Saturday, September 05, 2009

Parrots as pets: Caring for parrots is no simple task

Many high schools have student clubs that meet after school to hone their Latin, skiing or golf skills, but Magnificat High School in Rocky River has an unusual student group.

About 30 students at the private Catholic school for girls join the Animal Outreach Club each year to help animals. They collect supplies for local animal shelters and rescue groups, make catnip toys and treats and raise money for local and national animal welfare groups.

The group meets monthly and occasionally invites animal rescuers and their adoptable dogs and cats to the school to help socialize the pets.

Animal Outreach was founded by two students 10 years ago, when art teacher Kathleen DesForges agreed to be the group's advisor. She remains enthusiastically involved.

"I was so honored and jumped at the chance to work with these compassionate students and provide some measure of comfort to the homeless dogs and cats in our area shelters," she said. "What a joy it has been these last 10 years."

This year's co-president is senior Olivia Biello, of Olmsted Falls.

"We need to be the voice of the animals," she said. "This club gives Magnificat High School the opportunity to help local animals and give them the voice they need."

More Animals in the News:

London is a Timneh African grey parrot available for adoption from the Parrot Education & Adoption Center based in Olmsted Falls.
Parrots as pets: Caring for parrots is no simple task, so the local Parrot Education & Adoption Center hosts seminars on the long-lived, highly intelligent birds. Learn about parrot personalities, including the popular cockatoos and African greys from noon to 4 p.m. Sept. 13 at the Independence Technology Center, 6801 Brecksville Road. It's free. But psychologist and animal behavior expert Susan Friedman's two-day workshop on living with parrots costs $75. It runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 17 and 18 at the Hampton Inn, 10305 Cascade Crossings in Brooklyn. Register for the events at or call 440-669-0082.

Turk needs a home.
Michael Vick protests: Protesters are expected outside each NFL stadium across the country where there is a game opening day, Sept.13. In Cleveland, protesters will gather at 11:30 a.m. at the West Third Street parking lot and walk to the Cleveland Browns Stadium carrying signs and passing out fliers about dog fighting. Get details at After serving nearly two years in prison for dog fighting and killing six pit bulls, quarterback Vick signed a $6.8 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Dog fights in Ohio: The Humane Society of the United States has paid $14,470 in reward money to three tipsters since 2008 for information that led police to three dog-fighting rings in and near Dayton, where law enforcers have made wiping out dog fighting one of their priorities. Anyone with information anywhere in Ohio is asked to call 877-TIP-HSUS.

Almond needs a home.

Gala in Summit County: The Humane Society of Greater Akron's ninth annual fund-raising gala will have a James Bond theme. It's set for 6 to 11 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Akron City Centre Hotel, 20 W. Mill St. The price is $65 for hors d'oeuvres only and $125 for a full dinner. Partygoers will play roulette and other games of chance and participate in auctions featuring a vintage 25-inch strand of Mikimoto pearls, an Accutron 10 diamond men's Chronograph watch, a catered dinner with wine for 10 at your home and a Cavaliers jersey signed by Shaquille O'Neal. Learn more at or call 330-657-2010, Ext. 103.

Donating wisely: The 2009 Watchdog Report on 162 animal and environmental charities helps donors and people preparing

Merritt Clifton

their wills find charities that share their priorities and get the most out of a dollar. The report looks at each group's top salaries, their programs and how they spend their money. Most donors don't want their money spent on seven-figure salaries, plush offices and glossy fund-raising appeals, says investigative journalist Merritt Clifton. The Watchdog lets you know which groups spend most of their money directly helping animals. Get it for $25 at or Animal People, Box 960, Clinton, WA, 98236, or call 360-579-2505 to use a credit card.

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