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Midwest Avian Adoption & Rescue Services, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals, Bird Sanctuaries, Environment, Environmental Education

Mission: MAARS’ core mission is to care for birds that because of mistreatment or reaction to captivity are not suited to an in home or typical shelter environment MAARS' second function is to educate the public and people who already live with birds about proper bird care. We feel that education about bird care and behavior helps people to provide the best homes possible for the birds already in captivity. MAARS is a no-kill, non-profit organization funded solely through adoption fees and donations. We are based in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) area and serve Minnesota and the surrounding Midwest area. We also work extensively on a national level in cooperation with other organizations that share our mission.

Results: MAARS purchased a new sanctuary facility for it's flock of 85 permanent residents in 2009. Since that time we have made many improvements to our new building to suit the needs of our flock & provide them with the best life possible, some of these upgrades include: a new roof installed in 2012, new lighting fixtures throughout the facility that mimic the full-spectrum light they would have if they were outdoors, & multiple room redesigns to suit each of our groups dynamics & personalities. MAARS has placed over 2000 birds into stable, loving homes since it's inception in 1999.

Programs: MAARS provides permanent sanctuary, behavioral consultations for parrots and their guardians, public and private education, & and a limited foster & adoption program.

Community Stories

18 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Heidi H.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is Winston. He spent several years never knowing the freedom outside the bars of his cage. Everyone was too scared of him to take him out. When he arrived at MAARs a few months ago, boy did everyone think we had our work cut out for us. Today he climbed down from his perch and up on my lap and took a snack nice. He is a shadow of his former upset, sad, frustrated self. Seeing the changes in him is why I LOVE MAARs and spend my time volunteering there. Parrots are complex creatures and they bite HARD, working with them isn’t always easy. This group of compassionate, persevering, patient, kind volunteers is literally unmatched anywhere. This is rehabilitation at its finest. This is MAARS.❤️

2 Angela N.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been working with parrot rescues and sanctuaries for over 10 years, and MAARS is leagues above any other place I've visited. The level of love and care that is given to these birds is phenomenal. Many of the birds here have histories of severe abuse and/or neglect that have resulted in a myriad of behavior and psychological problems, but the staff and volunteers here create a safe space for the birds, allowing them to succeed and flourish in life. I cannot even begin to put into words what an incredible place this is.

3 Jay H.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Back in 2004, we adopted a bird from MAARS. They made sure we were the right home for our bird and we well understood everything a large parrot needs and the major commitment we were making. Since becoming a sanctuary, I've been exposed to the work they are doing to keep their birds healthy and able to experience cage-free exercise time each and every day. I also have seen how they are able to take birds from other sanctuaries and give them the opportunity to thrive in a safe environment where they are able to interact with other birds and many human friends.

2 Beth Keeley H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This bird sanctuary takes great care of their birds! The facility is well maintained and is super clean. The birds are fed fresh food daily and quality pellets. The volunteers are super good at working with parrots that other rescues can't handle. Really a great place!

2 Barbara M.7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at MAARS for 14 years. Over that time I have watched the leadership struggle to pay the bills and keep food on the table for the many abandoned parrots that are housed there. The leadership comes in at any time of the day or night if a bird is in need of care. I am not part of the leadership just a caring person that volunteers one evening a week. These birds were found on the side of the road or at our door in neglect. These are large birds cockatoos, and macaws. The leadership and volunteers work hard to rehabilitate them and we do keep them in sanctuary. This is a real nonprofit!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife volunteers there. They take great of the birds and have a wealth of knowledge and resources available to them. We even adopted one of their birds!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MAARS is the real deal! They have been working hard for more than two decades to both provide quality care for parrots who have lost their homes AND educate the public to help decrease the number of birds suffering because of the pet trade. Since most captive parrots cannot be released into the wild, MAARS staff and volunteers are 100% dedicated to providing exactly what each bird needs to live the best possible life in captivity. Many of the birds in their care have unique physical or psychological needs, and MAARS provides customized housing, food, toys, activities, socialization, medication, equipment, and whatever else is necessary for each bird's health, safety, and comfort. Having known MAARS since it began, it has been great to witness all of the advancements they've made over the years. They are constantly striving to meet and exceed their mission goals for the birds in their care, and to set new goals to make MAARS even better. They are also dedicated to education in order to make the world a better place for all parrots and other birds.

