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This is a run down of what took place in 2010 and 2011.
In the latter part of 2010 there were some events that began to define our group. After going into the new year of 2010 we were holding our own and enjoying our time together each month. We continued to learn about our feathered friends and think of new ways that we could be an asset to the community.
During the summer months we participated in the Pet Expo, sponsored by the Lycoming County SPCA, for a 2nd year. We also had Timmy and Lexi [Cockatiels] come into our foster program and with their adoption came new and valuable members. We were also instrumental is matching parrots in need of new homes with people who fit the bill.
Autumn came and we met members from the local Audubon Society when they were kind enough to send members of their group to speak to ours in the month of October. Joan and her husband did a fabulous job and we had a wonderful and enthusiastic turn out for this wild bird workshop.Those of us who have a passion for exotic birds also look out for our wild birds.
Right about this time our group joined Facebook and we can be found @ Http://facebook.com/WingsoverWilliamsport Due to this, we met and became part of a network of people and rescues which would become an important link in things to come.
RESCUE: [things to come]
Shortly after this we became closely involved with a parrot rescue situation. Yes, another one. The local SPCA seized 13 birds and parrots from a woman in the Montoursville area just outside of Williamsport. Since charges were filed and she pled guilty, it is a public record who she is. Therefore, we may discuss it candidly even though we were not, at any time, obligated to withhold her name. Public docket can be viewed: http://ujsportal.pacourts.us/DocketSheets/MDJReport.aspx?district=MDJ-29-3-02&docketNumber=MJ-29302-NT-0000554-2010 Like most rescue situations there was a frenzied outbreak of activity.We became aware of the matter when the local news showed a video of the birds in a news segment. A fury of phone calls ensued throughout that evening between WOW members. We recognized these birds as belonging to this woman in the court docket record above. In fact, she had been a trusted member of Wings Over Williamsport at one time. A group of 11 of us were at the SPCA the next day and emotions were running high. One member went into the office and talked with the humane officers for over an hour and got all the details.
For the information of those who belong to our emailing list, but are not directly involved and might have questions, this is it in a nutshell. Prior to the SPCA/rescue situation some troubling things occurred over time and, sadly, we could no longer accept this person's membership. It was a decision that was not taken lightly. Some of these birds, that were entrusted to her care, originally belonged to a couple of our members, so this hit home and it hit very, very hard. In hindsight there were some red flags.. But now we understand why we can't allow this to happen again. So when the public meets with our rigid standards for adoptive homes, it's important that they understand why. Situations as described here can not be supported by looking the other way in fear of over-stepping if we are, as a rescue group, going to be taken seriously.
Please note that none of these birds were part of our rescue program.
There were several different stories from the party [s] involved and we will never know the full truth. Several of our members talked to this person and the man whom she lived with. There are details and circumstances that had come together over a long period of time, and at certain point [s] we did try to reach out to her. But her behavior had become quite alarming. We had to step back. Again, we will never really know the full truth and at this point it is not important that we do. We just have to move on.
What we do know are the details the SPCA shared with us, the photos, and the condition of the birds [ stressed, filthy, malnourished, and some were sick]. The extreme condition of their cages did not happen over night. In the future we hope that when someone becomes overwhelmed, they would face it and contact us so that we can assist them before it gets to this point. It's just as important that we are compassionate with those who solicit our help because we have all had tough situations at some time.
The Good amidst the bad and the ugly:
The positive aspects that came from this situation are many. Yes, the birds all got new homes. But on behalf of those birds, we were able to put out the call all over the U.S. for supplies through emails and facebook for these birds while they were being cared for by the SPCA. The SPCA was swamped with care packages! We know that there are thousands and thousands of caring organizations and individuals who will make sacrifices for the sake of creatures who can not defend themselves in the hands of irresponsible or overwhelmed pet owners. And, the SPCA has learned more about us.
The greater network of parrot rescues and individuals now recognize us as a legitimate rescue and we've made many wonderful friends. One being Feathered Sanctuary located in S. E. PA. They have a facility and a shop with many dedicated volunteers. www.featheredsanctuary.org On Facebook www.facebook.com/featheredsanctuary
Feathered Santcuary has many wonderful birds in need of adoption.
THE NEW YEAR:
As we go into the new year we have begun planning for a pet bird adoption fair for older birds and parrots in need of new, forever homes. There will be rescues and vendors present and it will be a non-profit event. Currently in the planning stages we are looking for a location to host this event and then the final plans will come together. It is our goal to have this scheduled for this Spring.
What a great opportunity to let the community know more about us, other rescues, and possibly bring a new feathered friend into their life!
Anyone who would like to volunteer for this event, please contact us at WOWPBS@gmail.com. Note the new email address. We are still using WingsOverWilliamsport@yahoo.com as our official email address, but have added the new email for the founder's use, and facebook, and it gets checked more often.
Since we have a tax ID# we have the ability to buy pet products wholesale. If anyone would think it worthwhile to get a co-op going. We will be contacting wholesalers and will let you know what is available. It likely will not be cheaper for us, but the quality would be better.
Wishing you all the best in the new year!