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Project Perry

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animal-Related, Animals

Mission: Project Perry/The Central Virginia Parrot Sanctuary is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, adoption, and sanctuary of parrots living in captivity. Our primary mission is to provide exceptional natural environments for our residents where they can enjoy the enrichment of flight and the togetherness of flock with excellent care provided by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers. Parrots and other exotic birds represent the largest population of captive wildlife in the U.S., and the need to protect them continues to grow. Our impact extends beyond our residents through outreach and education -- helping to improve the lives of birds everywhere.

Results: We have 15,000 square feet dedicated to the high-quality lifetime sanctuary for over 150 birds!

Target demographics: captive birds

Direct beneficiaries per year: 160 birds

Geographic areas served: the United States

Programs: onsite tours/programming, outreach/educational events, fundraisers and resources for the public to highlight the factors that necessitate our Sanctuary work.

Community Stories

53 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

A business that treats the birds fantastic but not as much it's employees. From hidden cameras filming employees and those recordings all labeled with derogatory language, to public defamation of employees. The owner of this business may love birds but not so much his employees.

Client Served

Rating: 5

A few years so, we were in a dilemma of where our birds would live out the rest of their lives. After doing much research and not feeling comfortable with any sanctuaries I looked into, I came upon a large article in a magazine about Project Perry. After contacting Matt, I flew from Dallas to Virginia to visit Matt and the sanctuary. I was immediately awestruck in the sanctuary and Matt’s dedication to assuring the well-being of each bird residing there. Shortly after, we brought our African grey and Macaw there and are so at peace that they will always be well taken care of. Matt sends us pictures of them and updates. There is not another sanctuary like this dedicated to birds. Matt is one-of-a-kind.

1 MardensArk

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My first review was written as a very impressed member of the general public. Almost two years later, I am the CEO of our own small sanctuary, with lots of experience at managing care for a large number of birds. Now, more than ever, the work of Matt Smith and Project Perry impresses me because I now know what kind of effort it takes to maintain the standards they do for caring for all of their birds. What Matt and Kirah are doing here sets a sound, evidence-based standard of care that any rescue or sanctuary would be wise to follow. They have strict quarantine procedures to protect all the birds. Their accommodations for the birds are absolutely top notch. They are totally transparent and honest and very fiscally responsible. I would give them ten stars if I could. This is definitely a sanctuary I would recommend supporting if you want to make a difference in the lives of formerly abandoned, unwanted birds.

Previous Stories
1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I met Matt Smith via email while searching for ideas to build a large aviary for our birds. I sent an email with all kinds of questions after seeing his huge, beautiful Grey aviary in an online video. Matt graciously invited us up for a look around and to answer questions. The facility was amazing - very clean and well kept, and the birds seemed incredibly happy. Matt not only showed us around but gave us a ton of advice on aviary building. We are in the process of starting up our own refuge for captive birds, modeled much like Project Perry, near Raleigh NC, and thanks to Matt, we have a lot of great ideas, inspiration and helpful information. Matt has an amazing vision and he truly understands birds and wants to give them the kind of happiness they deserve. Many rescues are overwhelmed with birds and are forced to warehouse them in buildings full of cages with minimal interaction and out of cage time. Project Perry is not like that. These birds live as close to a free life as they can get and still be protected from predators (including human ones). Interactions are on their terms, and they are free to flock, fly and forage like they were created to do! If I were a bird, I would want to live there!

1 Jamie Aitchison

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Project Perry provides amazing care for their rescued flock. NAVS has had the honor of providing grants to help Project Perry transport neglected birds to permanent sanctuary in Central Virginia. Seeing the progress these amazing animals have made under the care of Matt and the Project Perry staff is truly inspiring. Matt really is a parrot whisperer!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Project Perry "where birds can be birds" is realized the moment you set foot on the property. You will hear the Conures doing what Conures do best. You will think there is a video arcade in the back as all the African Greys beep, buzz, and whistle. It is a beautiful property with the sights and sounds of these wonderful birds flying in their aviaries free from the cages that they used to call a home.
Every bird has a name and a story, some are heartbreaking tales, but they have all found the closest thing to the life they were meant to have. Pictures, videos, and up dates are always on-line so you can follow the progress and lives of the residents. Quality of live is the goal. A healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, along with seeds and nuts, and plenty of fresh air and sunshine this is achieved.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

My visit to Project Perry in 2012 was one of the most memorable and touching moments I've ever had. Being a parrot owner and general animal welfare advocate, I was looking for an organization to support, an organization that struck a chord with me and also an organization that I could trust. Project Perry is exactly that.

