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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animal Training, Animals, Bird Sanctuaries

Mission: Under My Wing 's mission is to provide a safe permanent residence to tormented and unwanted exotic birds and maintain their lifelong care. In addition Under My Wing, provides services to the avian community, in general via education, hands-on training, and community service outreach with programs specifically designed to equip prospective bird parents who wish to adopt with as much knowledge and insight as we have about our adoptable birds. Vision One of our main goal for 2017 is to meet the needs of our supporters by adopting a policy to meet their need and maintain their support. Complete new building construction and continue to extend care for the unwanted bird population presently and in the future. Create an outdoor park setting an environment for individuals to enjoy the challenge of bird study, listing, or watching. Expand our staff and volunteer program. Obtain accreditation by the American Sanctuary Association. Continue to educate the general public and potential bird owners about important issues of avian welfare at a higher level. Develop a support program for individuals grieving over the loss of their companion bird.

Results: We continually make a significant difference in the lives of the exotic birds entrusted to our care as well as fulfill to full to capacity the mission set forth in our bylaws, strengthen the weak areas of our operation and expand operation not to exceed beyond our means as well as implementing a strategic plan intended to meet all programmatic, organizational, operational, and community efforts. Between 2007 and 2016 Under My Wing took in over hundreds of unwanted, neglected, abused and foreclosed property birds. Began networking and aiding NJSPCA on cases of animal abuse investigation and helped to resolve issues. We established programs such as; Pennies For Parrots and other existing programs in order to reach the population beyond the local community. The founder and husband purchased 10.5 acres in Wantage NJ to establish the future home of the sanctuary and have endowed the property to the organization. We have received the public support via donations and service from our community and other organizations over the years and recently to help us with opening land space and making the ground ready for new building construction. Please visit our fundraising page and see construction pictures and videos. http://www.undermywingavianrefuge.org

Geographic areas served: New Jersey and beyond

Programs: http://www.undermywing.org/programs.html

Community Stories

22 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been to the sanctuary and have just started to volunteer because of the love and care that is shown to these beautiful creatures. Paula knows each by name, their history and was so impressed by the love that ALl of the birds give her back. The best of food is given and the toys that are provided are tremendous! There IS plenty of room for these birds and it is cleaner than pet shops that only have a few birds! They area is always spotless!Her heart is in this 200%.
For those who want to knock her down is unfair and unjust!



Rating: 5

I love this sanctuary. The birds are so well-loved and taken care of. It makes me happy to volunteer there when I can. Paula is a pleasure to be around, birds know when they are truly loved and you can just see how they light up when you socialize with them. Paula knows all her birds by name and it makes me happy to see them happy! :)

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great sanctuary for birds. Very caring professional staff that really cares for their avian friends.


Rating: 5

I've researched a few other avian non-profits and UMWAR is by far the best out of all of them. The owner, Paula Ashfield answered all my questions and inquiries, in person, by phone and by e-mail and educated me on how she runs her Refuge. I had spoke to other avian rescues who avoided my questions, and they actually got annoyed when I asked about long term plans. Ms. Ashfield is completely honest and straightforward to any inquires and invited me on a number of occasions to visit, which I did. Not only that, she treats EACH and EVERY rescue as if it were her own personal pet. They are all in good, loving and caring hands. The birds are all very well cared for and the surroundings are kept clean and they are well fed and very well tended to. It takes a special and dedicated person to do this kind of work and she is truly an advocate for the avian world. I fully trust and admire the work she has done. This is an excellent non-profit.


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I recently went to visit this organization as I have with a few others and I truly was impressed. They do a wonderful job in keeping the birds well cared for. The people were contagious and friendly. I have chosen to contribute funds to help with the many expenses this sanctuary is faced with. I only wish I could donate more, they truly deserve it.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have just meet Paula. In my opinion she does a fantastic job with these birds. A lot of them have very sever medical issues. Instead of letting them die she does everything possible for them. I would love to be there and help but I live in another state. She also has very strict guide line for adoption. Which I do agree with! We all need to help this lady for the birds. I could not imagine that there were so many neglected and abused birds in this area. This just breaks my heart. She has given up most of her home for them. Her time and money. If this is not love for birds I do not know what is ? This is for Paula . Their is always someone who is going to bad mouth you. Just keep up what you guys are doing and do not pay attention to these people.


