The person who wrote the bad review should be ashamed for writing false information. First the founder Lavenia was only present the day she was escorted off the sanctuary property. This person would just show up and complain to volunteers the whole time as they were trying to work. The 30 parakeets are obseved daily for injuries or to see if any look thin. Her parakeet had some poop build up and a director took him to the avian vet. The vet stated there was nothing major wrong and the parakeet just had too much fat in his diet so the vet adjusted the diet accordingly. She chose to take him home since he needed a specific diet requirement. She was never told funds were used elsewhere and the aviaries are up. The sanctuary never asked for funding or new aviaries. She would show up with a check and tell volunteers which birds she wanted to get an aviary for. Her opinion of making things unsafe for birds was when she showed up and insisted some box turtles in one of the aviaries she purchased be removed because " box turtles kill birds" and since she bought the aviary the sanctuary needed to abide. At that time she was escorted out and told she was no longer welcome. She had given all the volunteers such a hard time every time she came and wanted things done her way that it was in the best interest of the sanctuary that she not come back. Several large humane organizations have visited and inspected the sanctuary before partnering with the sanctuary on cruelty seizures. They were very pleased.
I took my bird babies to this sanctuary because we moved around a lot and thought it would be a better place for them. Lavenia seemed to genuinely care about birds. I paid for their lifelong care, made hefty donations for aviaries, and only called once a month and visited every other month to check on my birds (I live far from the sanctuary). on one of my visits I noticed my parakeet was sick (neither she nor her staff had noticed) and I had to stay 2 extra days just to make sure she took him to the vet. then rather than take care of him like, through his sponsorship, I had paid her to do,she made me take him home that day. then I started to notice that she was doing things around the sanctuary that were not safe for the birds, and when I asked her about it she permanently banned me from the sanctuary. Since I'm not able to keep my birds, it feels as if she is holding them hostage. Lavenia Fernandez is also shady in her financial practices; we donated a large sum of money specifically because she said the sanctuary was in dire need of aviaries, yet for 2 years those aviaries were not built and Lavenia said she spent the money on "other needs" for the sanctuary. please, for the safety of your birds DO NOT PUT YOUR BIRDS IN GULF COAST EXOTIC BIRD SANCTUARY.