1 Laurie S.7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered and been a part of this nonprofit for a long time. They are simply amazing. Everything they do, they do for the birds. I owe all my parrot knowledge to them. Just amazing folks doing amazing things for some amazing parrots.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for MAARS for over 10 years and in that time I have watched remarkable transformations in the behavior, adjustment and general comfort and security of the nearly 100 birds who now call this sanctuary home. Many parrots arrive with severe behavior issues, aggression and fear, often from prior neglect, abuse and abandonment. This amazing and knowledgeable staff is so sensitive to the needs of each of these birds, tailoring behavior modification programs, diet and nutrition and social interaction to improve avian health, wellbeing and interaction with humans and other birds. The care and attention they receive is specific to the needs of each bird, consistent, and always designed for the good of the bird. The changes in these distressed birds over years of ministrations, consideration and support have been astounding, both in the way they conduct themselves with others and in their general security and peace of mind. The staff performs this care from volunteer and community donations and works miracles on a tiny budget. Volunteers bring supplies, homemade toys and food to augment. MAARS is an extremely well-managed organization, with thanks to the experience of their dedicated senior staff and a few miracles thrown in for good measure. One of the intents of the organization is to also educate people about owning birds--that they do not make good pets and that keeping free animals in captivity exacerbates the problems that sanctuaries see when owners decide to abandon their birds because they did not behave as imagined. This education is a very important part of saving wildlife as the world moves forward.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MAARS is a unique, all-volunteer, organization providing long-term care for abandoned, abused, and neglected parrots. Our shelter, the MAARS Landing, is a safe place for the birds and volunteers. MAARS volunteers are specially trained to provide all the day-to-day care of the flock and shelter. The work is not glamorous and requires a weekly 4-hour commitment, but working with the flock and giving them the opportunity to socialize and play is well worth it. MAARS is known for managing some of the most challenging behavioral issues and trauma and seeing a bird make a friend or accept affection from a volunteer for the first time is a pretty extraordinary thing to be part of. I've been volunteering with MAARS for 20 years and have made some of my best friendships there.

2 MatthewU

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MAARS is such an incredible organization focused on improving the lives of parrots (and the people who love them!), both within and outside of the sanctuary. Birds are allowed to be birds here - loud screaming and playing encouraged! I'm always in awe of how dedicated the volunteers here are to the health (physical and emotional) of the avian residents.

2 Jennifer B.28

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They are not in this for anything but the birds and keeping them safe and healthy

2 Matt D.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They do excellent work within the community. They invited a school to come over and do some volunteer work. The students got to experience some of the duties that take place at MAARS. The students got to build some toys for the birds, prepare some bird diets, and got a tour of the building and some of its residents.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was introduced to MAARS when I was looking to surrender the Green Cheek Conure I bought from a pet store. Instead of surrendering him, I became volunteering at MAARS for several years. I learned about how different the world looks through the eyes of a parrot (prey) in comparison to that of a dog or a cat (predator). With the new knowledge I acquired and the confidence I gained while volunteering there my flock has grown and I have become an advocate for parrot welfare.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love this organization! Its so hard to find a caring and loving parrot sanctuary but MAARS is like a second home to me. I have been educated about birds but also in the runnings of a non-profit. Everyday is full of fun and I wouldn't trade the experiences I've had here for anything.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The people are outstanding. Every minute they are in the sanctuary (and many hours they aren't) is dedicated to improving the lives of some very interesting parrots. The volunteers care about each other as well. The level of knowledge among this group of people is vast, because they have dealt with so many parrots, not only different species, but also difficult behavior and medical cases. The birds at MAARS are obviously loved. Their welfare and quality of life are the top concerns of the organization, and it shows. They also advocate adoption over breeding, educate the public and veterinary students about avian care through classes and outreach, and are becoming known for their "Painting Parrots."

6 Deb F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

If I were a bird, and found myself homeless, this would be a place I would hope to end up at. Every bird is cared for with their own specific needs in mind. Every volunteer is caring and committed to the welfare of the birds. Several flock members have a sad story in their past but have come to a place they can call home and put the past behind them.
For me personally, I have learned so much about bird care since starting there. I've never met a more dedicated staff and am honored to work with and learn from them. Best of all, the birds are happy!

7 Linda175

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MAARS is an aggregate of outstanding volunteers who provide care, feeding, medical and social needs for approx 85 predominately special needs parrots. No one is paid, so all donations go to this end. The compassion shown each bird, each with an individual personality and set of circumstances, goes above and beyond merely sustaining them. They get fresh food, plentiful toys and a variety of stimulating interactions and activities (Yes, our parrots can and do paint!) so they can thrive. It's a pleasure forging relationships with these beautiful creatures and working with such a committed group of people.
Linda Pearl