Adoption Policies and Procedures
How To Apply:
For an application.
1) Fill out the application completely. You will receive an error if you do not fill in the required
fields (name, address, city, province, postal code, phone number, and email address).
2) Be sure to be specific as to what types of birds you have had experience with as well as the types
of birds that you presently own.
3) Please be specific in your answers concerning what is toxic or unhealthy around birds. Each
applicant MUST fill in this information.
4) Be sure to list your avian veterinarian in the application along with his/her address, phone,
and fax numbers. If you do not have an avian vet because you have not had a bird in at least a
few years, then please list your regular vet if you have dogs or cats. If you have had NO pets in
years and cannot supply a vet as a reference, a phone interview is necessary. A phone interview
does not guarantee that an applicant will be approved for adoption. A phone interview is merely
a method of gathering information to determine what type of bird would be most fitting should
an application be approved. Please contact us via email to setup a phone interview. We do not call
the applicant. It is up to the applicant to call us at the time and day specified and agreed to.
5) You must also list at least one character reference. More weight is given to a character
reference if they hold status in the community such as a pastor or minister, physician, teacher,
employer, etc. Less weight is given to family members and friends. If you cannot supply a vet
reference, an outstanding character reference would be beneficial to your application.
6) Once we receive your application, we send out the reference forms to the vet and to your
character references. On the average, it takes a vet about two weeks to return the completed
reference form to us. If your particular vet is a busy one, it may take a month or more. It is up
to the applicant to contact the vet to ensure that they have received the reference form and
to check the status of it. Your adoption application is not complete until we receive the references
back and will not be considered for adoption until we do.
7) We will adopt birds to applicants who live approximately within a two hour radius of our rescue.
It is time consuming and expensive for us to travel long distances for a home visit prior to adoption.
For homes further than one hour from our rescue we charge per km (the first 50 km are free).
We may waive the distance limitation to those who carry outstanding references from vets and/or
other avian specialists.
How Adoptability Is Determined:
The applicant's length of experience and with what types of birds is taken into consideration. We
receive birds that are very tame and sociable that will do well in most households. However, we also receive birds that have been neglected or abused for years and have physical and/or psychological concerns that will only be considered adoptable to applicants who possess the skills and experience necessary to retrain and rehabilitate the bird. We also receive special needs birds that have
handicaps due to birth defects or injury, which may require more frequent visits to the vet. In
this case it would be necessary for the applicant to have the financial means to be able to provide
When a bird comes to Marley’s Menagerie, it is quarantined for 90 days and tested for the main
avian viruses. The person surrendering their bird to the rescue will be asked to make a donation
to the rescue, to cover these costs. I will then let the bird get used to the new environment, and
talk to him or her, and slowly interact with the bird to determine its temperament and then review
all active and approved files to find the most fitting individuals for the birds needs. The tame,
sweet birds go to families with children or to those who do not possess the experience to work
with birds that have emotional or psychological scars from neglect or abuse. Likewise, we select applicants who have the skills, patience, and experience working with neglected and abused birds
and we try to match a specific bird up with the most suitable applicants that can provide its needs.
We have found that nine times out of ten the bird chooses the person that they wish to be with.
The new owner receives the new bird as well as any cage, toys, or books that may have been
supplied by the previous owner in the transfer of guardianship to Marley’s Menagerie.
There is no 'waiting list' for our birds. One applicant may wait several months, while another may
acquire a bird in a matter of weeks. We do not adopt out on a first come, first serve basis. We
match up birds with applicants. I do not consider names or dates of applications in their decisions.
Each time a new bird comes to our rescue, each applicant is re-evaluated for his or her suitability
to the bird.
If, at any time, you can no longer take care of a bird you have adopted from Marley's Menagerie,
you must contact me, and the bird be returned to me. There is no refund of adoption fees, as
the bird has to be retested for all avian viruses again.
If you have little to no experience with birds, do not expect to adopt a medium sized bird or larger.
Each person should start out with smaller birds such as finches, parakeets, or cockatiels to learn
how to care for and interact with a bird. You may apply to our rescue to adopt a smaller bird if you
have insufficient experience with a bird.
If you do not know what is considered toxic to birds or unsafe to use around them, you cannot adopt
a bird and then find out later. You MUST know what you are getting into prior to getting into it. We
will not consider applications that have these areas left blank.
Also, if you own birds larger than the finches, parakeets, or cockatiels and claim that you have no
vet or have not taken them to a vet, this will not be looked upon in your favor. When purchasing a
bird from a bird store, it is their usual policy to recommend that the new owner take the bird to a
vet within seven days for a well check exam.
It is the responsibility of Marley’s Menagerie to educate and inform the public on responsible bird ownership regardless of experience.
Marley’s Menagerie reserves the right to approve or deny an application for adoption based on the
information given to us by either the applicant or the references.
A Message To The Newer Bird Owners:
It is the responsibility of Marley’s Menagerie to educate and inform each applicant regardless of
experience on responsible bird ownership prior to adoption as well as offer information at the time
of adoption. We also let the adoptive families know that we are available to answer questions after
the adoption. When in the case that we are unable to answer more complicated issues, we direct
them to experts who can.
We receive applications from people who wish to adopt a large bird with little to no prior experience
with larger birds. Some apply who have little to no experience with any bird at all. Birds are very
different from dogs, cats, fish, and any other pet that you could adopt. A dog will not begin to
mutilate himself if enough attention is not paid to him or if he is bored, a bird will. A dog is not left inside his cage 24 hours a day/7 days a week, some birds are. ALL birds come to us with at least
some baggage no matter how minor. Some birds come to us with major physical and/or psychological damage that we have to work on prior to adoption as best we can, and part of that work involves educating and informing the newer bird owner as well as the experienced bird owner of these issues.
There are a very small percentage of people out there w o would be successful with a large bird
with little to no prior bird experience. But we have no way of determining who would or would not
be in this small percentage. We do not have the resources to distinguish this very small percentage
from the majority of new bird owners who would not do as well. For this reason, we have to err on
the side of caution and select more experienced bird owners for the larger birds especially regarding
the cockatoos and macaws. The larger the bird, the louder they are. Visiting a family member or
friend who owns a large bird is different from living with one full time. Birds do not understand that
your favorite TV program is on and you want to hear the TV instead of their screaming for attention. They do not understand that the phone is ringing and they need to quiet down so you can hear the
person at the other end. They do not understand that there is a baby in the house that needs to take
naps throughout the day. If you live in an apartment, they do not understand that they must be quiet while the tenant next to you sleeps during the day because he works the night shift. If you live in a multiple family dwelling such as an apartment, condo, or townhouse, a loud bird is not for you. If you
are looking to have children within the next few years or so, a loud bird is not for you. If you cannot tolerate continuous screaming, a loud bird is not for you. The larger birds can live approximately 100 years, so plan accordingly.