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This CT flower shop is sanctuary to homeless parrots, exotic animals

This CT flower shop is sanctuary to homeless parrots, exotic animals

DEEP RIVER — The greeters patiently wait inside the front door with their big brown eyes and wet noses barely reaching over the wooden gate. There’s 3-year-old Sam, his black furry face barely showing and 7-year-old Winter, with a black and tan coat — he’s bigger and taller and able to comfortably rest his chin on the gate. Welcome to Ashleigh’s Garden , where animals rule the roost. Once inside, the cacophony of parrots talking fills the air and it becomes obvious that this is no ordinary flower shop. With the American Akita dogs at the door and Willow, a 3-year-old cat, Humphrey, a 20-pound African spurred tortoise and a “pandemonium” of parrots freely roaming, it is a haven for animal lovers. Error 0: “I think it’s a positive experience for anyone who loves animals,” owner Allison Sloane says. “We have 36 rescued, abused parrots now,” she says. “I have a designated reptile room at home and that’s where the reptiles live and the parrots are in a sanctuary out back.” The animals that reside here have been rescued from abuse and neglect, euthanasia and from crack houses. They are taken in, cared for and loved by Sloane and her staff. Proceeds from this 25-year-old flower shop have long supported the animals’ rehabilitation, yet as their numbers and needs grow, so do the bills. That is where Pandemonium Thrift Shop comes in. Pandemonium, which literally means a group of parrots, is an apt name for the shop. All proceeds from the thrift shop go directly to the care of the animals through Pandemonium Rainforest Project, Inc. The nonprofit organization not only rescues and rehabilitates vulnerable animals, it supports outreach programs to educate the public about the proper care of the exotic creatures. The 10-room thrift shop, right next door […]

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