On February 11, parrot welfare organization Phoenix Landing rushed to save the lives of 26 parrots facing euthanasia at the Catawba County Animal Shelter in Newton, North Carolina. These birds, ranging from tiny parakeets to large macaws, were part of a group of nearly 200 animals seized by local law enforcement from an abusive situation late last year.  With no homes available and time running out, the shelter was forced to set a date for their euthanasia.

When Phoenix Landing learned of the conditions these parrots had come from and that their time at the shelter was running short, the group mobilized volunteers and gathered as many new and used cages, travel carriers, parrot food and toys that could be located on 24‐hour notice and went to Catawba County to take these birds.

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Sun Conures at Phoenix Landing


In mid-December, a North Carolina resident was charged with animal cruelty and a total of 142 birds and 44 dogs were seized by local law enforcement and brought to the Catawba County Animal Shelter to be adopted out.  The environment the parrots and dogs were found in was described as containing years of accumulated waste; feces contaminated what little food and water was available. Many of the animals were fragile, injured, malnourished and would require extensive veterinary intervention. By February 11, 26 parrots – ranging from parakeets to Amazon parrots – remained at the local shelter, which did not have the capacity or resources to continue caring for the birds.

The Phoenix Landing volunteers transported the birds to a temporary facility – where they are now receiving food, water and size-appropriate cages, and where they can receive the immediate care they require.

Phoenix Landing “Rescue” – A Special Case

“We usually stress that the parrots within the Phoenix Landing foster system are not ‘rescues’, as most come from loving families who for whatever reason could not continue to care for them. Our foster birds generally don’t come from abusive situations and it does them and their future adoptive homes a disservice to describe them as such. Unfortunately, this is not our usual situation. Not only did the Catawba parrots come from dreadful hoarding conditions, but they were literally days away from death,” said Brooks.

Volunteers who are taking care of the birds report that after a bit more than a week under Phoenix Landing’s care, many of the birds appear to be thriving again. “Parrots are resilient creatures,” one volunteer said. “Even the B&G that was extremely stressed & plucked is coming around…he’s even starting to have a bit of golden growth on his chest after only 9 days in our care! Such good signs!”

How You Can Help the Catawba Parrots

Even before taking on these birds, Phoenix Landing had more than 300 parrots within its foster network. The unplanned addition of these 26 rescue birds is straining the nonprofit’s budget and capacity.

The organization is encouraging donations of Harrison’s pellets, cages in usable condition, new toys, gift cards to grocery stores (where volunteers can buy fresh produce and other healthy food for the parrots), and cash to offset medical costs and other urgent needs.

In addition, Phoenix Landing has urgent need for temporary foster homes for these birds. If you live in the mid-Atlantic region and can open your home to one of these special birds, please contact Phoenix Landing.

To learn more about the Catawba Shelter parrots and how you can help, please go to http://phoenixlanding.org/blog/category/catawba-parrots/

To make a cash donation, visit the Phoenix Landing Foundation’s homepage and click on the Donate button — or donate via Facebook.