Upon meeting Matt, the founder, I was immediately struck by the passion he has for what he's doing and the sincerity behind the reasons why he's doing it. While generously taking time out of his very busy day to give my husband and I a tour, he could point out the names of all the different birds, tell the stories of how they got to Project Perry, and even describe a little about their different personalities. It's obvious he has a strong love for these beautiful creatures and just wants to do the right thing and give these birds as good a life as they can have in captivity. The aviaries that have been built to accomplish this are incredible, and the grounds have plenty of room for more to come.

Really, I could go on and on. I highly recommend taking a trip to see Project Perry in person. If you're anything like me, you will leave in awe and inspired by what one person with compassion and a plan can achieve.

1 Michelle221

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Project Perry serves a population that is too often neglected. Their commitment to african grey (and other) parrots is truly inspiring. Supporting this non-profit is well worth it.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

It is my honor to boast about one of the most dedicated organizations I have ever had the privilege to be introduced to in my years of volunteer work. I have had direct contact and a wonderful “rescue” experience with two of the volunteers devoted to Project Perry. Matt Smith and Kirah Swanson. This team has more energy and determination than anyone I have ever seen. They went above and beyond the call of duty to help our poor little Garnet and Topaz, two wild caught Greys who knew nothing but the inside of a small cage for twenty years (which unfortunately our rescue here in Wyoming was ill equipped to care for) and Project Perry allowed them to experience the “wild” they were taken from as babies. Right now Kirah is not holding an office with Perry’s but is serving as one of their busy “worker bees.” It is my belief that she, along with Matt are two of the many building blocks that create the foundation of Project Perry and encompass the talent it takes to care for these animals and make this sanctuary a place that will forever warm my heart.

Perry’s is the type of sanctuary that fulfills their commitments no matter what it takes. Even if they bite off a little more than they can chew, they press on with dedication to do what their team has promised to do. There is no place I know of who is more honest and trustworthy than the Perry’s Team.

I have worked with only a few that shares the level of enthusiasm that this sanctuary possesses. Their team is comprised of tireless workers who are not only dependable but affable as well. Their goal is success for the sanctuary and the birds. They are all making their community a better place with the sacrifice of their time and efforts through local volunteerism. Put simply, they are just people who care.


1 Shylah J.

Donor

Rating: 5

I donated money to help two Timneh Greys get from Wyoming to Project Perry in VA, they went out of their way to help these two birds that came from horrible situations and are now in a free flight aviary at Project Perry! These people are great and they need support for the wonderful things they do for these birds! I hope they win!

1 Ildiko M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Well organised, peoples working with all they heart to help the birds in project perry.
All birds happy there and wery well look after.

1 Alex30

Client Served

Rating: 5

These guys are amazing we rescued to African grays and I talked with Matt back and fourth for about 2-3 months he worked very hard to get a grant for them at his aviary always stayed in touch with me and he got the grant and helped get them there mind you we live in Wyoming this is an amazing place and they have hearts of gold thank you so very much for every thing the grays are so happy and free of a small cage now living the best life had to offer thanks Alex Stanley

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Project Perry and it's volunteers are a god send. My parrot rescue recently got in two African Greys that were severely neglected. These little greys were kept this way for 20 years. They were caught in the wild and stolen from their home. For some reason they ended up in Wyoming. After being passed from home to home, these greys were finally rescued by CWA (which is our parrot rescue in Wyoming). After months of trying to rehabilitate these angels, we decided to try and find a sanctuary for them. One of my head volunteers found Project Perry. The volunteers at Project Perry raised the money to get the greys from Wyoming to Project Perry. After they arrived they were treated like the angels they are every step of the way. After a throughout examination and vet check, the greys were released into the handicapped free flight sanctuary. The greys are now thriving, beginning to trust, and living out the rest of their days with amazing people and their own kind. The volunteers at Project Perry send us weekly updates with their progress and it's truly an amazing thing to witness. Project Perry is so deserving of any good thing that comes their way and I am forever in their debt. The kindness and compassion of this non profit organization is unmatched and rare.

