CAMDEN, Del. (WBOC) - Parrots sent people flying into the Kent County SPCA looking to adopt Friday.
The shelter took possession of 30 parrots from a home in Georgetown late last week. Word of that spread. And Friday morning officials showed up at work to find potential adopters waiting outside.
The shelter started with two African grays, eight amazons and 20 macaws. After Friday's outpouring of interest, 21 birds have been adopted or transferred.
When Mariam Moore heard about all the parrots at the KCSPCA she had to see for herself.
"I was amazed by how many Macaws there were in one place," said Mariam Moore, of Wyoming. "You usually see one or two. They're very expensive."
"I just wanted to come and see them and maybe adopt another one," said Alfredo Serrano, of Dover.
"I'm trying to talk my husband," Toni Gray, from Magnolia, said. "Into adopting another one so it will have a good home."
People crowded into a small room to look at the birds and start determining if one might be for them. Kevin Usilton, executive director of the KCSPCA, wasn't expecting this kind of turnout. He says more than 100 people showed up throughout the day, and the phone was ringing non-stop.
"We were surprised, because macaws and amazons can be challenging to own as pets," Usilton said.
He says the situation was unique because the woman who had these birds was a breeder, who realized she couldn't handle them anymore, and voluntarily gave them to the shelter.
"Most of the time when the SPCA is involved with a large number of animals it's a hoarding case or a cruelty case," he said. "These animals were able to be processed very quickly and put up for adoption."
Some of the birds aren't ready for adoption yet. They'll need more socialization before that can happen. And exactly how long that takes will vary bird to bird. In the meantime, people are weighing their options on the birds that are ready.
"I don't have the dedication for taking care of a macaw, so I'm looking at the amazons," Moore said. "I'll be going home and making a decision. It's a big decision. They'll be with you for decades."
That decades comment is very accurate. Some parrots can live as long as a human does. And they can be very expensive to take care, especially over that many years.
The shelter is carefully screening possible adopters. Usilton says not everyone is a good fit to own a bird. But he encourages anyone who might be interested and thinks they can handle it to come take a look.
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