When October 9, 2014 7:30 pm – Social Time 8:00 pm – Meeting Starts
Where VFW Hall 6 Winslow Place Paramus, NJ 07652
Paula N Ashfield is the Founder of Under My Wing Avian Refuge which provides a safe permanent residence to exotic birds and maintains their lifelong care.
Prior to establishing the sanctuary in 2007. Paula was President of Operations for R&L Electric in Fairfield for 7 years when she left to open her own company Business Share, LLC. With an early retirement in 2005 Paula found herself with lots of time to volunteer and spend with her family. In 2006 Paula opened yet another company – her own bird care center which she named The Cherished Nest. Birds brought here were groomed, bathed, had their nails clipped, and enjoyed time out of their cages. The length of their visits varied. Some were brought in for only a few hours and others were left for several days or weeks, depending on their owners’ needs. Before long, a number of locals began asking Paula to keep their birds permanently. At that point, Paula decided to change the nature of her business from a care center to a rescue for unwanted and mistreated birds.
Among the first birds Paula rescued was a Cockatiel named TJ who, at age 15, is still thriving at the refuge. Then, in January 2007, Lance arrived. An Umbrella Cockatoo, Lance was surrendered because of the abusive behavior of a member of his owner’s family. At that time, he was very aggressive, but with Paula’s love, patience, and excellent socializing skills, he became the sweet bird he is today (if one doesn’t consider his predilection for biting bare toes).
Soon, Paula and her husband Scott found themselves rescuing birds from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut. In August 2007, a Moluccan cockatoo named Aldo was surrendered. Like many other surrendered birds, he had been neglected by his owner and was suffering from multiple health issues; these included an untreated 6-year-old leg fracture, an infection, and liver problems. Once at the rescue, Aldo received proper veterinary care and was carefully monitored by the staff. However, his condition deteriorated rapidly and at the last of several emergency visits to an animal hospital he was pronounced critical. Aldo was brought home to the rescue where he died later that day with his head under his wing.
Upon Aldo’s death the rescue was restructured as a sanctuary to accommodate the needs of those exotic birds that clearly require special care and permanency. In honor of Aldo, the sanctuary was named Under My Wing Avian Refuge. In November 2007, Under My Wing Avian Refuge was registered as a New Jersey nonprofit corporation and in May 2009, it was recognized as a 501 c3 nonprofit organization.
Paula’s dedication and commitment to animal welfare lead to the Ashfield’s purchase of 10.5 acres in 2010 to build a permanent facility for Under My Wing Avian Refuge. The property is not only home to over 100 exotic birds, but it is also a farm “Under My Wing Farm” with over 30 chickens, a rooster, and a dog. The Ashfields are presently under construction to build outdoor flights for the birds on 2+ acres of land…..