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13 Reviews
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November 20, 2014

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November 20, 2014

Obviously the people giving one-star reviews are Lisa McManus or her friends. (In fact I recognize some of the online IDs as such.) Yes, they have a lot of birds -- probably too many -- but they also have a ton of volunteers to help clean, feed, and play with them. They are fed twice a day -- they get a bean mix in the morning, and some seeds/nuts and "chop" in the afternoon. Most of the birds are in spacious enclosures and, weather permitting, they spend time outdoors. They are showered regularly.

The Department of Agriculture and animal control needed the Foundation to take in more than 100 birds when McManus was busted for neglect and hoarding. The only place to keep the birds (as they had to be in quarantine) was in Murad's three-car garage. They were moved as soon as quarantine was over.

So this poor review is obviously by someone who was on the wrong side of the law. Again, while I am unhappy that they've taken in so many birds (and don't adopt out as quickly as they could), given the fact that so many birds need homes and that there are so few facilities to take them, the Foundation may be doing the best job they can.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Learn to say no.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Unlikely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

None

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Somewhat badly

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Unlikely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

March 17, 2014
2 people found this review helpful

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March 17, 2014
2 people found this review helpful

This organization only wants your money. They will not get back to you. They will take your membership money, or your application money and you will never hear another word. Absolutely awful. It seems this kind of activity should be illegal, but from other reviews I've read on the web, this is common place at this organization. I called, I emailed for months. Yes, MONTHS. And never a word.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

None

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

No

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Badly

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

November 12, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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November 12, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

I am a long-time volunteer for this organization and I continue to volunteer because I believe in what they do and I feel they always have the best interests of the birds in their care at heart. I know they they are contacted daily from people wanting to relinquish their birds - a difficult position to be in, as I'm guessing every reputable animal shelter knows. I've seen them spend an amazing amount of time with potential adopters, to help them find the right bird, educate them on the proper care, and be there to work through any problems a past adopter may be having with their bird. Working with an animal shelter is not for the faint-hearted... There are heartbreaks along with the many happy stories. It is also incredibly rewarding though.

The Gabriel Foundation has done nothing but improve since I've been there and I honestly cannot recommend them highly enough. Whether you choose to volunteer here or assist the birds in another way, this organization is a great choice.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Organize more fund raisers. Possibly find ways to make the aviary more visitor-friendly (especially for children)with areas where people can visit safely with birds for a donation fee, etc.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

July 8, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
July 8, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

I have been a monthly donor to The Gabriel Foundation for over 2 years now. I follow their activities on Facebook and visit both of their locations occasionally. The facilities are clean and the birds appear well-cared for. It does seem a bit crowded, but shelters generally are. I think that they do the best they are able to do with the resources and staff they have. I will continue to donate to them as long as I am financially able to do so.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Improve their marketing and adoption promotions. More resources will help them do more for the birds, I believe.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

June 5, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

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June 5, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

I cannot say enough about The Gabriel Foundation. The care these birds receive is unbelievable! Every time I am at the Aviary or Birdbrain the cages are clean, the diet is what I feed my birds at home (which incidentally is better than what I feed myself) and there are plenty of toys in their cages. Knowing birds as I do you can definitely tell if they are happy or sad or upset by the look in their eyes. The birds are happy. Consider the circumstances these birds have gone through.....locked in closets by previous owners, abused because they are simply being loud or destructive (as birds sometimes can be) and you will know that they know they are in a better situation. The one thing I ask everyone who may give them a poor review is what are YOU doing to help the situation. I foster several birds from the organization and have nothing but good things to say. Nobody is perfect in running a "business" but at the end of the day there wouldn't be a need for the foundation if pet "caretakers" were more responsible for their animals and not buy them because they look "cute" (among other reasons).

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

June 2, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

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June 2, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

I can only speak to what I observed at a recent visit to the TGF Aviary and Birdbrain. We were greeted by exceedingly friendly staff, the facilities were clean, and it was clear everyone cared tremendously for the parrot inhabitants. There absolutely were a lot of birds at both locations but at no time did it appear that these creatures were being given anything but the best care (clean cages, fresh water, outside time, human interaction, lots of toys, etc). This is certainly a huge undertaking and it saddens me that animals like parrots are treated as though they are disposable requiring organizations like TGF to appear to be bursting at the seams with animals. Unfortunately one can't sit in a room with a flock of parrots and pick the cutest one like puppies or kittens and walk out the door. The process is time consuming (as it should be) which lends itself to a lot of parrots waiting for a home.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Continue to improve communication between potential adopters with frequent follow ups and encouragement (which IS happening now).

