Jill Woods has been running Feathered Haven Parrot Rescue out of her Beech Street home in Smith Falls trying to save everything from macaws to cockatoos. Due to a recent noise complaint, Woods may have to close up shop.
Woods says she only takes on parrots that are in the direst need.
âWe try to take the ones at risk of being euthanized or the ones with prolonged illnesses and people havenât done things.â
The bird-lover founded Feathered Haven Parrot Rescue about 20 years ago and in all that time, she says sheâs never had an issue with her neighbours â until this fall when she was informed that a noise complaint had been filed against her.
Woods admits the birds do make noise but says not as much as most people would think.
âWe try to keep them as quiet as possible, but itâs really no different than dogs barking in the neighbourhood,â Woods said.
Smiths Falls Mayor Shawn Pankow says heâs sympathetic to Woodsâ plight but the municipality has to respond when there is a complaint.
âWe donât at all discredit what sheâs doing but really we had to make some decisions about the future of this operation and what she would have to do in order to continue to operate.â
Under the townâs current residential zoning bylaws, no more than four animals are allowed to be in any home, and Woods is currently caring for 16 birds.
At councilâs early November meeting, the municipality gave Woods 60 days to let them know what her plans are to remedy the situation.
Woods could try to have her property rezoned or seek a temporary or permanent exemption to her current residential zoning, but at this time, she is unsure which route to take.
Pankow says an exemption would require public consultation.
âBasically, a public process â people would have an opportunity to speak to either support or even against, if thatâs what people choose to do,â Pankow said.
The exemption may provide Woods the lifeline sheâs looking for.
The noise complaint aside, a number of her neighbours support her and the work she does.
Mara Brown lives across the street from Woods and calls her the best neighbour sheâs ever had.
âIâve lived here for nearly 10 years opposite them and thereâs no problem at all and theyâve been more than helpful to me,â Brown told Global News.
Wayne Foster lives three doors down and says the noise is minimal.
âItâs no different than a dog barking, no. Itâs the same and sheâs taking care of animals. Whatâs wrong with that?â Foster said.
Woods says sheâs meeting with municipal staff on Nov. 15 to learn more about what options are available to her to keep her parrot rescue running.