A 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization
Copyright © 2008-2012  Wings of Hope New Jersey
All Rights Reserved
Website developed byWebsite to the Rescue
Wings of Hope, New Jersey
Rescue and Sanctuary
P.O. Box 22, Cleveland, GA  30528
Ph: (732) 833 - 7825   Fax: (706) 219-3573
Email:  WOH@wingsofhope-nj.com

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Reprinted with permission by Dotty Schira
This checklist is for anyone interested in contacting a bird or parrot rescue organization -- whether you wish to assist, volunteer, adopt, or donate to them.
How long has the organization / individual been "rescuing" birds? Do they appear "professional"?

Wings of Hope-NJ has been a registered business since 2003, though we have done bird rescue on our own since 2000. Wings of Hope-NJ also received our 501 (c)(3) status in 2003 as well.
Do they accept small birds at all -- or do they return your call ONLY if you want to donate a large parrot?

(Comment: Caring organizations will find a way to place ALL species of pet birds, as long as they are healthy, of course...)

Wings of Hope-NJ accepts any and all birds from finches to macaws, and everything in between. We take special needs, handicapped birds, and birds with “issues”. We don’t just take the perfect adoptable ones. We record and return every call that comes into the organization.
How large is their organization? Exactly how qualified is the Organization's staff with regard to parrot care? What screening process does this Organization use for its staff? What screening process does it use for its Adopters?

We currently have a board of Directors with 5 members, and a volunteer base of 19 members. Our founders Jannet and Leesa are both recognized as Certified Avian Specialists by PIJAC. We have over 150+ years of bird ownership in our volunteer base. Wings of Hope-NJ has no staff, paid or otherwise. Each and every member is a volunteer who donates his/her time. All adopters are required to complete the same process. Once we receive the completed adoption application, we check the vet reference, and personal if needed. A telephone interview is then completed. Based on the phone interview, we will do a home visit, if necessary. All adoptions are followed up at regular intervals. And if at any point the adoption is not working out, Wings of Hope-NJ will ALWAYS take back any bird it has placed.
Who is their avian veterinarian?

(Comment: Do NOT call and expect free veterinary advice from any rescue individual. Contact an avian vet if your bird is sick.)

We have two Avian vets that we work with. Dr Schreiber in Farmingdale and Dr Briggs in Lakewood. We also have a working relationship with other vets for emergency situations.
Can you get informative advice from this Organization and obtain helpful hints on how to remedy the problem you are having with your parrot? Are you allowed to "think" about your decision to give up your parrot?

We always work with the surrendering owner to rectify any problem that may be an issue. If this is not able to be done, or circumstances do not allow it, we will accept the bird into our program. We have never turned down a bird, for any reason.
How knowledgeable is this organization / individual about parrot species, bird care, behavioral problems, breeding quirks?

As stated before, our founders are recognized as CAS’s. While this in no way makes them an expert, it shows a dedication to their field. We also network with several breeders for information, as well as other rescues. We also use a bird behaviorist, if necessary.
Does the organization / individual seem “too anxious” to take your parrot? Do they try to talk you into giving up your parrot as the first option? Do they appear honest? Can you meet them at their home or facility, or do you have to meet them in a parking lot?

Wings of Hope will work with a surrendering owner to rectify any problem, before we accept the bird for surrender. All surrendering owners are asked to bring their bird to us. We will, on special occasions, pick up a bird (i.e. no transportation)
What is the Organization / individual's policy in placing the birds they receive? Who gets the birds? Does the Organization keep the parrots within their group/ network, do they warehouse them in aviaries, do they go to private people within the Organization, or are they adopted out (or -- sold) to the public?

All birds that come into Wings of Hope-NJ are given a thorough examination. Any and all illness are treated prior to adoption. Our birds are disease tested by an outside lab. All of the birds that come into Wings of Hope-NJ are placed into a private foster home. We do not have a central facility, nor do we have aviaries. Wings of Hope does charge an adoption fee for some of our birds. This is in line with, and many times lower, than the fees charged by other reputable rescues. We only adopt to pre-approved qualified applicants.
What guarantees are given that your bird will get a good home? If you wish to volunteer for a rescue organization, what is expected of YOU?

(Comment: Volunteers should expect to sign a contract, which should verify their good intentions to help out the Organization. Expect the organization to ask YOU a lot of questions. Have your references ready!)