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

April 29, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

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April 29, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

I am a long-time volunteer with The Gabriel Foundation and I spend significant time there every week. I suspect some of the previous negative reviews posted were given by some disgruntled employees that are thankfully gone from the organization. Since these employees have left, the number of volunteers has grown significantly (and yes, I believe it's no coincidence). In addition, the energy there has become much more positive and friendly.

The employees that have joined TGF in the last year are passionate, energetic and motivated. They love the birds and they are focused on TGF's mission. Significant improvements have been made in many areas, directly due to the efforts of the current staff and volunteers. I'm proud to be a part of this organization.

About the birds in their care... I have volunteered for many different shelters and rescues over the years, so I have a decent basis of comparison. TGF's level of care is one of the best I've seen. Do they have a large number of birds? Without a question, yes. Could they use more space? Yes, but what shelter couldn't? However, their buildings and cages are cleaned daily, the birds are fed an amazing diet of sprouts, fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts, pellets, etc., toys and perches are continually rotated and checked for safety, and they have a vet on staff (as well as two local avian vets that provide tremendous support). There are large outdoor aviaries filled with foraging, climbing and playing options. I truly believe that TGF does everything they can (with the limited resources that a non-profit has) to provide the best quality of life for their birds.

My last comment is that if you have doubts about The Gabriel Foundation, then go see it for yourself. Take a tour, talk to the volunteers and employees there, and visit with the birds. Many of the birds came from hoarding/cruelty situations, so while they may look sad at first glance because they are plucked or have health issues... they came to TGF that way and have likely made huge improvements since their arrival. It's about perspective and education.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

November 5, 2012
8 people found this review helpful

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November 5, 2012
8 people found this review helpful

Do NOT donate to this organization. The Foundation is loosing money rapidly, packing birds into smaller and smaller cages and areas and continuing to take dozens of birds in monthly. The founder, Julie Murad, is keeping birds in her garage and packing them into the warehouse behind the retail store. If you are considering sending your beloved bird to The Gabriel Foundation, demand to see the back of The Birdbrain on Acoma Street in Denver. This is most likely where your bird will end up. Also, take a walk around the aviary and take a close look at the poor diet the birds are now receiving. At one time TGF was one of the best, but it has rapidly declined and the founder is taking in every bird that she can get her hands on. Support a parrot rescue that knows their limits. Don't support a nonprofit organization that is behind on all their bills, can't afford to feed their animals a quality diet and yet continues to bring in more and more animals.

More feedback...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

July 10, 2012
5 people found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
July 10, 2012
5 people found this review helpful

This 501c3 organization does not have a functioning board (a group of the founder's friends only) and Julie Murad is the sole person making all decisions: animal welfare, financial, etc. Because there is no system of checks and balances this is not a charity I would recommend giving money to. Ms. Murad often makes bad decisions, such as buying fancy books and perches and then not having money for bird seed & pellets. Every payday the employees worry about whether they will get their checks and whether they will be correct. EVERY payday there is a problem--either checks are held or there are errors. Payroll taxes are not paid on time and the Foundation consistently pays penalties and late fees-not a good use of donor's money. There are no independent audits conducted and due to this organization's track record of making poor financial decisions, I would strongly advise against sending your hard-earned dollars here. There are other parrot welfare organizations far superior to this one and it is doubtful whether TGF will continue to exist any length of time if Julie Murad continues to lead it.

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Somewhat badly

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

July 3, 2012
4 people found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
July 3, 2012
4 people found this review helpful

While the staff and volunteers are amazing, the CEO, Julie Murad, makes very poor business decisions and is, unfortunately, running the organization into the ground. She is the only person making decisions for this public charity and they are bad, unethical decisions. She has difficulty making payroll, ordering bird food on a regular basis, and has failed on numerous occasions to report theft. She will spend $800 on Christmas decorations while the staff is using sunflower, safflower and pumpkin seeds to feed the birds because she can't afford to order the better grade seed and grains. She hires illegals and then treats them poorly. She is putting a stop to testing for avian viruses (very bad when you are dealing with over 700 birds). I would donate to avain rescues such as Foster Parrots, Phoenix Landing, The Oasis, or Project Perry.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Remove Julie Murad from any position of authority or decision making.

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Somewhat badly

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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