Policy: The Alaska Bird Club (TABC) will manage a statewide Adopt-a-Bird Program to provide its membership and communities at large with a mechanism to place abandoned, unwanted or pre-owned birds to individuals that can provide a life-long home.
Purpose: The purpose of this policy is to identify appropriate operating process and procedures for the Adopt-a-Bird Program's clearinghouse activities, emergency response activities, donation of funds to the committee and to identify the roles and responsibilities of committee
Procedure: The Alaska Bird Club’s Adopt-a-Bird Program will act as a statewide clearinghouse to accept applications from potential adopters and owners intending to re-home birds. This information will be maintained on a database that includes contact information, a historical record of re-homings and adoptions, as well as information regarding donations received. This database is called the Adoption Registry and is managed by the Adopt-A-Bird Director. All committee members should treat the Adoption Registry, Adoption Applications, and Intent to Re-Home Forms as confidential information. The only information that is passed between potential adopters and owners is the name, phone, e-mail address. Home addresses and other personal information should never be disclosed by any TABC member unless expressly authorized.
Committee members roles and responsibilities: A committee of volunteers will meet at least quarterly to review existing practices, effectiveness of the program and to make recommendations for necessary changes to the program's operating process. Whenever possible, most of the day-to-day business of the Adopt-a-Bird Program will be by conducted by e-mail. The committee members will review new applications, relinquishments, and the Adoption Registry for accurateness, potential conflicts of interest or concerns related to program’s activities. Committee members will occasionally be called upon to respond to emergency placement and foster placement requests. In situations such as this, the committee member will be responsible for obtaining any written authorizations for Transfer of Ownership immediately. Each committee member will periodically act as a primary contact working with re-homing owners. The primary contact should be the person with the most experience and knowledgeable about that particular type of bird. If a committee member has a direct personal relationship with a re-homing Owner of an adoptable bird or is on the Adoption Registry as a potential adopter for a specific species of bird, they may NOT serve as the primary for that particular bird. Committee members may adopt one bird every 2 years through the Adopt-a-Bird Program if chosen by the Re-homing Owner as long as they do not exceed the total allowed numbers of birds in their care. Exceptions to this policy and procedure may be made as described in the Adoption Application description that follows.
Public Information and Education: In accordance with TABC's yearly goals and objectives, the Adopt-a-Bird Program committee members will assist in several communities educational activities, write articles for local publications, and recruit potential adopters through classified ads, brochures, and the TABC newsletter. The need and frequency to place advertisements for recruitment of adopters will be based on the committee's review of the Adoption Registry, the numbers of birds needing placement and availability of funds. A variety of methods of recruitment will occur throughout the year. .
Funds: Funds for managing the activities of the Adopt-a-Bird Program (fees, donations and expenditures) will be recorded by the Treasurer. The primary contact for re-homing owners will be responsible for following up with adopters and relaying this information to the Treasurer. Fees and donations received for adoptions, cage sales, private donations, expenditures, etc., will be designated specifically for the Adopt-a-Bird Program. It is expected that the program operate within the funds specified to the Adopt-a-Bird Program line item.
Adoption Applications: TABC will provide statewide clearinghouse activities to connect potential adopters with re-homing owners. Any person interested in being added to the Adoption Registry MUST complete an Adoption Application. Any family/household/individual who has previously re-homed 3 or more birds through the Adopt-A-Bird program will not be eligible to adopt through the Adopt-A-Bird Program. The preferred method to submit an Adoption Application is by e-mail to the committee chair or other committee members, but if no e-mail is available, an adoption form can be completed over the phone or submitted in hard copy. If an Adoption Application is completed over the phone, the entire form, including the disclaimers MUST be read, noted by the committee member and approved by the applicant. Periodically, but at least annually, all Adoption Applicants will be contacted by specified committee members to ensure that information on file is still correct and that the applicant still wants to have contact information sent to relinquishing owners. Adoption applicants are expected to provide a life-long home to any bird that is adopted.
It is strongly recommended that the Re-homing Owner and the selected Adopter sign an agreement authorizing the transfer of the bird. Conditions for future visitation and contact between the Re-homing Owner and Adoptive placement should be agreed upon (in writing) prior to transfer of the bird. ABC will not mediate disputes, make placement recommendations or act in any other capacity than is identified in this policy and procedure.
