Rescue VS Purchase VS Adoption
For some time now there has been a debate going on about the true meaning behind these three common terms that we hear so often. "I rescued Fido from a pet store" is the general statement that leaves people shrugging their shoulders and asking, "come again"? You hear the terms rescue, adoption, and purchase used almost interchangeably these days. What do they really mean?
Rescue is defined as "to free or deliver from confinement, violence, danger, or evil." The term "rescue" means to save a bird or other animal from dire conditions that were hazardous to the animal and/or life threatening. Case in point: Molly, from Parrot Hope Sanctuary. "Molly is a seven year-old green winged macaw. She was left behind in deplorable conditions, a mobile home that had been repossessed that the owners decided to trash on the way out, as they left their parrot behind. Molly went countless days with absolutely no food and water. Neighbors, who could hear Molly screaming, were unsure what to do to help. Finally, they made contact with Parrot Hope Sanctuary, who worked with local authorities to help rescue Molly. Molly was suffering from starvation and kidney failure due to malnutrition."
Adoption is defined as "To take into one's family through legal means and raise as one's own child." (substitute bird for child). When speaking of adopting a parrot, this normally refers to going through a rescue organization, choosing a bird and following the necessary procedures which would include filling out legal documents transferring the ownership of the bird from the organization to you. Adoption can also refer to the rehoming of a parrot via a private party. Adoptions normally include an adoption fee, which is a small fee that covers any medical treatment the bird has received while in temporary care, or reimbursement for food items and/or enrichment. The adoption fee should never exceed the original cost of the bird as a weaned baby. If one pays the full price for an older parrot, this is to be considered as the re-selling of the animal which is generally frowned upon.
Purchase is referred to when someone pays retail price for an animal from a pet store, or private individual (such as a breeder). When someone comments that they have "rescued" an animal from a pet store -- it normally means what the animal lover community calls a pity buy. A pity buy is when a human sees an animal in conditions they deem as unfit in a retail setting, and to remove the animal from those conditions, they purchase it. There can be legitimate cases of rescue from a store, but normally such actions are classified as adoption or purchase.
So the next time you hear someone say they "adopted Fluffy” ask what that really means. If you are dealing with a behavioral problem, this can be crucial. Adoptions, purchases, and rescues all come from vastly different backgrounds, and pinning down the source of the birds previous living arrangements can help unlock any behavioral (or otherwise) difficulty the owner is encountering. And, as always, educate. Encourage people to use the proper terminology when referring to their animals past history.