Rescue/Adoption/Sanctuary – A Terminology Breakdown

There have been a variety of posts lately about the meaning behind the terms rescue, sanctuary, adoption, and purchase. Indeed, the term adoption has been used so much lately, and increasingly so by businesses, that it is easy to dilute the true meaning behind these terms. So I thought I should make a blog post doing a breakdown of this terminology.

Adoption: The payment of a fee to a rescue organization in exchange for the legal relinquishment of the bird to your care. Just like adopting a dog for a set price from your local humane society.

Purchase: A price is set by the retail establishment or an individual that the purchaser must agree to in exchange for bringing the bird home. This is the typical scenario for purchasing a bird from any retail type establishment, or purchasing a bird from an individual on Craigslist

Rescue: May or may not have money involved in the transfer of the bird or animal from one owner to another. An animal that is rescued is in poor physical condition, poor health, and/or a detrimental environment that is negatively impacting its health. For example (true story), stepping in and paying a small ransom fee for an prolapsed umbrella cockatoo receiving no medical treatment living in a shack year round on the back of property in the mountains. This scenario would be classified as a rescue. Purchasing a bird with less-than-ideal feathering from a store, is not a rescue. Purchasing a bird living in a too small cage, but is otherwise in good health, good feather, and is suffering no obvious distress, is also not a rescue.

Now let me quickly run through the 3 types of rescue facilities, as people often question these as well. I’ll be breaking these down into type, so understand that the term ‘facility’ is referring to a rescue or adoption organization.

Facility: An adoption organization that has one central location where they house all of the birds they have available for adoption. Some facilities may use a small foster network – 10 or less foster homes available on an as needed basis

Foster: A foster based network is one that does not have a central location. They are made up of a wide variety and number of foster homes that take care of the birds available for adoption. This is commonly seen in rescues that have a presence in multiple states or cover a large area or an entire state completely.

Sanctuary: A sanctuary is established to be the final home for birds. Sanctuaries do not adopt out or foster birds – instead birds are relinquished to them with the understanding that the birds will live out the rest of their natural lives at the sanctuary. Commonly sanctuaries establish a natural environment and are equipped with flights that the birds live in, and flocking and natural behaviors are encouraged.

I hope this post helps address any questions you had about rescue/adoption/sanctuary. It feels good to be back to blogging – keep an eye peeled for more posts coming soon. I plan to blog bi-monthly.



Emily February 5, 2014 Blog, The Birds, The Roaming Parrot