If for any reason, the bird cannot remain with the adopter, it is mandatory that the bird be returned to the original owner or relinquished to the Adopt-a-Bird Program for adoption. As a general rule the Alaska Bird Club's Adopt-A-Bird Program will not adopt large parrots to households with children under the age of 8, due to the risk of injury. TABC does not accept Adoption Applications from anyone under the age of 18. Applications will NOT be accepted from households that have more than 6 total birds, regardless of size, including pet and breeder birds. Established aviaries or individuals with small birds housed as a flock, may ask for an exception to this rule provided they show written emergency evacuation and contingency care plans. The Adopt-a-Bird committee will review and approve applications requesting an exemption on a case-by-case basis. The Adopt-A-Bird program DOES NOT adopt birds to homes for the intended use of breeding. Potential Applicants on the Adoption Registry will be removed once they have reached a household total of 6 birds. It is imperative that companion birds receive appropriate levels of attention and care. At a minimum, each bird should receive at least one hour of direct one-on-one attention. Potential adopters that indicate that they are unable to provide this minimum level of care would be removed from the Adoption Registry, regardless of the numbers of birds they may have at that time. Periodically applications will be reviewed for compliance with the current Adopt-A-Bird policies and Procedures. Applicants will be notified in writing if their application is no longer compliant with current Adopt-A-Bird Policies and Procedures.
Individuals placing birds into Foster Care with the Adopt-a-Bird Program will sign and maintain a Foster Care Agreement immediately upon placement. This agreement will specify the conditions, risks and expectations of both the individual requesting foster care and of the foster provider. This agreement will also specify the time frames of foster placement. Should the bird owner fail to retrieve the bird from foster care, fail to notify the foster provider and/or fail to renew the Foster Care Agreement within 72 hours of the expiration date, the bird will be considered abandoned and may be placed for adoption. Prior to placing an abandoned bird for adoption, TABC will attempt to locate and notify the owner of the need to retrieve the bird and the intentions of the Program for placement of the bird should the bird not be retrieved.
Occasionally the Adopt-A-Bird Program will be contacted to help facilitate a private foster care situation. A list of potential foster providers will be given to the individual requesting foster care. Any foster agreements arising from this list are strictly between the private parties and do not involve The Alaska Bird Club in any way.
The TABC Adopt-a-Bird committee encourages Re-homing Owners to screen applicants for criteria such as having the time, physical, emotional and financial ability to adequately care for any bird they accept. The Adopt-a-Bird Program does NOT encourage placement of birds into breeding situations. This program is for the placement of companion birds, some of which may have previously been breeding birds. TABC recommends that whenever possible, birds that come into the program as pairs (buddies or mates) be placed together and not separated. Birds in TABC's custody that are adopted require a signed Adoption Contract. This contract stipulates the requirements for follow up with TABC, requirements for care of the bird and the overall expectations of the adopter in providing lifetime care to the bird.
Adoption donations are not required, but are highly appreciated. These donations offset program expenses such as emergency vet care,
supplies, advertising and storage, and allow the Adopt-A-Bird Program to offer this service Statewide.
|Suggested Adoption Donations:
||Extra Small (finches, budgies, canaries)
||Small (lovebirds, parrotlets, Bourkes, cockatiels)
||Medium (conures, pionus, Quakers, senegals, Meyers, ringnecks, caiques, Jardines)
||Large (amazons, ectlectus, grays, lories)
||Extra large (cockatoos, macaws)
||Extremely Rare (by committee decision)
It is HIGHLY recommended that any bird being adopted have an examination by an avian vet within 72 hours and that appropriate quarantine procedures be maintained until cleared by the avian vet. Also, it is recommended that both parties secure a Transfer of Ownership document (sample can be obtained by a committee member).
