Full Service Westside

Located fourteen miles outside of Muscatine in Letts, Iowa, the Iowa Parrot Rescue (IPW) runs the most comprehensive parrot shelter between Chicago, Illinois, and Denver, Colorado. Run by Mike Hutchison, this small organization plays a big role in helping parrots of all types find forever homes. Defined as birds with hooked bills, hammer shaped tongues, and four toes on each foot (two in front and two in back) parrots come in many varieties. From the tiny budgie to the majestic Macaw, the IPW has cared for and found homes for many types of parrots. However, the group specializes in taking care of larger species. Traditional animal shelters will usually accept smaller species, making it most important for the IPW to help larger birds who cannot receive care elsewhere. Large parrots need special care because of their more demanding physical and emotional requirements. Amazon parrots and other bigger species need to exercise frequently, necessitating good-sized play gyms and flying areas, as well as sturdy chew toys (adult parrots can chew through a two by four in five minutes). Social animals, parrots do best in environments where they can live in flocks and interact with people. However, they have rather unusual personalities. Hutchison describes them as possessing, “the intelligence of a human three to five-years-old and all the hormonal drives of a human teenager,” meaning they need well-trained handlers to take care of them. Additionally, Hutchison explains that parrots still retain their wild instincts (most come from bloodlines only two or three generations removed from the wild) which requires a special kind of understanding from their caretakers. “I have birds that seriously would spend their whole life climbing on me and snuggling. I have other birds that actually would kill me if they could get at me and try to on a daily basis. . . . They still have the fears, needs, and instincts of wild animals. When you are trying to make friends with one, you have to think about that.”Fortunately, the IPR has just the group of dedicated volunteers to help all the parrots who come to them lead full lives and find loving families. When a new parrot arrives at the rescue, Hutchison takes it to an avian veterinarian for any care it may need. Once healthy, Hutchison and his volunteers find a place for it among the shelter’s other birds, and help to make it feel safe, welcome, and happy. They then work to find a new forever home for the bird. Currently, the IPR has sixty-eight birds in its sanctuary and has found homes for nearly 1,100 since it opened in 1997.While parrot ownership does not make sense for everyone, those looking for a long-lived (many species live eighty to 116 years) spirited companion and willing to put up with the mess and the noise should look no farther than the IPR. Hutchison schedules appointments with prospective adopters via the IPR’s website, http://mikeoso.homestead.com/rescue.html. Their Facebook page, (https://www.facebook.com/Iowa-Parrot-Rescue-104511253718/), also offers additional information about their work. The IPW represents one of the finest parrot rescue groups in the Midwest and even the nation. The group puts countless hours into making sure their beautiful, feisty, and wonderful birds receive premium care and form friendships with caring individuals. While Letts, Iowa, may not seem like a tropical paradise to the casual observer, it certainly acts as one to these rescue birds.  

Full Service Westside