A Look Inside the Sanctuary

Every day at Sy’s Piece of Heaven is a busy one. As a non-profit parrot sanctuary that takes in abandoned and neglected birds every day, that is to be expected. We certainly appreciate all the help we can get!

Sys-CocoA Look at Daily Life at Sy’s

Every day, our team starts by checking on all the birds. We refill water dishes and add food to each of the cages. Often we give out little treats to our feathered residents as well. We also clean out all of the cages and perches, and replace the cage bottom liners so the birds aren’t living in waste that could get them sick. The whole sanctuary has to be cleaned, too, to maintain a healthy environment for birds whose health is fragile.

Throughout the day, we have to replace bandages and give medicine to our medically fragile parrots. We then take time to socialize with the birds, giving them the love and attention they need. Because these parrots were abused or neglected, they are often depressed and frightened of people. It takes time and love to help them get back to living healthy, happy lives.

There’s Always Something New

Many items have to be replaced constantly. We have eight HEPA filters running to clear the air of bird dander, and they fill up quickly. We often need new filters every day. At least weekly, the toys in the parrot sanctuary have to be replaced. Without them, a bored parrot may turn to self-mutilation and depression. Fresh toys, however, engage a bird’s mind—but they also get destroyed quickly as a result!

The pounds upon pounds of parrot food we use are delivered weekly. All of it has to be unpacked and properly stored until it gets used. All of our trash has to be delivered to the dump to be compacted at least weekly. Often we end up doing more than five pounds of washing a day to clean the miscellaneous rags and towels we use.

Nearly once a month a bird develops a medical emergency, which requires a sudden vet visit. At the same time, we constantly have anywhere from five to a dozen parrots in quarantine with the vet. We also get daily phone calls from people wanting or needing to give up their birds. Handling these calls and coordinating the parrots’ care is a major challenge.

Real Life, Real Needs: Sanctuary Challenges

With more than 200 birds under our care, maintaining a non-profit parrot sanctuary is time-consuming, challenging, and expensive. Since we are a sanctuary, we take in abused birds that can’t be adopted to provide them with a safe, healthy living environment. Our space and resources aren’t limitless, however. It takes well over $65,000 a year to even stay open and functioning, and we could always use more donations. We constantly need more newspaper to line cages, paper towels for daily maintenance, and old towels and sheets to care for our parrots. This is why partnering with volunteers and sponsors is so important—we really can’t do this on our own.

Volunteering, Sponsoring, and Adopting: Loving Parrots Well

This is where you can help! Sy’s Piece of Heaven needs donations, whether that’s giving your time, sponsoring a rescued parrot, or providing us with the newspapers and towels we need. You can volunteer at any time. More hands to help with the daily tasks is always appreciated. Sponsoring a bird for as little as ten dollars a month goes a long way in providing one with the food and medical care it needs. We’ll also take whatever paper and clean cloths you no longer use. Every little donation makes a big difference for our birds.

Sy’s never wants to turn away a parrot in need, and our volunteers and sponsors make all of that possible. If you’d like to know how you can get involved, call (908) 475-8750 to reach us. And while our birds are not adoptable, we regularly connect families with birds that are. If you’re interested in adopting a parrot, just e-mail richlinea@comcast.net with “Sy’s” in the subject line.