Wings of Hope NJ accepts responsibility for your bird, for life. The bird may be returned at any time, for any reason. We do not breed or sell our birds, EVER. We ask our volunteers to abide by strict conduct guidelines, the same standards we set on ourselves and other reputable rescues that we work with. They are also required to sign a volunteer agreement. All Foster Homes receive a FH manual.
Are parrots that obviously want another bird for companionship placed in a new home where they are forced to live a lonely existence -- without another "bird friend" in the house? Or are they warehoused in an aviary with a lot of birds, without being given individual attention? What is best for your individual bird?

Wings of Hope NJ never forces any bird into any kind of situation. Our contract strictly prohibits breeding. The adopter may place the bird with a companion, at their discretion. Again, Wings of Hope-NJ uses a network of private foster homes, never an aviary.
What is the adoption policy of the Organization? Are untamed parrots, or older birds forced into "pet" situations under the term "rehabilitated"? Is the parrot you are considering giving up a "biter"? Is there a chance a child could get severely bitten if this Organization places your parrot in the wrong home? Will your problem bird be happy if forced into a "pet" situation that goes against its nature -- if it actually really wants a cage buddy? What happens if the bird you donate does not work out in the new home it is placed into?

Wings of Hope-NJ describes the birds in our care, to the best of our knowledge. We do adopt out untamed birds, and they are NEVER classified as “rehabilitated”. If a bird has behavioral issues, it is NOT placed into a home with small children. If for any reason the adoption does not work out, Wings of Hope-NJ will ALWAYS take a bird back into our program.
Do not expect to be able to volunteer “to take a free parrot off of the Organization’s hands”. This is ridiculous. Caring adopters will gladly offer a reasonable donation to the Organization.

There are expenses incurred with the care of any bird. We do not allow our Foster Homes to adopt their first foster bird, for obvious reasons. Unless, of course it is a special case, and that will be determined on an as needed basis. We do ask that a donation be made at the time of adoption. All adopters are required to sign a contract, which is legally binding.
Also if you do turn over your bird to a rescue organization, it would be very thoughtful to give a donation to the organization to go toward your bird's future care...

There are no fees associated with surrendering a bird. Though a donation is greatly appreciated. Since we are a 501(c)3 non-profit Corporation, all donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.
Is the prospective adopter forced to attend "bird care classes" from the Organization prior to being considered an adoptive bird owner?

We do offer advice to our new adopters. No one is “forced” to attend any classes prior to adoption. Seminars are a great idea, and will be offered in the future.
How does the organization handle donations? What percentage of any money you may wish to donate actually goes for the welfare of the rescued birds? Does the welfare of unwanted birds take priority -- or does moneymaking seem to be the main focus of the organization / individual?

All donations are tax deductible. 100% of all donations go to the care and upkeep of the birds entrusted to our care. No member of Wings of Hope is compensated in any way, nor does any member collect a salary. Our first priority is always the birds in our care.
Does the organization / individual accept crippled birds?

Absolutely. We do take handicapped and/or special needs birds. To date, some of our birds include, pluckers, mutilators, and crippled birds.
Will the organization / individual allow you to call them afterward? Can they give you an update on your turned-in bird's status?

We do allow the surrendering owner to inquire about the welfare of their bird. We do notify them, if they request, when the bird has been placed into a new home. We also provide pictures, if applicable.
What if the organization claims to be a 501(c)3 tax-deductible nonprofit organization? Do they REALLY have this status? Is 50l(c)3 tax status mandatory -- or necessary -- to be a nonprofit organization?

Wings of Hope-NJ is a 501(c)3 non profit Organization as recognized by the IRS. This information can be verified by viewing our 501(c)3 letter from the IRS. It may also be verified by calling the IRS directly. We are a registered non profit business with the State of NJ, and follow all laws required.

FACT: Having a 501(c)3 DOES NOT mean that it is a better or more reputable organization to deal with.

FACT: A 501(c)3 status is ONLY an IRS tax status.

All rescue organizations are individually run and operated. Policies differ and no two organizations agree on the same things. Please do your homework prior to donating to any organization and only do so after you are completely comfortable with the organization.

Wings of Hope-NJ is not affiliated with any other avian rescue. We do work with other reputable rescues across the United States.
What references can the organization / individual supply?

Checking references are by far the best way to locate a good organization Wings of Hope-NJ is always willing to provide any and all references as requested. We currently offer a list of surrendering owners, adopters, volunteers, and our vet. Please feel free to call them on our behalf.