Nonprofit Spotlight: Ziggy’s Haven Bird Sanctuary

Good News Notes:

It’s sometimes quite noisy at Ziggy’s Haven Bird Sanctuary in Inverness.

Lots of chirping, whistling and clicking of tongues, squawks and screeches, even an occasional hiss.

But it’s music to Wendy Waas’ ears.

Waas is the founder and president of Ziggy’s Haven Bird Sanctuary, started in 2003 by Waas’ now deceased 15-year-old daughter, Tanya, after her beloved umbrella cockatoo, Ziggy, died from a digestive blockage.

What started as a small, home-based rescue has grown into a large-scale sanctuary and adoption facility.

“After doing some research, our daughter thought we should do parrot rescue and rehoming,” Waas said. “Parrots are flock animals and really are a specialized animal. It takes a great deal of education to provide a home for an animal that will most likely outlive you.”

Now, in loving memory of her daughter, Tanya, Waas is carrying on the fostering work Tanya loved so much.

Ziggy’s Haven takes in displaced parrots from animal hoarding situations, owner surrenders and facility transfers. Ziggy’s provides a permanent home for parrots that would not do well in a home environment. Friendlier birds are placed in the adoption center while they wait for the right family.

How many people does it take to run Ziggy’s?

Kimberlee Phelps is the Executive Director and handles the day to day operations of the organization and the Board of Directors is in charge and meets weekly to go over daily operations.

Ziggy’s relies on its approximately 20 volunteers – and they always need more volunteers, especially on Thursdays and Fridays. Those interested in volunteering can stop by the sanctuary anytime Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5p.m. to fill out an application, take a tour and see if volunteering at a parrot shelter is right for them.

Who does Ziggy’s Haven serve?

“We serve the animals,” Wendy Waas said. “The animals are our first priority. Making sure they have adequate housing, appropriate diet and nutrition, enrichment and veterinary care. We also do that by helping to keep animals in the home whenever possible.

“Sometimes life happens and many people don’t realize that they have options other than surrendering their bird to a rescue. We help by providing bird food and/or veterinary assistance to those that are going through tough times, as well as long and short term boarding. Many of the people who board their parrots with us had originally called to surrender them because they didn’t realize they could board them for an extended period of time. Our first priority is helping to keep the bird in the home whenever possible,” she said.

How is Ziggy’s Haven funded?

The annual operating budget is $80,000, but that doesn’t include much-needed improvements to the property and construction of habitats for the parrots and animals that call Ziggy’s Haven home.

Funding comes from public donations through adoption and surrender donations, parrot boarding and grooming, on- and off-site fundraisers, tours and direct donations….”

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