Our Community Outreach Program covers 4 different areas:
Helping Hands- Helping the parrot to be able to stay in the home instead of being surrendered. This could be due to a variety of needs. We will be able to (with proper vetting) help a person who has lost their job, gone thru a divorce, etc. to have food and necessary medical for a short period of time while they get back on their feet. The person will be asked to provide proof of financial need. Another reason Helping Hands might need to step in and help would be for a bird that has become aggressive. We would like to be able to go into the home (in person, with volunteer help or via phone/skype) and help to counsel this person to work with the bird and be able to keep him. Many people don't have anyone to turn to when a bird starts to display serious behavioral problems. We want to be able to step in and help instead of having yet another bird be surrendered.
Safe Haven- parrots that belong to victims of domestic violence situations. This program has not been started yet, but our dream is to offer a place for birds that belong to victims of domestic violence a place for their bird to be safe. This program will offer a 90 day free Haven, each case being reviewed after the 90 days to decide if the stay can be extended. All birds will be housed off of the Haven property in NO BIRD HOMES for the safety of the birds and humans involved.
Some Statistics you should know:
60% of domestic violence victims have had a pet killed by their abuser-
Over 40% of abused women delay going to a shelter because many don't welcome pets.
85% of homes where domestic violence occurs also have a pet being abused
70% of animal abusers also have criminal records for other crimes-Battered women have been known to live in their car for over 4 months until a space opens at a pet friendly safe house.
Now let’s look at some facts.
Reasons why batterers abuse or kill pets:
Used to display power and control over the family
Helps to isolate the victims, women and children
To make victims be submissive
Helps to instill terror in the victims
A way to retaliate for “disobedience”
A way to force victims to participate in the abuse or to keep the abuse secret
Pet may be viewed as competition for the victims attention
To force a victim to return home after leaving
Buys the silence of a child who is being abused or watching a parent be abused
What can we do to help?
If you are a victim of domestic violence:
Develop an emergency plan for yourself and your pets
Make arrangements with trusted friends to take your pet in an emergency
Establish ownership of your pet
Have your pets needed care items together in one spot for quick exit
If you must leave your pet behind, contact law enforcement and animal control for help removing the pets from the abusers care
Nursing Home Visits - We want to be able to take some of our more gentle birds into the nursing homes and visit with the residents. Many of these elderly (and sometimes young handicapped people) don't have anyone come to visit them at all. We want to be the person who shows we care.
PTSD- Veteran Help. There are many veterans out there that have serious baggage from their time in war. It has been proven over and over again that animals help to calm people down and birds are no different. Our program was established after the Director contacted and visited Serenity Park- a parrot organization that is on the property of VA Hospital in Los Angeles, California. They are making a huge impact on the veteran community and we believe (while we will never have as much impact as they have due to the involvement of actual counselors and psychologist) that we can help to bring mutual healing between the birds in our care and the veterans that come here to volunteer. Check out www.parrotcare.org to see how they are changing lives of these veterans on a daily basis.
Special Needs Program - Wings of Love Bird Haven has just recently partnered with Soaring Eagles- a day program that provides social, educational, vocational, and residential needs of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities We will be partnering with them on North Texas Giving day as well as a couple of times a month. They will come here to our facility and help us with our toy-making for the parrots. These adults just love knowing that they are helping to make a difference and we LOVE having them and seeing their passion. We look forward to working with other groups along the way, including we hope some special needs students in some of the k-12 schools. Students can get involved in making toys, making snacks for our birds, etc. If you know of a special needs group in the Red Oak, TX are that would like to partner with us please let us know.