How much will it cost to adopt a bird from NEAR?

NEAR does not charge adoption fees. We do accept donations, but a donation is not required. It is important to note however that the adoption process IS NOT "free."

  1. Food -- A fully seed diet is cheap and the birds love it, but seeds alone are not a healthy diet for your bird. In the shelter, we feed primarily Zupreem Natural pellets, along with fresh fruits and vegetables. Pellets are more expensive than seeds, but they should not be prohibitive in cost.
  2. Cage -- The best rule of thumb is to provide the largest cage you can afford. Since the cage is where your bird will likely spend a great deal of time, having one that is large enough to comfortably house the bird, multiple perches and toys, with room to spare is of utmost importance. Cages can range from a hundred to several thousand dollars.
  3. Toys -- Birds are extremely smart and easily bored. They need physical and mental enrichment. Appropriate toys must be purchased and replaced frequently. For some birds the cost can be as much as several hundred dollars per month.
  4. Medical care -- Avian veterinary science has come a long way in the last decade, but it is still considered "specialty care" and can be VERY expensive. Surgeries or extended diagnostic testing can be hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Adopting a bird requires a significant investment of time AND money!

Can anyone adopt a bird?

There's no short answer to this question. Our goal is to find homes for birds, but not every home is the right match for every bird. The adoption process can be highly selective and might seem arbitrary and even unfair at times. Since birds often outlive their owners, the concept of the "forever home" is often a goal unreached. Many of our birds have lived through very difficult times. They are often neglected and sometimes even abused.

While we may miss the mark sometimes, we do strive for permanent placements. For this reason, ensuring our potential adopters have the proper level of experience and are the best fit for each individual bird. It can be a long, frustrating process for some of our more difficult birds, but we are committed to doing our level best for the futures of these animals.

NEAR always reserves the right to refuse an adoption for any reason at any time in the process. While this can be frustrating and disappointing for a potential adopter, we hope everyone understands that our dedication is to the birds, period.

I submitted an application, but never heard from anyone. Why?

NEAR receives upward of five to ten applications per day. Sometimes we get behind. Sometimes we get VERY behind. Our case load is probably the most common reason for communication delays.

We have also found that our email responses end up in peoples' spam folders. We have done everything possible to ensure our email is not mis-identified as spam, but it still happens occasionally. Always check your spam folder if you don't get a response from us.

Many times we find people don't fill out the adoption application completely or properly. It should go without saying that we ask the questions on our application for a reason. If a potential adopter doesn't think enough of the process to provide the information we ask for, then it's not a huge leap to assume they might have the same blase attitude toward an adopted pet. For this reason, an incomplete adoption application may not receive a response from NEAR.

NEAR reserves the right to refuse an adoption for any reason at any time -- even at the point of receipt of an application.

What's up with the home visit?

Not as much as people think. The home visit is an integral part of the adoption process, but we are not interested in coming to your home and passing judgment on you or the way you live. We do home visits for a few reasons. First, we want to ensure our birds are not going into homes with obvious dangers -- many times, people don't realize some of the dangers -- which could include the destruction of that valuable antique clock your grandmother gave you which happens to be within reach of the spot you picked to place your new bird's cage. We certainly don't want any of our birds going into a home where there is hoarding or, worse, breeding going on. A person's disregard for their own personal safety and well being is probably not a good fit for one of our birds. Yes, this is blunt and tough, but it is what it is. Finally, we have found that people often have many questions about their cage set up and ways to improve on location, layout, etc. The home visit is the perfect time to answer these questions and provide specific advice that's tough to think of while you're standing in our shelter.

Beyond that however, we don't care so much how you live or what your decorating taste might be... we just want to be sure the bird will be safe in your home. The home visit usually takes only a few minutes. We answer your questions, have you read and sign our adoption application and then we are on our way!

What if I adopt, but later find I can't keep the bird any longer?

When you adopt from NEAR, you sign an adoption contract. One of the points of the contract is that, if for any reason you cannot keep a bird, it MUST come back to NEAR. This is one of the most, if not THE MOST important items on our contract.

Can you recommend a good avian vet?

"Good" is always a relative term.

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