Fostering with WAES
WAES is a volunteer and foster-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is working with the community to help parrots. We do not have a shelter facility, so all parrots in our program are in foster homes. The number of parrots we can help find new homes for is entirely dependent on how many foster homes we have.
Can you help? Use your downtime by becoming a foster! Our parrots would love to keep you company. We provide support, you provide the loving home. Fostering is a fantastic way to help out during this difficult time, so sign up today and offer to foster.
Foster parents also become acquainted with a bird’s unique personality and behaviors and can share their knowledge with prospective adopters. This helps potential adopters make an informed decision and increases the likelihood that the adoption will be successful.
Before you decide to foster, consider the space the bird will need in your home and the time needed to care, feed, and socialize on a daily basis. Because parrots live such a long time (some up to 100 years), they are likely to lose their homes many times over the course of their lives. Many of our rescued parrots have been through multiple homes and may have special needs, which requires more time to socialize and help.
Here's how it works
- Start by becoming a member of WAES ($30/yr).
- Submit a foster application (provided below).
- Look for a follow-up email to schedule a home visit by a committee member. This will be a brief tour of your home and yard, as well as introductions to other pets and family members to ensure a good fit.
- Once a bird is available to foster, WAES will ask that you complete a Foster Care Agreement and coordinate with you to schedule a time to drop off or pick up.
- Provide your foster bird with care and love while receiving veterinary care and support from WAES.
- Willing to complete the foster application.
- Willing to sign the foster agreement.
- Must be eighteen years or older.
- Willing to meet with potential adopters to share information about the bird with them.
- Willing to take the bird to one of our recommended veterinarians as needed. WAES will pay for all veterinary care the bird may need while in your care.
- Reliable transportation and internet access to schedule your foster bird’s appointments.
What is a foster home?
These homes provide temporary shelter and care for parrots in our adoption program. Foster homes come in all types: families, couples, roommates, and people living alone. Many have pets of their own, and can be in an apartment, house, condo, or even a trailer. The one thing that links all of these homes is that they have all decided to make room in their homes for a parrot who just needs a little time to find a new forever home that is a good fit. Some of these bird have had rough experiences and a need a little time and care to learn to trust and enjoy human company. Some of them need time to heal from injuries or illnesses. Foster homes give these parrots the time, affection, and shelter needed for recovery as they look for new homes.
People may even be interested in adopting a parrot for the first time but would like to start out by fostering to either get to know if an individual parrot is right for them, or simply to experience what life is like with a parrot before committing. This is entirely acceptable with WAES, and even preferred in many instances.
How do foster homes integrate parrots with existing pets?
Just as when adopting a new companion animal, we recommend that the foster parrot be kept separate from any other birds or animals until they have had a little time to adjust to their new surroundings. If there is a pending vet visit to test for communicable diseases, they should remain separated until tests come back clear.
Some foster parrots adjust quite quickly, and some will take several weeks or even months to feel comfortable in their new home. Fostering does require some patience and effort to make it work. We are always amazed at the creative and kind ways foster homes are able to fit in an extra parrot who needs their help.
What do foster homes provide?
In addition to compassion and room in your home, foster homes generally provide quality food and toys for parrots. However, if finances are tight, WAES can certainly provide help for these essentials.
WAES covers the cost of all veterinary care, either by reimbursement or a direct bill if you go to one of our partner veterinarians. We ensure all parrots are tested for communicable diseases to prevent the spread of any diseases to other animals in your home, as well as to understand any unique medical needs that may be necessary short and long term.
What if the parrot is not a fit?
If it is ever too much, we will work to move the parrot to a new foster home as quickly as possible. We’ve definitely had homes where a particular parrot may not respond well to certain people or other animals. There may also be situations where a parrot may require more care than a foster home is able to provide, or they have certain personality traits (such as screaming) that don’t always mesh well. It is very important to WAES that fostering is a rewarding experience for the parrot and the foster home.
How long do parrots stay in a foster home?
Parrots will still in a foster home until they are adopted. It can be a week or two, a few months, and sometimes even years. There is always an agreement that if fostering a particular parrot doesn’t work out, the foster parrot will go to a new foster home. What we can’t predict is how quickly a new home will be found.
How can foster homes help parrots get adopted?
WAES does the work to find and screen potential adopters. However, foster homes can definitely help by sharing pictures, videos, and fun facts they learn about their foster parrot on social media and other platforms.
Once we have a potential qualified adopter, WAES will contact the foster home for permission to share contact details such as phone number and/or email, and to let the foster home know that someone may be calling to set up a time to visit the parrot in person. No one may adopt a WAES parrot without first visiting the bird in person. We ask that foster homes provide WAES with a detailed account of how the visit went, and really appreciate when they share any personal feelings or recommendations they may have about a potential adopter. Foster homes have a much better idea of who the parrot they are fostering will do well with, and we find this information invaluable during the adoption process.
What if it is too hard to part with a foster pet?
Anyone who has ever fostered an animal will agree that is not easy to let an animal you may have grown to love leave for a new home. WAES has a careful screening process, and gives weight to any input foster homes would like to give. All potential adopters must be WAES members and agree to a home visit from a WAES volunteer to ensure a good fit.
However, if parting is too difficult, WAES will always give foster homes adoption priority if they choose to make the foster parrot a permanent member of the family.