More than 100 birds have been dropped off at a Tsawwassen sanctuary this year, many of them after their owners decided it was too expensive or time-consuming to keep them.

Jenny Tamas, adoptions director at Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary, said that as the economy worsened, the number of people showing up at her door with their pets increased.

“People have to work more now and there’s more stress in their lives,” Tamas said. “A lot of them are saying they just don’t have any time.”

Tamas said that Greyhaven took in 178 birds altogether in 2008. Halfway through this year, 116 have already been admitted.

With a shortage of space, many of the birds are kept in Tamas’ living room until they’re adopted.

Tamas said that while some people lost their jobs and couldn’t afford to keep a bird, others survived layoffs but saw their workloads increase.

“They go home after working two jobs and they’re exhausted and the bird is added pressure on them.” Tamas said. “People come here and they’re in tears.

“It’s very heart-wrenching to watch someone give up the pet that they’ve had for five years because of life changes and the economy.”

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