Re-homing Owners: TABC will provide clearinghouse activities to connect relinquishing owners with potential adopters. Any person interested in relinquishing their bird and receiving a list of potential adopters for consideration MUST complete an Intent to Re-Home Form. Completion of this form does not prohibit an owner from placing the bird outside the Adopt-a-Bird Program. TABC cannot refer birds that the Re-homing Owner believes to be ill or that may have a contagious disease. The Alaska Bird Club does not accept any endangered or illegally owned birds into the program. At times, if an unusual bird or bird of high-dollar value bird is relinquished, a phone call to the Anchorage Police Department and/or the Alaska State Troopers will be made to check on reported stolen birds. The local animal control authority, such as Animal Care and Control, is always checked when a bird has been reported as found. Additionally a found ad will be placed in local newspapers. While TABC primarily refers companion birds, on a case-by-case basis, the committee may decide to refer birds that have been breeders or birds that come in as a group. (Example: 12 cockatiels that have been housed together). Situations such as this will be decided on the basis of availability of potential adopters and likelihood of adoption. Once a rehoming form is received, the committee chair will enter that information into the database and Adoption Registry and will e-mail the Relinquishing Owner an initial list of potential adopters. Additionally birds available through the program will be listed on TABC's website and PetFinders. If the Re-homing Owner doesn't have e-mail access, this information will be given over the phone. The committee chair will then send e-mail notification to each committee member, with the attached revised Adoption Registry and Re-homing form and will request a volunteer to act as a primary contact. The primary contact will maintain frequent contact with the Re-homing Owner, answering questions andd making new referrals as appropriate.
It is strongly recommended that Re-homing Owners and the selected Adoptive parties sign an agreement authorizing transfer of any birds.
Conditions for future visitation and contact with between the Re-homing Owner and Adoptive placement should be agreed upon (in writing) prior to
transfer of the bird. The Alaska Bird Club will not mediate disputes, make placement recommendations or act in any other capacity other than as a
clearinghouse for adoptions and re-homings
Emergency Placements: The Adopt-a-Bird Program acts as a clearinghouse for bird adoptions. However, there may be circumstances where a re-homing owner experiences an emergency and needs their bird/s placed immediately. Examples of an emergency would include death, injury or extreme illness of the owner where there is no family member or friend who can safely care for the bird. Other examples would involve situations where the bird is in immediate danger of being released outdoors or being injured, killed, or euthanized. Situations involving animal cruelty or abuse will be reported to the appropriate authorities. TABC's Board of Directors, in consultation with the Adopt-a-Bird committee and through the Adopt-a-Bird process, may offer assistance to local authorities with emergency placements of birds that are confiscated and that require immediate safe housing until an adoptive home is identified. This will be decided on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the specific circumstances, best interests of the bird/s, available resources, potential liability, and in cooperation with local and state police, animal control authorities, and other avian rescue groups.
TABC’s Adopt-a-Bird program maintains a list of individuals who have volunteered to provide emergency shelter until an approved foster family can be identified. This is short term, emergency care. All Emergency placements will be moved into Foster Care homes pending permanent placement. Only those individuals who have completed an Emergency Foster Home Application and have passed a 'safe home’ inspection will be contacted. This is a necessary precaution for quarantine. All birds accepted into emergency placement through this program become the property of The Alaska Bird Club and will be microchipped unless contra-indicated by an Avian Vet. Appropriate options such as utilizing local animal control authorities, notification of police, etc. will be pursued if appropriate and the emergency provider MUST have written, legal authority to care for the bird. The emergency provider would be expected to maintain strict quarantine, provide the highest quality of care for the bird, and maintain close communication with the Adopt-a-Bird committee as the committee searches for extended foster care.
Final placement decisions regarding any bird placed into Foster care will be the result of a quorum vote of the Adopt-a-Bird Committee members after reviewing applications from the most current Adoption Registry. Priority for permanent placement will be given to the foster placement provider if appropriate and by quorum consensus of the Adopt-a-Bird Committee. This is viewed as best practice and in the best interests of the bird, by minimizing an additional transition. Emergency placement providers can become foster placements by requesting a change of status and a quorum consensus of the Adopt-A-Bird Committee.
Miscellaneous: The Alaska Bird Club assumes no responsibility for the disposition, pet quality, health or training of any birds referred through this program. In addition, TABC, its officers and members will not be held liable for any damage or illness brought about by a bird secured via this program. All referrals for adoptions through TABC, including emergency placements, will follow this policy and procedure. In situations where there are no adoption applications on file for the specific type of bird requiring adoption, the relinquishing owner may opt to have an e-mail notice sent to the general TABC membership and an announcement made at the monthly membership meeting. Additionally, the re-homing owner may choose to place a notice in the TABC newsletter.
Effective Date: (Initial- 2/9/04)
Revised Date: 11/7/2007