How we got started

Ziggy's Haven Bird Sanctuary, Inc is a non profit all volunteer NO KILL parrot rescue organization. We are dedicated to providing a safe haven for parrots in need.

Ziggy's Haven was founded in July of 2004 a few short months after the loss of our beloved umbrella cockatoo, Ziggy. My husband and I "rescued" Ziggy and Lizzy after reading and ad in our local paper. My husband knew I had always wanted a cockatoo. After calling on the ad, our family loaded up and went to see them. We knew we were taking them home before even seeing them. The smell of the home was horrible and not fit for any animal to live in. Our daughter said to just pay for them and get out! She wouldn't even go in! The moment I saw them, I loved them. Ziggy was plucked terribly and Lizzy's beak scissored and was very long. We were told that their diet consisted of hand rearing formula once a day, cheerios cereal and dried pasta. Ziggy's age was 9 years and Lizzy was 6 years. This was in June of 2001.

We bought the birds and took them home. I made veterinary appointments and had full exams done. We had Lizzy's beak trimmed, changed their diets and welcomed them into our family. They enjoyed eating meals with us, new toys and freedom outside of the cage. We bought travel carriers and took them on vacations with us.

It was on our first vacation that we learned Lizzy is an epileptic. That first seizure scared us out of our minds. We rushed her to an avian veterinarian who treated her. Lizzy is now on phenol barb twice daily to control her seizures and is doing wonderful.

Ziggy's first illness began about a year after his arrival. We rushed him to The University of Florida's School of Veterinary Medicine. He spent 6 days there while they ran tests to determine the cause. He stopped eating, drank lots of water and was throwing up. After a few days, his condition improved but with no reason why he became sick to begin with. This happened again 4 times over the next 20 months. Each time there were no answers. In between these illnesses (and during), Ziggy was the light of my life. After a few months, his feathers started coming in and he was beautiful. He became my constant companion. He loved to ride in the car, weed in the garden, hang clothes on the line and help with laundry. He even had his own rag that he used to wipe the bars of his cage! He learned to open his cage door and I found him on my pillow every morning. He loved me as much as I love him.

In March of 2004, Ziggy had his final illness. After a few days in the hospital, his little body just couldn't take it any more. After a necropsy it was determined that he had an intestinal blockage that was apparently intermittent. His loss was devastating to me and I cried for weeks.

If it were not for Lizzy and the loss of Ziggy, Ziggy's Haven would not be here today. I did not want to go though anything like that again. But Lizzy missed him and would call for him several times a day. Our daughter insisted that we needed another companion for her. Lizzy loves us and us her, but she prefers the company of birds to humans.

So our quest began to find a suitable companion for Lizzy. We went to several pet shops and searched the Internet for breeders.

Upon a search for breeders, we came upon Foster Parrots, Ltd parrot rescue. After reading their site, I contacted Karen Johnson. She spent so much time talking to me and explaining the need for parrot rescues. I had no idea that a problem existed! I was dumbfounded. After talking with Karen, I knew we had to do something to help make a difference.

So thank you Ziggy, for without you we would not be helping to save the lives of parrots in need. Without you we would not be able to help to educate people on the problems facing captive parrots. Without you, I would not know true fulfillment in our accomplishments in avian welfare. Without you we would not be making a difference in the lives of parrots. You are always in my heart and my soul. You will be a special part of my life forever.