The Origin of Wobbly Parrot Rescue
Currently, the rescue run by Julie and Tony Scrase-Walters, is looking after 140 birds. Many more have passed through their hands, with lost birds having been returned to their owners (with the help of the local paper "The Reading Post") and other birds going to new homes on a fostering programme.
It started just over three years ago when Julie and Tony acquired a Senegal Parrot who they believed had been illegally imported, after having been used as a decoy bird. It's wing feathers had been hacked off, as had it's tail. It had marks around it's legs as if it had been held to the ground by wire. The bird could hardly walk - she just wobbled all over, so was nick-named "Wobbly".
Wobbly was taken immediately to a vet who, after examination, did not give her much of a chance of survival. The vet's words were "Do you really want to waste your money?" - the question Julie and Tony then asked was "Is there a chance she might recover?", the reply being that there was always a chance. Both Julie and Tony immediately said "Let's go for it".
This decision proved to be the right one, for after three weeks of tender, loving care and expert veterinary treatment, "Wobbly" was well on the way to a full recovery. It took a whole year for her recover fully, but she is now a healthy and happy bird (except for a little trouble with her hormones, for which she has had a successful course of treatment!).
As the "Jungle Telegraph" got to work, this rescue soon became common knowledge and more birds were brought to Julie and Tony to be cared for. Twelve months later 25 birds were being looked after and the whole operation was being run as a voluntary hobby. In March 1994 the RSPCA was approached, Julie and Tony offering to house unwanted birds for them. The premises were inspected by the RSPCA who were very impressed, and added the rescue to their help agency list. By June 1994 the number of birds had increased to 36, so in July it was decided to apply for charity status, which was granted in January 1995.
As well as the fostering programme, future plans include an education program to take into schools and other interested bodies to promote proper care and welfare of pet birds. At the moment the rescue is fund raising to build a quarantine/isolation ward and clinic for the sick birds which come into the rescue.
As well as looking after unwanted, ill-treated, and lost psittacines, the rescue also has boarding facilities for birds while their human friends are on holiday or in hospital. Julie and Tony also endeavour to answer any questions anyone may have about their birds. The advisory service is free, and if a question cannot be answered immediately, an answer will be found and given later.
The "Wobbly" Parrot Rescue's aims are primarily to look after psittacines that have been ill-treated, abandoned, or lost. Whenever possible, all efforts are made to return lost birds to their owners. All birds which come into our care are given a home for life and are given love, care and attention. When in need, they are given veterinary treatment by our consultant veterinary surgeon (Castle Veterinary Clinic, 1 Tilehurst Road, Reading)
At the present time Julie and Tony have commenced a world-wide study into Avian Respiratory Diseases. If anyone has any details of any birds who have suffered from a respiratory complaint please contact the rescue for a questionnaire. Any details will be treated with total anonymity, no information about anyone's personal details will be published. The name of the research is the "Georgie Project", named after a Patagonian Conure who is thought to have died from avian asthma.
As with most charities, future plans are in the main by the availability of funding. Given the right amout of imputus, we would like to expand our education program. Our main object of the education plans, is to target school children, because if children are taught atan early age to be caring and protective of family pets, it hopefully creates a caring and protectiveattitude to their general lifestyle. The main cost of this program is the cost of printing, as with allliterature has to be specially written. It is a sad fact that no serious work has been done withchildren or adults. So, if we educate the children, they in turn will educate their parents.
We would like to expand our hospital facilities to our Northern Branch, so they too can have anisolation ward and clinic for the sick birds which come into the rescue. As with all successstories, and expansion plans comes the extra expense of increased day to day running costs.Thanks to the internet, we can now answer any enquires from anywhere in the world, and lookforward to helping a greater number of people and their birds.We hope we can put anyone in touch with an avain vet nearest to their home, wherever theylive. At this point in time, all internet inquires can only be taken at our main Branch in Reading, asour northern branch in Scunthorpe has not yet got a computer. This is another project that needsto be looked at in the future, as with all plans we have to prioritize, and learn to walk before we can run.
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