Monday, April 15, 2013

Blog the Change: Project Perry

While Penny is the inspiration for this blog, she does share her life with parrot siblings. These parrots have been with me for over a decade now, and are every bit as interesting, cuddly, loving, and quirky as our furry friends.

Scout, 6 years old, my cuddle bug.

During the last Blog the Change for Animals blog hop, NEPA Pets contributed a great read on parrots. If you're considering adding one to your life, I recommend taking a trip over and reading that entry.

This quarter, I'd like to highlight Project Perry. Founded in 2006, Project Perry is a peaceful sanctuary for parrots in the woods and hills of Central Virginia. Having gone to college in a nearby town, I can attest to the area's quiet and suitability for abandoned and abused parrots.

Project Perry is unique even among bird rescues. Here is a blurb from their Facebook page:

Our mission is to provide a safe place for these birds to go when no other options are available. New arrivals are carefully quarantined and evaluated with an effort to adopt them out to a loving forever home. Birds that are not suitable for adoption are given the opportunity to remain here at the sanctuary in a cage-free flighted environment with others of their kind. The Sanctuary also offers a Lifetime of Care program.

You see, they don't JUST take in abandoned parrots to rehabilitate and rehome. Project Perry is very much about letting birds be birds, which is something even the most well-intentioned parrot guardians can forget. Since it was founded, the organization has created a few aviaries on their 15-acres--aviaries custom built for a various groups of parrots and other birds, complete with appropriate enrichment toys and foraging opportunities. The birds remain flighted, and, when the weather is right, are able to enjoy some sunshine and fresh air. While some birds are adopted out to qualified volunteers, most are able to stay and enjoy the sanctuary as their forever homes. "Forever" is a key word in a parrot's life, as they many times outlive their human companions. This is especially important to those at Project Perry; they have even created a Lifetime of Care program that not only covers the parrots of the sanctuary, but can include your bird, too.

Bartok, 10 years, incredible to see in flight when he's not
busy being a roly-poly little peanut man.

Project Perry has recently completed an aviary for conures and quaker parrots, and is in the process of raising money to build another African Grey aviary. Be sure to watch the engaging video and read more about the campaign here. This week, a supporter of the organization will match all donations up to $1,000, so please consider taking this opportunity to donate! If you are unable to right now, you can also sponsor a bird later on.

If you are in the area, you can volunteer or arrange a visit. Matt Smith, the founder, is nothing short of a perfectionist--you will see it in the work, details, and care the sanctuary residents receive.

Project Perry
Indiegogo Campaign for a new African Grey Aviary:
Donate to the Indiegogo campaign this week and your donation, up to $1,000 will be matched!!