tips as to why no one is picking up on your offer. In this rare case, it’s better to find out and resolve what’s unsettling the parrots now before you bring one home.
Oh, Happy Day, I’ve been ‘chosen’!
Once you, and/or a member of your family, is ‘chosen’ we (your parrot and the trainer) begin the process of training and coaching you why, when and how to use the five ‘good companion’ behaviours. Remember, these behaviours have been chosen and pre-trained with the safety and happiness of your family in mind, as much as they have been chosen and pre-trained for the safety and happiness of your parrot.
The five parrot partner behaviours are:
- Take medication from a syringe
- Step up onto a weigh scale, hand held perch, and/or toweled hand or arm
- Enter a cage or carrier on cue
- Move to a location and wait (station) on cue
- Willingly wear a harness or ‘flight-suit’
Above and beyond ‘hands-on’ training and coaching on these essential health and safety behaviours, you can also expect to walk away with some useful ‘tips, tricks and tools’ on:
- It’s a family affair: Keeping the behaviours you want and NOT the ones you don’t!
- Mating and the single bird. How to stay ‘just friends’
- Body Language
- Bio-security & Hygiene
- Emergency Evacuation
Home Set-Up & Parrot Integration
OK, you and your parrot are a team, partners if you will, and you’re feeling confident that you both are ready to start your mutually enjoyable and safe life together. Now starts one to three conversations on Integration Planning. Expect us to discuss the best circumstances in which to transfer your parrot. Considerations such as enough daylight for your parrot to see the new environment, enough quiet time with you sitting by the cage, cage placement and set-up in the home, etc.
You will also be given 1-hour, 1-day, 1-week, 1-month guidelines for a mutually smooth and stress-free integration, along with a support package which includes resource information such as avian veterinarians in your area, reputable sites and publications. Also expect a starter kit of favourite toys, foods, and recipes
Often you can purchase almost everything you need to set your parrot up from us: cage, toys, enrichment activities, stands, and carriers, or if you would rather purchase new, we can refer you to some fabulous stores and resources and you can purchase your own.
Ongoing Just-In-Time Support & Training
Once you have reached this stage both you and Parrot Partner Canada have invested time and effort into ensuring the best possible outcome and relationship with your new parrot. You have become a trusted and important member of your new parrot’s flock and as such we are committed to supporting your relationship in any way we can. For this reason, we provide adoptive families who invest their time and effort upfront the following on-going support:
- Real-time video conferences to answer any questions you might have
- Invitation only Facebook community specific tailored to adoptive homes
- Discounts on toy making workshops and supplies
- Discounts on training
- Discounts on boarding fees (pick-up and drop off services available)
- Discounts on husbandry (nails, beaks etc)
- Play groups! (testing conditions apply)
Application Process FAQ
Answers to some frequently asked questions.