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Your GPW Editor-on-Occasion is Petra Fried in the City.
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stories along The Way

Monday, February 1, 2010

Budgie crisis at East Valley animal shelter

There's a bit of a feathered emergency at the City's East Valley shelter. Someone abandoned 82 parakeets at the shelter this weekend and the shelter is ill-equipped to handle the birds. They need to be adopted out right away.

Parakeets, also called Budgies, are some of the coolest pets you can have. Originally from Australia where they still roam wild in large flocks, budgies as pets are colorful, cheerful, and relatively easy to care for and keep healthy. Feed them daily, give them fresh water, change the paper in their cage regularly, and keep them out of drafts, and that's about it for care. Some do learn to talk, although they're not the first pet bird you'd think of if you want one that talks. I've always had parakeets as pets and it is like having cheerful, chirping colored popcorn in your house.

If you have room in your home, have no house cats*, and can commit to the short daily care of these cute feathered pets need, then head on down to the East Valley shelter and pick one or two out. Pick two, they're happier in pairs or larger groups. Color wise, the birds at the shelter are mostly blue and green, but there are a number of different varieties on the basic color theme. In reality, traditional greens and blues are healthier than color-crosses, anyway, being that the normal green is their color in the wild. Adoption fees are $11 each - a better price than your average pet store. You will need a budgie-appropriate cage, food and water dishes, and healthy parakeet food (no wild bird seed).  Cost to keep my birds is less than $50 per year in feed and vitamins.

The East Valley Animal Shelter is located at 14409 Vanowen Street, Van Nuys 818-756-9323

You can find more information on keeping parakeets as pets here.

*Please don't start sending in the "I've had cats and birds together forever" messages. Some people successfully do this, but far too many end up with 'OMG! I only left the door open for a second, and... !' stories. The bird is ALWAYS the loser....  Just respect how Mother Nature made birds and cats and don't do it.