1 Nancee L.

Donor

Rating: 5

As a former United Way staff member, nonprofit special events and business manager, I have been consistently impressed with the overall professionalism and dedication of the staff and volunteers of Project Perry. This is not something that is found in most rescue operations that I have encountered.

As a parrot owner and familiar with the needs of abandoned and neglected birds, the care shown to the "residents" has proven to be unparalleled. The facilities are top-notch for the budgeting that the organization has.

The highest regard I could possible give Project Perry is to say that I would hope that my flock would find themselves in this place after I die should my family not be able to care for them.

Project Perry IS one of the GREAT Nonprofits!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Project Perry will use your donation faithfully and well to serve its feathered residents. It's a beautiful, hidden sanctuary, lovingly tended by the staff. Well worth supporting.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband and I have been researching sanctuaries for our two birds for quite awhile and had very little confidence in them until I came across Project Perry. I flew out there in June to meet Matt and was stunned at the incredible sanctuary that Matt has created. I knew that this was truly the only place that would give our birds the best life for the rest of their years. Matt is truly the "bird whisperer" and a wonderful and honest person. Fortunately, we were able to donate a generous sum to help complete the second grey aviary. Two weeks ago, we brought our birds to the sanctuary and Matt has kept us updated with photos and comments. We know without a doubt that Archie and Elvis are truly happy and will live the rest of their lives well taken care of.

Donor

Rating: 5

Project Perry does amazing work for parrots, unlike any other rescue I've encountered. Their primary mission is to rehabilitate, with adoption or rehoming being the second goal. If a bird is deemed happier in one of their incredible aviaries, they have a forever home there with a flock of other birds with species appropriate toys, plants, and other stimuli. I am also very impressed with their program to keep former pet parrots in their aviaries after the parrot guardian has passed. This means a great deal to me as I know people who have stipulated in their will their parrot be put down because they do not trust anyone to give the level of care the parrot deserves after the person passes. I hope to see this rescue continue to grow and thrive.

Connie E.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I flew to Project Perry May 2013 to create a mosaic Parrot wall for the donors for an aviary fundraiser for handicapped African Greys. I knew I would love it there...but it surpassed all expectations and hands down is one of the most beautiful creations I have ever witnessed in my life. Matt Smith has created a paradise, not just a sanctuary. I LOVE this place beyond measure...

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There are no words the describe this Parrot Rescue. Regardless of what I could say, it would never be enough. It's a life changing experience, it opens your eyes, the founder is amazing. He is rare, he is good, he is simply wonderful. He's educated. He's grounded. He will not give up. He is selfless and puts his birds before anything and anyone else. You can hear it in his voice, you can see it in his eyes, and it reflects in his work. Visit, pay attention, and you will see.

Brenda N.

Donor

Rating: 5

Project Perry is a special place for rescued parrots that have been abused in "parrot mills", owners that no longer want them and people that do not have a choice but to give them up due to health reasons, financial, etc. I personally went to visit this wonderful facility to witness myself the love and care the staff and volunteers give to these remarkable creatures! Myself being a parrot owner, it takes a good amount of time to care and work with these birds and everyone is truly patient and caring. I cannot say enough great things about Matt and his staff!

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

When I heard about Project Perry several years ago I wanted to go see the facility where RESCUED PARROTS could have a safe haven to go. I was totally amazed to see what Matt Smith had put together and so much dedication he has given. What he has given to these magnificient birds to get a second chance in life there are no words to describe. I myself own 12 parrots (that were all rescue/giveaway) and Project Perry is top notch. We need to see more facilities like Project Perry and do away with the "parrot mills" and focus on adopting abused/neglected birds or the ones that find themselves needing a new home due to no fault of their own. I have donated money and supplies when I can and Project Perry needs more people that can donate their time or resources to help these beautiful birds. Hats off to Matt and his team that dedicate themselves to this wonderful cause.

tmerette

Donor

Rating: 5

I have donated to and been part of helping 2 African grey parrots get to project Perry. I am very active in the rescue world, primarily for birds and for dogs. I have to rate Project Perry in the top 3 of all rescue/sanctuaries.
The two Greys that I helped get there were kept by a hoarder for many years. fearful and neglected. They had so little and were merely surviving. They were never going to bond with humans ands had likely been trapped in the wild many years before.
project Perry has given them a beautiful life with trees, flight, and a flock. I have tears as I write this. Thank God they are living again :-)

Michelle177

Donor

Rating: 5

I found this sanctuary impeccable. Very impressed with the building of the flights. They provide care, compassion, and a lifelong of happiness with the free flight aviaries for the unwanted, abused, and neglected parrots. It is wonderful to see them interact with their own kind as mother nature intended!