Rating: 5

I met the people of Under My Wing in my search for a place for my 28 year old client who has special needs to volunteer. After speaking to the executive director and visiting with my client I was very impressed. The facilities are kept clean, the birds are not only cared for but nurtured and vet checked. The director does an amazing job giving each bird the time and attention it needs. The director was very generous with us and taught my client and I to feed the birds, interact with them, and make toys for them. The refuge and those who run it are nothing short of dedicated, loyal, sacrificial of their time, and just honest and real!!!

The on site director has incredible instincts and is a bulldog and protector in regard to the ethical treatment and respect that these beautiful creatures deserve. She has very clear and strong opinions that she doesn't hide which I believe to be the direct cause of some of the reviews from folks that are in disagreement and seek to discredit her. I believe there is no safer place for a bird. The ASPC was recently there because of an unwarranted complaint and saw there was no just cause and left.

Remember that anyone (even me) can write a review for or against any organization on this site and the only real and full proof way of finding out about them is to visit. There are many wonderful birds up for adoption and others that will never be able to be placed for various reasons. Please contact the refuge and discover for yourself what the goal, philosophy, and future vision is for the Under My Wing Avian Refuge, which was established in 2007 in honor of a bird named Aldo.

Review from Guidestar


General Member of the Public

Rating: 3

My interactions with Under my Wing have been online and mostly on facebook. I have found, over the years, that it pays to be nice to people, even if you may not agree with them. I don't think it's appropriate to insult, criticize or simply make up lies about other rescue or people who relinquish their pets just to further your cause. You only hurt yourself. I believe that Under my Wing is causing others to shy away from them by talking badly about other rescues and they are losing support. In the end, only the birds will suffer. Public perception of the owners and operators can make or break a rescues efforts to succeed. This is not to say that the quality of care the birds receive is below standard, because I don't know. I believe they are cared for properly.. but in order to maintain that level of care, you must have supporters and you must actively seek out these supporters, not cause them to turn away because of drama.


Rating: 5

To anyone reading this review.

I challenge you to visit the sanctuary and you are not able then visit Under My Wing on Facebook www.facebook.com/umwar

I have volunteered for many different shelters and rescues over the years, so I have a decent basis of comparison and Under my Wing does everything they can (with the limited resources that a non-profit has) to provide the best quality of life for their birds. Paula and other volunteers who I personally work with do an awesome job in keeping the place spotless with the amount of birds here.

Just imagine this “one parrot will poop every fifteen minutes, that adds up, it also destroys toys and spatters food everywhere, now imagine 100 of them doing this.”

Can’s find one picture of the daily and weekly posts on facebook or anywhere else that will show Under My Wing can’t take care of their birds. The place is always clean and disinfected, much more than I can say about other rescues or stores for that matter.

At Under My Wing sweeping and mopping gets done two or more times a day. Paula insists that the cage is moved so we can sweep under the baseboard heaters.

Cages are wiped from dust and food particles, walls are wiped as well at least once a day. Food and water is changed two to three times a day.

Most volunteers and visitors get to handle the birds. If these birds were neglected as some may like to think how is it that they can be friendly with new people?

Most rescues unlike Under My Wing will also care more about what people see in a bird cage rather than what they don't see such as posting pictures birds with lots of toys, but they don't show how many hours the birds are left alone as if toys will compensate for their interaction with the birds. At Under My Wing Paula along with us who volunteer handle the birds daily, Paula especially plays, preens and gives them full bathing, she has more interaction with the birds here than some people do in their home just having one bird.

Let me also just note that most rescues will feed their birds whatever is donated or cheap food and lots of black sunflower seeds. Not at Under My Wing. We feed Harrison Bird Food, Volkman seeds, fresh fruits, veggies and treats like Nutriberries and whole nuts.

The bird rooms, space is quite sufficient but all rescues can use more space.

Under My Wing is not compatible to any other parrot rescue in NJ or its surrounding States except maybe with Forster Parrot in RI

1 Dennis G.


Rating: 5

Last year my Rocco passed she was an African grey, when I first got him from a private person she had a growth on her nose, if it wasn't for Paula from under my wing she would have died, she did die of cancer but I had a wonderful 2 years with her last year when she passed that day I went to Paula she comforted me I had tears in my eyes, I was so heart broken. Paula told me when I was ready that she had an African grey that I could adopt well I now have adopted Molly and Gabe And they are wonderful Molly is the talker she is so funny you never know what she comes out with, Gabe is the sweet hart he loves people. Paula gave me the chance to adopt these wonderful birds. I recommend under my wing and Paula, the support she gives these and all her birds are a gift and god will reward her. Thank you Paula