NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. (WANE) — A Wabash County pet rescue is asking for help after they say their car was stolen and wrecked.
The Frosty and Friends Exotic Bird Rescue in North Manchester currently houses 74 birds. It takes several hours a day to care for the birds and requires frequent trips to stores and veterinarians, something that recently has not been easy for them to do after a volunteer allegedly wrecked their car.
“We take in mostly unwanted parrots,” said Debra Henderson, President of the rescue. “They live a long time, of course, so we take in a lot that have outlived their owners.”
Henderson said she goes into town at least once a week to pick up 20 to 40 pound bags of food and other supplies for the birds, but a trip to the vet is much further.
“Our vet visits are usually at Fort Wayne or Indianapolis. Not to mention we have to sometimes go pick up birds if there’s an emergency situation.”
Right now, Henderson has to rely on the kindness of friends and family to help her make those trips after she said a volunteer stole and wrecked her 2006 Chevy Equinox while she was out of state. She said one of her birds went missing during that time as well and they have not yet found it. The Wabash Police Department could only say that it is an active investigation. A report has been filed but they are still interviewing people.
The car is not totaled but the repairs will run more than the car is worth, so instead she wants to buy a used, but dependable, car. The not-for-profit, which is named after Henderson’s first cockatoo, does not bring in enough donations to cover the cost of operation. They pay for most of it out of their own pockets, which makes it difficult to just go out and buy another car. Henderson said she thought about shutting down the rescue, but says the birds have already had enough people give up on them.
“I love these guys and they needed a second chance. I mean, they have little souls and emotions and personalities. So many of them have already been given up on.”
They have received some donations, including $800 from Willow Wood Sanctuary, a pet rescue located in Adelaide, South Australia. They were able to help thanks to donations given to them as their country battles deadly wildfires.
“They actually have had quite a bit given to them and said they wanted to pay it forward,” said Henderson. “If I ever get the chance, I’ll pay it forward to them.”
The $800 dollars helped but Henderson said they still have a way to go before they can afford to buy another car. To help get there, they started a GoFundMe fundraiser to raise money so that they can buy a vehicle that will let them transport supplies and the bird cages to where they need to go.