Donor

Rating: 5

Project Perry provides a desperately needed service for those unfortunate parrots who have been neglected or abused. From a modest beginning in a studio apartment to the expansion of 6 indoor/outdoor aviaries in a country environment in less than 6 years attests to the dedication of Matt Smith, the Director, and his volunteer staff. As contributions and national recognition increase, Project Perry continues to expand providing a safe haven for more birds. This is a project worthy of continued support.

Susan257

Donor

Rating: 5

Beautiful property with growth possibilities. A home for birds that might have outlived their owners. Any one that has owned a bird knows how much they can change your life. My bird is everything to me, and if something should happen to me I would be able to know that my bird would live out a happy life at Project Perry.

Sunny S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The aviaries that are built at Project Perry are incredible! To give a place to wild caught and older breeder birds to live out the rest of their lives in a safe habitat similar to where they would live in the wild, is a much needed and completely selfless project! Great job!

Nancy124

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I first found Project Perry on line. The more I read about their philosophy and goals, the more I liked what they are doing. Although I am located in central NY, an opportunity brought me to northern Virginia and Matt graciously accepted my request to visit and actually see their operations. To say I was impressed is an understatement. From the moment I stepped out of my car, it was clear this was a well organized, well structured and supported operation which truly focuses on providing a kind and caring environment for all their charges. Their efforts have inspired me to begin plans to create a similar opportunity for the rescue and rehabilitation of companion birds here in Central NY. We may not ever be as successful as Project Perry, but we are working to achieve their standards of excellence and compassion.

Kathy133

Client Served

Rating: 5

Project Perry is a wonderful sanctuary for birds -- from parakeets to McCaws. My sister needed to find a home for a parkeet family of five. She was able to get them in to Project Perry. When we went to deliver the birds we found the sanctuary to be well cared for. The birds had large indoor/outdoor aviaries, everything was clean, plenty of food and water. The smaller birds got their own enclosure. There is plenty of mental stimulation for the birds. It's an amazing place and I'm glad it exists.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Project Perry provides a caring environment for exotic birds, and does it with a small staff and dedicated volunteers. The commitment to neglected, abused and surrendered birds is much greater than I expected to find when I began volunteering. It is all about the birds with Matt and his staff.

Connie28

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted from Project Perry and they are an inspiration to everyone that cares about our feathered friends, They are, in my opinion the very best exotic bird rescue not only in the state but on the East Coast and because of this I always recommend them for anyone in need of help with birds

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Project Perry is a unique and amazing sanctuary. I wish more parrots were treated so kindly. It is where I hope mine may go after I have perished from this life.

Previous Stories
1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I admire the devotion and dedication the team from Perry Project show each day for societies castaways. They have been able to recreate an amazing environment for these winged creatures to reside. Being in Aviculture for 35 years, I have watched the crisis we have now unfold. It gives me hope to know that people like Matt and Staff will give all to these birds and that they will be taken care of.
Lisa A Bono
IAABC Associate Member 729- Parrot Division
AAV - Allied Professional member
Owner- theplatinumparrot.com
Contributing writer for various bird related Magazines

2 Susan156

Donor

Rating: 5

Project Perry is the most innovative and well-managed parrot sanctuary in the US. I am a proud donor and supporter. I have known Matt Smith, the Executive Director, for many years and have observed his tenacious, intelligent and steadfast efforts on behalf of parrots continue to gain momentum. He has brought attention to the plight of parrots throughout the US and the world while maintaining a state-of-the-art sanctuary with free flight aviaries built to mimic natural conditions for parrots, The volunteers at Project Perry are equally dedicated and the success of the residents program as well as the adoption program are the result of a cooperative effort of many wonderful people. The attention and care given to each bird is evident in the many stories posted on the website, included in the newsletter and garnered in conversation with others. There are a handful of remarkable parrot sanctuaries in the US, but if I have to choose one, I will choose Project Perry for the reasons already stated.

