Coombs Parrot Sanctuary Future Uncertain

The Coombs Parrot Sanctuary is facing a major probelm with what will become of hundreds of parrots. I just moved from Vancouver Island and this was a very large parrot sanctuary. The woman who ran this did such a wonderfull job of it. … -1.3586839

Yes, I saw this article and had saved it for posting along with this one I am adding below because I wanted to show how parrot rescues tend to be come-and-go places. A new one opens up and an old one closes. I have known several that had to close their doors (mine included). Personally, I think it’s mainly because of the lack of donations and zero government funding they get - but there is also the fact that most bird rescues are either one or two people operations and, when that person or couple, for one reason or another, can no longer do it, the whole thing collapses. I remember the Bailey’s Foundation fiasco… it was a good rescue, good foster homes only, and the guy who founded it (I think his name was Jeff something or another) died or retired and left it to a volunteer, a woman named Beth Lindenau who later on was found to have left close to 70 animals to die of starvation/dehydration when she moved out of the house she was renting into her deceased mother’s house. Her husband later confessed to have been the one that did it but we all thought he was just doing it so his wife would not suffer the stigma of animal abuser after portraying herself as a rescuer… And then there was the one in upstate NY (I can’t remember the name) that had been ran by this lady for years but she had gotten old and, when she died, they found the birds in terrible condtions. It’s a huge problem with bird rescues…Anyway, this is a good story and I think that this novel approach might work better than the ‘usual’ way… Do you agree? And do you have any other idea that might work in attracting people to adopting instead of buying? … adopt-bird

I have heard about this bird Cafe before and think it’s really a nice idea. The biggest thing about the one on the island as you can’t get it off the island without taking a two hour ferry ride so the island is always so cut off from mainland

More news about Coombs… there seems to be some concern as to the birds medical needs been met. I am not surprised because, in my personal experience, once the founder disappears, the whole thing can crumble down in a matter of a few weeks.

Pajarita wrote:More news about Coombs… there seems to be some concern as to the birds medical needs been met. I am not surprised because, in my personal experience, once the founder disappears, the whole thing can crumble down in a matter of a few weeks. the Santuary was her "mission", and her husband just helped, on his own he just cant do it.

When we first learned of this place and that the Lady had died, it was a matter of speculation as to what would happen and the last I had heard until this thread was that the lady probably was the driving force behind it and probably did nearly all of the fundraising to support it. While we were hoping that since it had incorporated and had a board of directors that it would remain open, it seemed that this was not to be. This thread further shows that much of the actual fund raising was really her husband trying to help keep her happy( such a wonderful thing to do for someone you care about). I am sure that it is very expensive and that it serves as a reminder of his loss and so he wants to get past it. No judgement intended, but the turn in events is bad for the birds, but it is probably just what he needs to be able to move on with his life and he deserves that. There is not enough information to know what all is actually happening internally with this place, but it does appear to me that the first thing that the sanctuary should have considered some time ago, before it could become an issue was that in order to continue they would need to own the land on which it sits and made arrangements for this. And secondly they needed to step up their external fund raising so they could at least meet expenses. Oh well as in most other things hindsight is 20/20, but the wisdom that comes from the retrospection often does not come soon enough to solve the problems. I really, really wish that they had recognized these two issues as being a major area of weakness in their plans and had begun to address them much sooner, instead of taking the route of continuing to expand before they could meet and exceed their expenses without the financial aid from this Lady, who was apparently their main source of funding. Unfortunately, given the size of the operation this shortsightedness is and will probably continue to interfere with their ability to bring in the donations of the size that they require to continue to remain in operation. So Sad.

The man says he has spent millions on it and I, for one, believe it 100% because I know how much my husband ended up spending on the rescue I used to have… And, if I had died then, he also would have said that he was not going to continue funding it (just because one party of the marriage is a bird person, it doesn’t mean that the other party is, too). The board of directors is usually nothing but names on paper. You need a certain number depending on the state (usually three) to become a corporation (which is the first step before you apply for your Federal tax exemption) and people who start a rescue normally recruit relatives or friends for this but they never actually take part or responsibility on any decisions.As to having a plan to leave it to somebody… yes, that is the ideal, of course. But it doesn’t work most of the time because, usually, you choose from people who have the same interest as you, namely, a volunteer, because it has to be somebody who is not only willing but also able and knowledgeable enough about the running of the rescue but there aren’t that many people that would stick with it for years and years. And then, you have the ‘hoarding’ streak involved in running a rescue… I’ve said it many times and I know that most rescuers would not agree to this but rescuers do have a mild hoarding streak in them and, when you have been doing rescue for a long time and people call you ‘an angel’ or some other form of praise all the time, it ends up going to your head and you start thinking that there might not be anybody else out there that can love them as much as you do or that, even when you are not taking real good care of them, they are still better off with you than with anybody else so you either don’t make an effort or make such a half-hearted one as to be useless…

Well, there are plenty of corporations out here in the world that do just fine some of the are not for profit corporations and others are for profit corporations. The thing about them is regardless of their for profit status they are all still businesses and they must be run as such if they are to survive to perform their function. That is what I am saying, and this one was obviously not run that way.

Well, I agree and I disagree. A business has a bottom line that translates into one single word: profit - without it, the corporation has no reason for existing so the whole structure is based on this one goal. But that is not the case with rescues and it’s not only because they are tax exempt, it’s because of the actual nature of the ‘business’. In a rescue, the people who run it don’t worry at all about profit, they worry about the welfare of the animals and I doubt there is a single good one that is not running consistently in the red and robbing Peter to pay Paul. You would say: “Well, yes, I know that! But they could still run it as a business even if it makes no money” And this where I agree with you. There are non-profits that are ran that way like the Humane Society and the SPCA but it’s only the huge ones that are like that. There aren’t any small and medium rescues that manage it and these are, by far, the greatest majority of rescues. For one thing, it involves a HUGE capital investment because on top of all the usual expenses, you have to pay professional fund-raisers as well as salaries and most rescues don’t have this kind of money. They start at home and working with a couple of volunteers. I would say that 99.99% of bird rescues are mostly one person who loves birds and wants to help them. Once that person fails (and, eventually, everybody on their own does), the rescue goes to hell in a handcart.

The bottom line is still the bottom line, it is what is done with that bottom line that defines a not for profit vs, a for profit corporation. The rest is the same. There must be a profit to be able to cover the expenses as well as to provide for expansion or other growth that is needed to provide for these birds.