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The quality of life we provide to animals we breed and take in as pets shows us the quality of our own humanity.

Essential reading for those that care about parrots

Our review» of The Tacoma News Tribune's November 9, 2008 article on Mira Tweti, bringing us back to the situation in Pierce County, WA.

Alex is the proof: Parrots deserve protection

with Tacoma News Tribune reader's comments. Our followup and commentary» to the August 21, 2007 Pierce County Council meeting in the light of the lessons we should all learn from Alex's life and untimely passing.

FEAR AND LOATHING IN PIERCE COUNTY—A Savage Journey to the Heart of a Dream of Compassion

Sides are drawn in Pierce County, and not to the benefit of the parrots».

Hopes…and Lives, Lost

A new witness account» of conditions observed at the Scudders' breeding facility.

TAKING THE MORAL LOW ROAD ON THE PIERCE COUNTY COUNCIL: Special Interests, Indifference to Suffering, and "Olympian" Inaction

The real factors at work behind decisions contrary to the public interest».

When Speling Doesn't Really Matter: In Praise of Larry Gallawa, Triumphant at Last

Larry Gallawa passed away, quietly, on October 2, 2006... more»

Introduction

Our Reason for Being

Why this website?

Where parrots are concerned, we believe that the happiest parrot is one living free in its natural habitat.

But we are not here to denounce responsible owners or to attack breeders whose practices ensure attentive, humane care. Eliminating parrot ownership is simply unrealistic, and debating the morality of breeding does little for parrots in need. However, we are concerned about those instances of parrot abuse perpetrated by the uncommon breeder. The ultimate goal of this website is to help, in some limited way, to prevent some of this abuse from happening. Some of the traits which most endear parrots to us are their intelligence and sentience; these same traits dictate that we treat them with intelligence and compassion, because if we don't, there is no doubt that they will suffer greatly. We believe that is too great a sacrifice for them to bear for the gain of others.

While parrots belong in the wild, we recognize that it is unreasonable to expect that those conditions can ever be fully reproduced in captivity. We also know, however, that, being undomesticated animals, a breeder parrot has the same "hard-wired" genetically-dictated biologic requirements as a pet parrot. Nonetheless, again we recognize that a breeder bird cannot logistically be treated to all of the environmental provisions provided to companion birds. Unfortunately, that distinction has been used as an excuse by some breeders to fail to provide many or most requirements of these breeder birds—ones which can be readily provided to breeder birds and which are, in fact, highly recommended by their own avicultural community. Washington State laws (and those of many states) provide for these requirements; when they are not met, an animal abuse or cruelty situation ensues.

Each of these points will be discussed on the ensuing pages.

Picture taken March, 2006

Protection from the elements at Parrot Depot

For a number of years, concern about the alleged mistreatment of breeder birds in Pierce County, Washington has largely focused on a "bird farm" run initially by Martha and John Scudder, and now by Martha Scudder and Robert Vincent, and called Scudder's Parrot Depot. It is, we are told, the largest parrot farm in the Pacific Northwest. However, we underscore that this website is not about Scudder Parrot Depot per se. Other bird farms in the County have allegedly abused breeder birds and the true extent of the problem is unknown. Our extensive discussion of the Parrot Depot, however, serves several general functions:

  • One is to point out the breadth and depth of the abuses at least at one farm, both to discuss and illustrate the issues.
  • But in addition, to point out that if abuses of this magnitude in the largest farm went uncorrected for so long, what can we hope for, in less blatant but still significant cases of abuse of breeder birds at smaller farms?
  • To point out the almost total lack of knowledge and training of both Humane Officers and lawmakers in the subtleties of avian care required to make sound decisions about the care of these undomesticated creatures. Parrots simply cannot be treated like dogs or cats.
  • To point out the almost non-existent provisions in the current laws to enforce corrective measures when animal abuse or cruelty is suspected.

In short, our major goal for this website is to promote the humane care of parrots, not to attack anyone. However, let us be clear: where people have, in our opinion, acted in ways which are not in the interests of the protection of humane treatment for parrots, we see no reason not to state so with vigor.

"Look! Look! See how fearfully and wonderfully this creature is made.
See how beautifully the feathers…are laid together.
See the gloss of live intelligence in this eye, and in this one…

By this intricacy, this supreme delicacy and elegance,
understand that neither you nor a multitude of you
could make such a creature.

If you could make even a replica, you could not make it live.
If it did not exist, you could not imagine it.
Since it does exist, please do not neglect it"

Wendell Berry, 1991, with permission

 
Recovering Parrots

These two cockatoos represent our only 'constituency', our only reason for being. Neglect and abuse led them to pluck out their own feathers and to deliberately injure themselves. But at least they were rescued from their despair and taken in to a loving home.

In this website, we report on parrots who died from starvation, from smoke inhalation, from communicable diseases—carcasses in large numbers tossed into the trash or stuck into a freezer. It is too late for them. It is not too late for the others.

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This web site is not associated with "Parrot Protection Agency" rescue and adoption.