It’s time to send out an update to all of you who have so generously given to PEAC this year. It is only with your financial support that PEAC is able to continue the work we do in Southern CA, as well as outside of our home area. As of today, having included those who have pledged to give a recurring monthly donation, PEAC has raised just over $15,000. This is absolutely amazing, and so wonderful, as it is $5,000 more than we had been able to raise in the prior campaigns, of 2015 and 2014. For an organization the size of PEAC, this is definitely no small accomplishment, and all the thanks go to you, our donors. By your donations, you support not only our foster program for relinquished parrots, but also our outreach work to educate people on all issues that relate to companion parrots. 100% of donations made to PEAC go directly to the operation of the organization, which is completely run by volunteers, with no paid employees.
The 2017 budget was increased by $10,000 over last year’s because many of the day-to-day costs associated with the operation of PEAC have seen significant increases. Our vet costs have gone up more than any other expense, due in part to the larger numbers of parrots we have been able to give shelter and care until a new home is found to adopt them. PEAC’s policy regarding the exam and testing of every new parrot entering our foster program is that it be complete, which means tests for Psittacosis, PBFD, DNA sexing, a complete blood profile (CBC) and serum kidney and liver function tests, a complete grooming (beak, nails, and wings), and a physical exam by an avian certified veterinarian. We are fortunate to have several avian clinics that offer us discounts on all costs we incur, which help significantly; but the total cost per parrot is still $350-$450, depending on whether or not all of the tests are required, as determined by whether the parrot is an Old World or a New World bird. Simply put, the math looks like this: In 2016, we took in 41 parrots, and the routine veterinary costs alone came to a total of $13,236. We had three parrots in need of more comprehensive veterinary care, including one surgery to repair a broken wing. These three parrots added another $8,345 to our vet bills. So the grand total for veterinary costs alone came to $21,581, inclusive of our discounts. As you can see by this report of just our vet costs, in 2016 we ran in the red, as we only received just over $13,000 in donations.
With this brief glimpse into the cost of running our rescue, you can see how vital your contributions are to our continued existence and success. We must reach our goal of $30,000, for if we fall short of this number, we will be forced to cut services significantly. That means being even more selective as to which parrots we can accept into the foster program and which ones we must turn away. Parrots like Beanie, Blaze, and Major would not have been able to receive our care if they had come to us in 2017 with our not reaching the goal of $30,000. We would not be able to purchase our amazing educational tool, the coloring book Being a Bird Means…. A Kid’s Guide to Parrot Care by Kristen Koller, which we provide to children under the age of 12 at our outreach events. We have done school assemblies for two years in a row at Western Avenue Elementary School in the heart of L.A.; but it will be sad to have to notify them that we cannot participate to the degree we previously did, as our funding has fallen short. We will have to do the same with our plans to work with Rady Children’s Hospital, beginning this Spring. As liability insurance is expensive, we might have to consider reducing our coverage; this will affect our military pet therapy program, which we launched this past Fall and immediately expanded from one to two days a week. It has proved to be a very popular program, which provides active-duty service members, as well as our foster flock, with psychological benefits. These are just a few cuts that our Advisory Board and I will have to discuss to balance a budget that we can fund, versus a budget that we had projected.
So this update has two parts. The first, and to me the most important, is to thank all of you who have given so far to PEAC. “Thank you” is all I can say, although it means so much more, on behalf of my volunteers, the Board of Directors, and myself. The second part is to ask for your help. Please help us to spread the message that we need to raise almost $15,000 in just a short period of time, 4 days. Talk to your extended family members, your adult children, your colleagues, your co-workers, your neighbors, and your friends. Explain to them the work we do, not only for the welfare of companion parrots, but also for the communities of Southern CA. Ask them to become members so that we can stay in touch with them through our quarterly newsletter that is beautifully assembled and edited by our Operations Manager, Melanie, and printed by the Theim Family for those of you who cannot access it via the internet. Many of you give to PEAC with your time and talents, and I encourage you to continue to do so, as we are only as strong as our volunteer base is. I also ask you to feel free to contact me directly with questions or comments via email (email@example.com) or call and leave a message so that I may return your call (619-287-8200). I know we can do this together. Let’s work together to meet our goal of $30,000, so that at the end of 2017, I can report to you a year full of successful rehabilitations, adoption stories, and stories about our outreach events. I promise you one thing, and that is, no matter what you donate, whether it be money, time, or talent, you will be richly rewarded by the joy in your heart of knowing you helped bring hope to one more parrot that is need of the help that PEAC for the past 20 years has always managed to provide.