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Brittany44

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2 reviews

Review for Florida Exotic Bird Sanctuary Inc, Hudson, FL, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

My umbrella cockatoo "Malley" now calls FEBS his home. It was the hardest thing I've ever done to give him up, but the only way I was able to do it is because I knew that FEBS would be able to give him a life more in line with his nature than what I could ever give him. They are always making improvements with the birds' best interest in mind. The volunteers are great and know all the birds by name and what they do and don't like.
The fact that a place like FEBS has to exist is unfortunate, but they are doing an outstanding job of giving these birds a place they can "just be birds" for the rest of their lives.

Role:  Donor
 

Review for Florida Exotic Bird Sanctuary Inc, Hudson, FL, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I have a male umbrella cockatoo, Malley, that came into my family when I was 7 years old. He was just a baby. I'm now 29 and he is about 22. At some point, Malley became "my" bird. His well-being was the first thing I thought of no matter what was happening in my life. I gave up a lot for him, but I'd have done it happily the rest of my life or his if I'd thought staying with me was the best thing for him.
I stressed all the time about whether or not I was doing the right thing by keeping him with me. My husband and I both work, and I hated him being alone all day while we were gone. To make things more difficult, he wasn't exactly a fan of my husband, so it was hard to divide what little time I had after work. No matter how much time I could give, I never felt like it was enough. It would break my heart to catch him sitting quietly, staring out the windows as if he were longing to be there. He loved being outside and I took him out as often as our weather allowed.
I started considering the possibility of a sanctuary about 3 years ago. I contacted Pat via email to ask about it and got some information. I saved that email just in case, but guilt sank in and I felt so horrible considering it that I let it be. A couple years later, more life changes, in addition to more questioning myself if keeping him was right, spurred me to email back again. At this point I had discovered that FEBS had purchased a new property to expand, and that they could take my boy.
It took a lot of soul-searching and trying to look past the emotion. Once I made that final call and realized this was really happening, it hit me pretty hard. But, I knew that in the long run that this is what would be best for Malley.
We made the drive from Virginia to Florida just this past weekend. The hardest part was thinking about all the things I will miss. He was such a huge part of my everyday life, and so much of my routine was dedicated to him. Not having him here is crushing, but I'm at peace knowing he will be so much happier around other birds, getting to fly, and hopefully making friends.
I was so amazed how well he settled. I didn't know what to expect since he had never really been around other parrots before, and I wasn't sure how he would react. After we set up his cage like it was at home, he went in and seemed so much more quiet and relaxed than I assumed he would be. Obviously, it was pretty noisy with all the other birds around, but he didn't seem fazed. It actually made me smile to hear him whistling and talking to the other birds. :)
We spent some time there, me boo-hooing the whole time at the thought of not getting to see him every day. He "cried" with me and I told him a million times I love him and I hope he understands why I'm doing this. We spent the night at a hotel and stopped to see him one last time before heading home. He seemed so relaxed, had clearly eaten food, drank water, and played with his toys. I brought him a banana from the hotel (his favorite) and he ate quite a bit of that like normal. I gave him a few more small toys to play with, and he sat and happily chewed them apart. I gave him some cuddling and scratches before i said goodbye. I was still sad to leave him, but it made me feel so much better seeing him so ok with everything.
This is the hardest thing I've ever done, but I know I needed to do it. He is my life, and I hated feeling like I wasn't able to give him everything he deserved. They are busy building the new aviaries at the new location in Hudson, but I hope to see him soon in his new aviary. It will be hard adjusting to not having him here with me everyday. The house seems too quiet now, but I know I did the right thing by bringing him to FEBS. I plan to visit as often as I can, and hopefully volunteer during my trips there.

Role:  Client Served