Coincidence? I donít think so! A combination of events helps a bird get home safely
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By Mickey Zeldes  October 5, 2012 12:00 am

It’s not often we get stray birds into the shelter, but it certainly has happened.  We’ve never redeemed one though, because very few people would even think to come into the shelter to look for a lost bird  – or other unusual pet, really.  Just a few months ago, we redeemed a pet tortoise – so it does happen, just very rarely.  It’s interesting to hear about the chain of events leading to this one particular bird finding his way home.

A couple of city employees with the Dept. of Public Works were working on the pool in Lady Bug Park last week when much to their surprise, a colorful, friendly bird flew over to them and sat on one of the men’s shoulder.  Obviously a pet bird, he seemed very comfortable with people and wouldn’t leave.  Knowing a bird like that couldn’t survive on his own, after their shift they brought the bird to the shelter.

After setting up a cage and bribing the bird off his shoulder with a treat, we started guessing what breed of bird he was.  It makes a difference in which type of food to offer, and also how we advertise him.  We would want to be sure someone looking for their bird would recognize him by our description .  We narrowed it down to a couple of types but weren’t entirely sure.  So the next day, I took some photos and e-mailed them over to 49er Pet Store.  Kitty and her staff are quite knowledgeable about birds and have helped us before with bird identification.   They quickly recognized the bird as a Pineapple Cheeked Conure.

About an hour after e-mailing the photos, a couple walked into the shelter and said they understand their bird was here.  Mind you, we haven’t had time to get any advertising out yet about this bird.  We were confused about how they could possibly know we even had a bird.

 Here’s where the coincidence happens.  They had gone into 49er Pet to buy some pet food.  While there, they inquired about Pineapple Cheeked Conures, saying the one they had bought there a couple years ago had just flown away and wondered if they still had any of that breed available.  The staff showed them the photos of the bird at the shelter – and voila, it was a match.  Coincidence? 

This was really a matter of the right people connecting at the right time.  It’s one of the things I love about the power of the internet and having a smart phone.  To be able to take a photo and send it off just like that to someone across town was a huge help.  It was one of those magical times when all the pieces fit together perfectly, so this little bird was actually only out on his own for just part of a day. And then everything clicked to help him find his way back home.  You should have heard how happy he was to see his parents.

After a chat about the importance of clipping wings, they went from the shelter straight back to 49er Pet to have the procedure done by their knowledgeable staff.  Another animal safely returned home.  And our first bird redemption ever!

Upcoming Events: 
Animal Talk: Adult-education workshops offered once a month on a variety of topics.  Does your dog think his name is “No, no, bad dog?”  Learn some tips on dealing with common dog problems on Wed, Oct. 10, 6:30-8 p.m.  Registration is $10; stop by the RP Animal Shelter to sign up.  For a full schedule go to:

Meet the Bunny: Second Saturday of each month (next one is Oct. 13), 1-5:30 p.m. at the shelter.  Meet our adorable adoptable rabbits, have your care questions answered by our knowledgeable volunteers, bring your bunny for a free nail trim, and shop our Bunny Boutique for fresh hay, fun toys and fabulous deals on supplies.

Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at

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