BEST PET ADOPTION - 2006
Midwestern Avian Adoption and Rescue Services
Owning a parrot or other exotic bird isn't for everyone, and the folks at the Midwestern Avian Adoption and Rescue Services (MAARS), the largest avian-only adoption, shelter, and sanctuary organization in the United States, will be the first to tell you that. The birds are destructive and messy and high-maintenance—and they're also not meant to live in captivity. MAARS staff will help if you are interested in learning their ways. The group's determined to prevent future captive breeding and bird importing, and provide good homes for those birds caught in the wild or born in captivity. But you can't just walk into MAARS's suburban Minneapolis shelter, dubbed the Landing, and walk out with a bird. The organization stresses finding an individual bird whose personality and living habits will be compatible with yours, and extensive classes are offered. The Landing, a no-kill shelter that currently houses 150 birds, also cares for ill and mistreated birds—some who will never leave the shelter, or will be moved to a wildlife sanctuary. But the Landing's far from a sad place—it's a cheerful chattering flock of African Greys, macaws, cockatoos, Quaker parrots, cockatiels, and other birds. The placement fees fund care of the birds at the Landing and other MAARS programs, and range from $25 for a pair of budgies, to $500 for a macaw.