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National Bird Day

AWC Outreach - Avian Medical Professionals

Birds in Shelters

How Avian Veterinarians and Technicians Can Help!


Courtesy: The Center for Avian & Exotic Medicine
New York, NY

The Avian Welfare Coalition (AWC) is seeking the participation of avian veterinarians and technicians in an initiative to help improve the services provided to the growing number of parrots and other exotic birds entering our nation's animal sheltering system. 


The AWC is often contacted by humane societies and law enforcement authorities requesting assistance to deal with neglectful and abusive situations in homes, breeding facilities, pet shops, and hoarding situations involving exotic birds. In some instances, seizures by animal control agencies involve hundreds of birds.


Having immediate access to specialized veterinary care and competent, qualified placement partners is crucial to their efforts of providing safe refuge and securing the most appropriate resources that will best serve the long-term welfare needs of these birds.


Caring for exotic birds in shelter setting presents special challenges to the traditional dog-and-cat oriented shelters.  Through our Avian Shelter Outreach Program—the first and only of its kind—we offer assistance, training, and educational resources to help shelter and care facilities tend to the needs of birds.


Courtesy: Stahl Exotic Animal
Veterinary Services

Shelters also require the expertise of qualified avian veterinarians to establish necessary bio-security protocols and tend to the immediate medical needs of birds in their facilities. In addition, they need experienced vet technicians who can work with their staff and advise them on the proper housing, feeding, and handling of birds and to help administer follow-up veterinary care. Here is where you can help!


As part of the AWC's Avian Shelter Outreach Program, we are developing a network of avian veterinary service providers and resources that we can refer to avian rescue and animal shelter organizations, as well as to the numerous bird caregivers, that contact us looking for qualified avian medical resources in their area.


In addition, we believe that avian veterinarians and technicians are a valuable, untapped resource to help facilitate the placement of birds to qualified caretakers.



Courtesy: The Center for Avian & Exotic Medicine
New York, NY

Ensuring the well being of birds - in sheltering situations, private homes, and in commercial venues—is an ethical obligation that we all share. Avian vets and technicians play an especially vital role in raising the bar on how parrots and other captive birds are treated in animal care facilities as well as in homes.


We believe this is an opportunity for all of us to focus on the urgent task at hand—to provide essential services that will help unwanted, abandoned and abused birds in avian care and animal shelter facilities get their chance at a new life!


We hope you will join us on this important, life-saving initiative on behalf of captive birds. Please email us at for details about how you can participate in the AWC's network of Avian Medical Professionals. The birds will thank you for it!


Important Resources

Association of Avian Veterinarians


Association of Shelter Veterinarians


The Global Federation of Sanctuaries