Client Served

Rating: 5

For 20 years my Timneh parrot Mr. McGoo accompanied me on State Department assignments in Africa, Europe, and the U.S. He was a faithful companion whose cheery presence made every new dwelling feel immediately like home. When the time came that I could no longer keep McGoo, I scoured the Internet for a facility where he would receive excellent care for the rest of his life. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the Project Perry website, and to find that the sanctuary was located in Central Virginia, only two hours from my home, was truly miraculous. After a couple of visits and long talks with Matt Smith, the director, I decided to entrust my dear friend to Matt's care under the “Lifetime of Care” program, and I have never regretted it. "Gooey" has lived at the sanctuary for almost two years now. He is a happy and healthy member of the exuberant flock of gray parrots who occupy the main aviary, a 3,600-foot enclosure designed and built by Matt and chock full of plants and vines that mimic the birds’ natural habitat. There is even a fountain in the shape of a small waterfall, which was donated by a generous supporter and is where the parrots often enjoy a refreshing drink or a bath. During my frequent visits I have seen how my bird and others who have joined the flock after him have thrived, and I have witnessed the extraordinary dedication of Matt and his small team of volunteers as they work to rescue abused parrots, rehome them when possible, and to offer loving perpetual care for those who remain. I am here to tell you that Project Perry is an organization, and an endeavor, that is truly worthy of support.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Project Perry is a wonderful organization that truly puts our feathered friends first. The cleanliness, diets, and special care for all is provided and much much more. I've personally volunteered at a few sanctuaries and none come close to what this one has to offer. While volunteering an African Grey named JoJo adopted me and i am lucky to have her in our family. Thank you and keep up the good work!

Donor

Rating: 5

When I think of Project Perry I think “Gold Standard.” That describes the level of care the birds receive as well as the level of commitment and devotion of Matt Smith, executive director, the staff, and volunteers. Matt makes sure that not only the physical needs of the birds are met but the emotional needs as well. Further, the community outreach and education has filled a long existing void of ignorance about keeping exotic birds as companions. On behalf of all these birds, I thank heaven for Matt Smith, and Project Perry.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Project Perry is an amazing organization. Several years ago, we learned through the grapevine of a wonderful African Grey parrot who was in a tough situation and needed a new home. We took him in rather spontaneously; however, we quickly realized we were in over our heads and that we couldn't keep him--we hadn't really wanted to add a parrot to our household full of cats and things really weren't working out very well for him or for us. We searched the Internet and found several parrot adoption and rescue organizations in our area (Pennsylvania), but then we also read about Project Perry. They stood out above and beyond all of the rest, so we put them at the top of our list. After several emails and a visit down to Virginia to check the place out, we fell in love with Project Perry! Their facility is beautiful--very clean, cheerful, and open. The birds that stay in the house spend the majority of their time out of their cages, and there are also several large aviaries to allow free flight. They feed fresh fruits and vegetables, and the place is absolutely spotless. The staff is cheerful and clearly love to be there. It is truly a first-class sanctuary for these amazing creatures. We both knew immediately that this was the place for our African Grey, and they took him in without reservation. They immediately made us feel welcome and at home. They were nonjudgemental and understanding of our inability to keep this parrot, and they promised us that they would do everything in their power to find him an excellent home--and they did! This beautiful parrot was adopted and is happily living in a wonderful home with another parrot (also adopted from Project Perry). Director Matt Smith and his staff are extremely knowledgeable about not just what it takes to keep these exotic and social animals healthy but also what it takes to make their very long lives worth living for them. The organization also works to stop bird mills and illegal transport of parrots and to educate the public about all of the issues that parrots and other exotic birds face. I can honestly say that I have absolute trust and faith in this organization as a safe haven for animals. I recommend them without reservation. Thank you, Project Perry.

Cheryl23

Donor

Rating: 5

My African Greys saw pictures of Matt's grey aviary and started to pack. This is truly the most natural and spacious environment I have ever seen provided for this ever increasing species of often abused and neglected parrots. His undaunted wilingness to save so many is only surpassed by the need for it. Thanks Matt and staff for such an unselfish gift to the winged wild creatures that someone thought would be a good idea to cage.