Serenity Park Sanctuary was founded by Dr. Lorin Lindner Ph.D., MPH, who is recognized for having a serious passion for helping people. She shows us this passion over and over again with her service to veterans. Serenity Park, a safe haven and paradise for rescued birds, is also an independent work therapy program for veterans who are disabled and formerly homeless. On top of that, they may also be suffering from things like alcoholism, substance abuse, and PTSD/combat-related trauma.
Like I mentioned, this creative program is not only for the vets. Abandoned pet parrots are twice-traumatized beings. First, they were denied natural will to fly with members of their species, and then the company of their original owners. Parrots are monogamous creatures in the wild, choosing only one partner to remain intimate with. They also have incredibly long life spans, usually living up to 60-70 years. In a lot of cases, that means that the original owner of a parrot will pass on, or becomes unable to care for their beloved pet. And, the parrot could potentially (and usually does) fall into the care of someone less invested in its well-being. Then, sadly, the parrot becomes the victim of neglect or abuse. Parrots are cool creatures who learn to speak soon after birth, a lot like babies and children do. This, it turns out, is the root of that vaunted gift for mimicry, which, along with their striking plumages and beguilingly fixed, wide-eyed stares, has long induced us to keep parrots — neuronally hard-wired flock animals with the cognitive capacities of 4-to-5-year-old children — all to ourselves in a parlor cage: a broken flight of human fancy; a keening kidnapee.
The veterans in this awesome program have the opportunity to work with birds rescued from similarly traumatizing environments. Employment for the veterans at Serenity Park Sanctuary is super flexible and gives the veterans a transitional period in a stress-free environment to regain their confidence and learn valuable skills for future permanent employment in their community. Mutually beneficial, the parrots now have permanent placement in large aviaries that allow them to fly and flock with others of their same species while being provided loving care by the veterans. The unique relationship that develops is therapeutic for both and the veterans are allowed flexible schedules so they can continue physical and mental health appointments.
Bringing awareness to efforts like Serenity Park, programs that benefit and rehabiliate veterans and encourage them to be engaging members of society are what will move our society forward in the movement to properly care for those suffering from alcoholism, substance abuse, and PTSD. Helping and providing a safe place for abused and neglected parrots is just icing on the cake! Check out the youtube video for more information, and their website to see how we can all help!