We are responsible taxpaying citizens and good pet owners, but due to antiquated laws and regulations, the state is going to take away our beloved pet Quaker Parrot as it is illegal to own a Quaker as a pet in Tennessee. We moved here with our Quaker 2 years ago and she has been our pet for 7 years. There is no good reason to take her from us. The regulation states that she is a threat to native wildlife, but she's not because she lives in an apartment and never leaves except to go to the vet. We are not Quaker breeders and she is like a daughter to us. There's no justifiable reason why Tennesseans cannot own Quaker Parrots as pets. Look at that picture. Does she look like a threat to you?
Allow citizens of the state to keep individual Quaker Parrots as pets.
My husband and I moved to Tennessee almost two years ago to be closer to my family and we brought our dear pet, a Quaker Parrot named Hoppy, with us. For the past two years, we have lived and worked here in town and managed to stay out of trouble. My husband has had some acquaintances in an online chatroom for a few years whom he trusted. He told them we had a Quaker Parrot and lived in Tennessee. These people recently betrayed my husband’s trust and reported our bird to Tennessee Wildlife Regulation Agency, as Quaker Parrots are illegal to own as pets in Tennessee. Now we have only 30 days to decide whether to give our beloved pet to someone else out of state, or move out of state ourselves. These online acquaintances did this with malicious intent, and their only desire in reporting Hoppy was to cause us heartache.
I won’t lie to you. We were aware of this regulation before we moved to Tennessee. I honestly (and naively) though that as long as we didn’t cause any trouble and there weren’t any complaints about Hoppy, we wouldn’t have anything to worry about. She’s a little green parrot and surely Wildlife Regulation and the DEC have bigger fish to fry than that. We’ve lived in an apartment for the last two years and haven’t even received any noise complaints about Hoppy. She’s a good bird, we’re good taxpaying citizens, and still we’re being threatened by this thoroughly unjust regulation.
There has been a persistent urban legend about the nature of these birds in large groups, that they can be destructive to agriculture. The truth is there is no evidence that supports this claim, even in the Quaker's indigenous populations in Argentina. There have been large colonies of Quakers in urban areas of the US since the 1960s; as they prefer urban life to a rural setting. These birds have adapted to their environments and haven't posed a threat to other birds' habitats or food sources. Outdated regulations, in place for decades in a few remaining states, really don't have a scientific leg to stand on.
Hoppy is like our daughter. She’s not hurting anyone. She’s not a threat to anyone. We’ve had her for 7 years, so we’re not just going to get sick of her some day and let her loose. We’ve shed a river of tears today over the thought of losing her. We’re told that if we don’t remove her from the state within the next 30 days, she’ll be taken from us and put in a zoo. Not only would this be heartbreak for my husband and myself, this would be devastating to Hoppy, too. My husband and I along with our other pets are Hoppy’s “flock”, and she’s so afraid of the outside world we’re convinced that she would not be able to thrive if she were taken from us. There’s no better place for her than where she is right now.
I am asking for your help in getting our story out so hopefully we can make some changes to this thoroughly unjust regulation. I could understand if we were running a breeding program, or if we were hoarding birds, or if we weren't taking good care of our animals. But we're good pet owners, responsible pet owners, and there's absolutely no good reason for our avian daughter to be taken from us.
Amy S. Parker