Since I worked there for quite a number of years, I feel that I qualify to write this review. I have seen first hand the practices there. The staff that worked there were dedicated, educated, and caring. Many birds were rescued and saved. We did educational programs, fairs, rescues, contests, open houses, etc. At the same time, money was used for everything including trips, dinners, pocket money. Bills were owed for months. Proper food for the birds was used occasionally. Employees started quitting over their outrage over practices done by the owner and some management. Finally, all employees left, and the hospital shut down. Now they have supposedly shut down the hospital because they have no properly educated and trained staff. I do understand that they still take birds in. They have no regards to the rules put in place for wildlife. The buildings are run down, it is dirty, not as many birds. I would suggest the agencies watch out for them and what they are doing legally and morally. This review is written from experience and I have stopped in there numerous times. Don't you find it compelling when the whole staff quits and they only get in volunteers to do the work that professionals did. Just saying.
I am writing about the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary and their methods of handling donations, paying their bills, defaulting on loans, and their hiding and hoarding.
As an ex-employee I feel I can advise the public from donating to the Sanctuary. I have seenn first hand some of the practices that occur there.
If only the public would listen to the Movement for Change website we have instituted. It is made up of ex employees, rescuers, management, hospital workers, and avian specialists.
If this sanctuary had been run properly there would be no shortage of money for the birds, workers, cages, bird food, and care. The people still there caring for these birds have to deal with this everyday and there is no excuse for being behind except for poor management of the office and the founder. There has been plenty of money coming in but where it goes nobody knows. To give the Sanctuary any more than one star is because the public just has not been aware of what has been going on. While the public is enjoying seeing the birds please keep this in mind. The Sanctuary has not paid it's federal taxes, has not paid its employees, is defaulting on loans, and is not able to care and provide all the things needed to take care of these birds because the money donated has not been spent on what it was intended for.
Review from CharityNavigator
We have decided to avoid any rescue associated with the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary or Gulfcoast Bird Rescue for the time being.
We will also delay support for any organization that is comprised of former Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary employees until they can prove themselves.
We trust things will get better. Eventually.
It is a shame that rlv3rd claims that he knew where the money went and he really doesn't have any idea where it went. All he did was talk to employees and start rumor mills. SSS is a wonderful place to visit to see all the different types of birds, I do know they are working to reopen the hospital with a fresh new look, employees and volunteers.
It is a shame that people like rlv3rd (who I suspect is Robin Vergera worked at the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary until October 2012 when he left to form his own non-profit Bird Rescue) feel that this type of negative attack improves his station at the expense of an organization like the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary who has been working to rescue, repair, rehabilitate and release the wild birds of Florida since 1971. There may be problems but last time I checked this organization was still caring for permanently injured birds and doing there best to mitigate a bad economy and remain solvent.
There is plenty of work to be done to help wild birds. Perhaps rlv3rd should move forward with his organization and not try to damage the largest and most prolific wild bird hospital in the nation.
All you need to to see is this news story below....founder literally caught with hand in the donation jars? It is well known locally, this type of behavior went on daily for decades....fleecing the public.
A new totally transparent and accountable organization has been established to fill the void...
News story with video of founder of SSS, Ralph Heath literally raiding donation boxes and taking them to his beach front house which was paid for by public donations.....
Review from CharityNavigator
My family has been going to Florida every year for last 10 years and we always stop at the Seabird Sanctuary. It currently has no admission cost but we donate anyway because we see the good work they do. There are all kinds of birds there, some get helped and released to the world, others now have a safe place to live. My daughter calls it the "bird Hospital". These people are really amazing and I hope if you can not visit there, at least donate.