The Catawba Shelter Birds: Saving the Lives of Parrots in Desperate Need

In mid-December, a North Carolina resident was charged with animal cruelty and a total of 142 birds and 44 dogs were seized by animal control under the authority of the Catawba County Animal Shelter.  The environment the parrots and dogs were found in was described as containing years of accumulated waste; feces contaminated what little food and water was available. Many of the animals were fragile, injured, malnourished and in need of extensive veterinary care.

Gold Capped Conure Charlotte2
Charlotte, A Gold Capped Conure

By February 11, 26 parrots – ranging from parakeets to macaws  – remained at the shelter and it did not have the capacity or resources to care for the birds any longer.  They asked Phoenix Landing for help.  We mobilized volunteers and gathered as many new and used cages, travel carriers, parrot food and toys that could be located on 24‐hour notice and moved the birds from the shelter to a donated space in the Hickory, NC area.

BGM Dreamer Keepher
Dreamer and Keepher, Blue and Gold Macaws

We usually stress that most of the parrots rehomed by Phoenix Landing are not “rescues,” and come from loving families who for whatever reason cannot continue to care for them.  Our adoptable birds generally don’t come from neglectful situations and it does them a disservice to describe them as such; and while we often find homes for birds that have come from shelters, the situation in Catawba County required a more intensive response and substantial resources.  These parrots came from dreadful hoarding conditions, and their extended time at the shelter had come to an end.

LC Zon Eeyore
Eeyore, A Lilac Crowned Amazon

We’re pleased to report that they are already doing immensely better, diving into their fresh food and healthy pellets, soaking under shower mists, and having a fantastic time with some of their new toys from generous donors!  Medical support has just begun, and we have high hopes that they will all be survivors and enjoying  lives with new families in the near future.  Parrots are amazingly resilient creatures and we are confident that they will each have many happier years ahead.

How You Can Help

As our members know, Phoenix Landing is an all-volunteer network which relies mostly on foster families to take care of the  300+ foster parrots in our program.   Since the Catawba birds are under our direct care for the time being, we are greatly appreciative for the support and kindness of those who have offered to help.

Most needed are gift cards for grocery store fresh produce, Harrison’s or TOPS pellets, extra large cages in usable condition, new toys, and donations to offset medical costs and other supplies.  In addition, Phoenix Landing is looking for foster homes for these birds, so they can be housed in smaller numbers and with more individualized care.  However, we are looking for homes without other parrots until we can be sure that they have no serious medical problems that could pose a risk to other birds.

Nanday Conure Chatter
Chatter, A Nanday Conure

Our wishlist:

  • Harrison’s pellets
  • Full-spectrum lighting
  • Grocery store gift cards
  • Foster homes with no other birds in them
  • Boings and perches
  • Big chunky wood toys
  • Foraging Toys
  • Extra large cages in usable condition (clean, no rust, no broken parts)

Item and checks can be sent via the Postal Service to:

Phoenix Landing
PO Box 1233
Asheville, NC 28802

Donations can also be made via our PayPal link at

Very Special Thanks to Our Volunteers

A big thanks to everyone who helped make this happen at the last minute; and an extraordinary thanks to Teri Rand and Lannie Ellison, daily caretakers of these 26 very special feathered survivors.

11 thoughts on “The Catawba Shelter Birds: Saving the Lives of Parrots in Desperate Need

  1. I might be interested in fostering a bird-I tried to make it to the Kernstown, Va open house, but was snowed in. I have no other birds, but I do have a dog, and 6 cats and 6 horses. I would be interested in hearing from you. I also will send a donation. You guys are so wonderful.


  2. The birds look fabulous! Such a difference from the day they were “rounded-up” from the shelter. BIG hats off to Teri & Lannie, who are giving excellent, loving care ( 5 hrs./day from both of them!) to this wonderful flock of “troopers”!


  3. I’m working on putting together a big box of “stuff” for the “Catawba Kids.” Primarily toys and odds and ends, I hope they find some use for them. Thanks for posting the address. I’ll send it off as soon as I can.
    Hats off to the Catawba Team!


  4. Ann, we might possibly be able to foster, though I haven’t had birds since I was a kid. My husband would have to agree, though he knows I’ve been dreaming parrots for years. We have two dogs and three cats now.


  5. I have 2 med/ large cages you are welcome to.. all I ask is that they be picked up and to make the hubby happy a tax recipet… they are on my back beck they were covered with snow….


  6. I have one small cage, and if you guys let me know to size of the perches you need I can make you some out of PVC pipe. One of my bird eat through the perchs and when it falls she get scared for that reason I use make PVC perches for her.


  7. Hi Pat, sorry not to have answered your question earlier (still trying to wrap my head around the concept of blogging…). We are definitely looking for bird-free foster homes, just let me know if you’re interested ( Thanks! Ann


  8. A heartfelt thanks to Phoenix Landing and its volunteers for rescueing the 26 Catawba birds from their horrific living conditions and continuing to care for them. You are truly a wonderful organization.


  9. I live in Hickory, NC and have 5 parrots (we already adopted/rescued), so I wouldn’t be able to take anymore but was wondering if you need any other kind of volunteer help caring for them other then supplies, although I will try and do something there too? Wondering if maybe we could help out once a month or so if that would be helpful or not??

    I do have one question that maybe you could help us with. We just moved here a little over a year and don’t have the support here that we had before we moved from Florida. Is there a place or anyone that could clip our birds wings and nails for a reasonable fee. We’ve been taking them to the vet but the prices to do 5 birds is getting way out of reach. Can you direct me to anyone in the Catawba area?


    • Hi Lynda,
      Transportation assistance for the birds would be a huge help for us in this area. We’d love for you to attend our classes in Asheville to get more familiar with our organization and meet other active members who are an invaluable source of info on local resources — that would be the first step. Go to to see a list of all our upcoming events in the area.

      Thanks for your interest!


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