Bird adoption, sanctuary, rescue, and care education services for parrots and other captive exotic 'pet' birds. Based in Minneapolis - St. Paul (Twin Cities) area of Minnesota and serving Midwest.



P.O. Box 821  Stillwater, MN  55082  

Phone: (651) 275-0568  Fax: (651) 275-0457  


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Home > News & Events > Press Releases > New Coalition Is Strictly "For the Birds"

New Coalition Is Strictly "For the Birds"

Eileen McCarthy and Kathy Pietig of Midwest Avian Adoption & Rescue Services (MAARS) in St. Louis Park to Attend Avian Welfare Round Table in Washington, DC, to Address Protection and Welfare of Exotic Birds


June 3, 2002

Arlington, VA – This June, Eileen McCarthy and Kathy Pietig of Midwest Avian Adoption & Rescue Services (MAARS), an exotic bird adoption, sanctuary, and education organization in St. Louis Park, will join forces with representatives from other animal welfare organizations in a Round Table meeting in Arlington, VA. Their goal is to address the need to provide more protection for captive birds and to stem the growing tide of unwanted birds from meeting the same fate as the millions of unwanted dogs and cats that are killed needlessly each year in U.S. shelters because there is a lack of good homes for them.

Although there has been much focus on the overpopulation of dogs and cats, until recently there has been little attention to the growing numbers of abused and abandoned exotic birds, reptiles and other non-native species that are now entering rescue and shelter facilities around the country.

In 1990, 11.6 million pet birds lived in the United Sates, according to the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council. A study in The Journal of the American Veterinarian Medical Association in 1998 reported the population to be 35–40 million. Today, it is estimated that up to 60 million captive birds reside in the U.S. alone, and many of the larger parrot species have life expectancies of 50 years or more.

Parrots become homeless for many of the same reasons as dogs and cats; deaths, illnesses and other life-changing situations cause many to be re-homed. But the commercialization of birds and other exotic animals by the pet trade is contributing to growing numbers of these animals being given up when people discover that, compared to cats and dogs, they have far more complex personalities and care requirements.

Parrots are not domesticated animals. As with other exotic species, people are fascinated by the idea of having a parrot as a pet, but few are prepared for the special responsibility of caring for a wild creature that will most likely outlive them. What people often expect of a companion animal is completely out of sync with how parrots behave naturally and how they perceive the world around them.

The sad reality is that the lack of public education and protective animal welfare legislation in effect to specifically define the neglect and abuse of birds has had a sobering effect — far too many birds in captivity languish in substandard, neglectful and/or abusive conditions.

For more information about Midwest Avian Adoption & Rescue Services (MAARS), contact:

Eileen McCarthy, Executive Director/CEO

Midwest Avian Adoption & Rescue Services (MAARS)

P.O. Box 821

Stillwater, MN 55082

Phone: (651) 275-0568

Fax: (651) 275-0457



For more information about the Avian Welfare Coalition (AWC), contact:

Denise Kelly and Krista Menzel, Coordinators

Avian Welfare Coalition (AWC)

P.O. Box 40212

Saint Paul, MN 55104




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