Ohio family offers home for exotic birds in need
For more than a decade, the Kraynak family has offered a safe landing for exotic birds that outlive their owners or prove to be a handful for their inexperienced humans. Their nonprofit operation is called Parrot Hope Rescue.
A small volunteer foster army helps care for nearly 50 birds that are available for adoption.
But the majority of the colorful macaws and elegant cockatoos kept at the Kraynak home aren't likely to be going anywhere.
Some are too aggressive, some are too loud and some are victims of abuse and need special attention, explained Shanie Kraynak, 25. She grew up surrounded by the birds and returned from college to take over as Parrot Hope's director.
She stroked a blue and gold macaw that was among two dozen taken from a Coventry Township animal hoarder last spring. Both of the bird's wings were broken from a dog mauling. One wing has fused back together awkwardly and may require amputation.
The bird named Hope sat on Shanie Kraynak's lap, bobbing her head contentedly as the nape of her neck was scratched.
All of the parrots rescued that day "were underweight and couldn't even perch," said Kraynak, who reported they are all doing well now.
The birds spend most of their days outside in the aviaries, from 8-feet-high octagons to a 40-by-20-foot wood-frame cage donated by SeaWorld when the Aurora park closed several years ago.
The SeaWorld enclosure has a fully grown apple tree inside. The others have all manner of posts and perches, toys and mulch floors.
While the birds sleep indoors in a converted garage, they spend dawn to dusk outside as long as the weather is mild.
The Kraynaks rescue birds from throughout Ohio and beyond. Last year, they drove to North Carolina to take possession of 11 in a sanctuary.
A big issue with parrots is that they typically live 80 years or more.
People interested in adopting a Parrot Hope bird must agree to a home visit and sign a contract to return the bird if things don't work out. Adoption fees range from $150 to $300.
The nonprofit is just as focused on education as bird rescue and placement.
The group visits schools and nursing homes, holds parrot training classes and produces a monthly newsletter with advice, from how to build aviaries to nourishing recipes.
Parrot Hope operates entirely on donations.
Source: Akron Beacon Journal