Veterans over in the US are being lent a helping hand in their recovery after leaving active service thanks to the Serenity Park Parrot Sanctuary, found on the campus of the Department of Veterans Affairs in West LA.
The sanctuary is home to a wide range of orphaned exotic birds that need lots of looking after – and that’s where the veterans, armed with handfuls of African grey food instead of assault rifles, come in.
On site, the veterans come to care for the birds in huge outdoor aviaries known as habitats. And now, according to the Huffington Post, those behind the facility are now making attempts to roll the idea out nationwide, having already secured the funding through sponsors and public donations to construct eight new habitats across LA.
Navy veteran James Minick had this to say about the sanctuary and what it’s like when veterans first see the birds: “There’s a connection. It’s like a smile from the inside and it looks like some of these guys haven’t smiled in years.”
Interestingly, this isn’t the only such company working towards these goals. There’s also Parrots for Patriots, which works to connect birds with veterans in order to help the parrots find a forever home while also helping those former military personnel find a friend for life.
If you’d like to show your support, you can make a donation to these good causes. Some parrots need retraining or the veterans can’t afford vet bills, cages or pet food, so there is much you can do to help.