Why don't you have a "Shopping Cart" on your store page?
Mostly because shopping carts cost money. We can buy one for several hundred dollars, or pay about $20 per month to use one online. Without a shopping cart, we likely make less sales, but we are not as much a store as a support and income producer for the wildlife refuge. We may get a cart eventually, but for now, we use paypal, and accept checks and cash. We prefer meeting people rather than sending out to anonymous credit card buyers. That may change if the store brings in money to help animals and it seems to be something positive, but for now we are just trying to see if it will help us support the birds.
How do I know the money goes to the Wildlife Refuge?
It is easy enough to verify. When you write a check , or pay via paypal, you will see that it is all sent to the American Wildlife refuge Inc. a 501C3 charity organization.
Where do you get the items you sell for the Wildlife Refuge?
We get these items several ways. Many of the items are donated. Other items are purchased at wholesale prices and resold, or consigned to us by an artist or an owner. For example, collectibles and thrift store items are mostly donated for free, so every penny we get from them (except sales tax) goes to the refuge. Some collectibles are donated with a specific cost, or consigned. That means we have to pay the person a specific amount back when the item sells. So an item that we sell for $1.00 may cost us $0.50 after it is sold. Other items have a specific cost we pay to buy them, and then we own them and have them to sell.
Do the prices include sales tax?
They do. Our items sold are shown with the price including tax. If the item you buy costs you $1.00, it really cost you $0.93, and you paid $0.07 in tax. We take taxes out of our side, because it is really annoying to have to calculate sales tax and worry about change to the penny when we are at a show and may have a hawk on our arm. Selling a poster to someone with a $3.00 price tag means we are selling it for $2.79 and the other $0.21 is tax. Our volunteer does not have to deal with pennies and change. It is much easier on our volunteers for us to simply price the items so the numbers round out.
Can I specify where my money goes?
Yes, but only if you donate it. Sales funds for items may have to go to pay sales costs. We do not have credit accounts with anyone, so if we have to get new stock, we may need some of the money. Don't misunderstand, the birds are our first priority. We will not let birds go hungry or cages unprepared to buy more inventory to sell. Quite the contrary, sometimes we will be out of stock of an inventory item because the money went to the animals. It is a fine balancing act. that is part of the reason it took us so long to build up inventory
Can I get a tax receipt for items I purchase.
The IRS does not let us give you a charity receipt if you receive some value for your money. The idea of charity giving exemptions is that you gave money and got nothing in return. An animal adoption gives you photos of the animals and a certificate. Granted, that is not something you has huge cash value, but it is something material in return for your money. purchase are like that. They are not counted as charity giving by the IRS. If you want to donate in addition to the purchase, for example, it you write us a check for $100.00 and the item you bought cost $20.00, we CAN give you a tax donation receipt for $80.00, which is the money you gave us, minus the cost of the item you bought.
Okay, enough about the store.. here are some FAQs about Birds of prey rescue and laws...
What happens when you get called for a rescue?
When we get a call, the first thing we do is decide whether or not the call is for us. If it is for a raptor, that is hawk, eagle, owl, falcon or kite, it is a bird we are licensed for we then decide if it is something we can do. If it is a vulture or heron it is one we are also licensed to handle then until they are flight cage ready. We try to determine if the bird really needs us next. Many raptors sit on the ground eating for hours if undisturbed. We ask questions to make sure that it is an actual problem. Then we try to get the person to drop a laundry basket over it if possible, or meet us with it if it is in that weak a condition. Most of the time we end up going out and picking it up from where it is. We do not, however, go out unless the person stays with the bird. We tried that for years and never found the birds. We pick up the bird an take it to our favorite vet, and then if possible, to our hospital. We care for the bird until it is ready to go back to the wild or is determined as permanently injured. If possible we release it, or re-home it.
Can I touch the birds?
Federal law actually prohibits us from letting the audience touch the birds. If we let you touch the bird, we lose our licenses and all the birds have no place to go. so the answer is No.
Can I have a bird as a pet?
No, all wild species are protected under the Migratory Bird Act. You cannot possess one without a license.
How do I get a license?
Licenses require a recommendation from 2 currently licensed people, and they require that you study under them for minimum 100 hours within the past year under one of them before recommending you for a license. Licenses are issued by both the state and federal governments, and possessing a bird may require several licenses - one as a rehabber and one for the bird, depending on it's purpose.
Can I volunteer with you?
Yes you can. We are very strict about animal care, and none of us get paid to do this. It is hard work and dirty work, so it takes someone very devoted to do it. We keep the animals welfare safety and security as our top priority. Volunteers needs are not at the top of our list. So you can imagine that we are hard on volunteers.
Where do you get your birds?
The birds we have are mostly birds we rescued but are unable to live in the wild anymore. They are then vet checked and licensed for educational shows.