Companion Parrots Re-homed

About Parrot University

Parrot University is located in the Pineville Towne Market at 321 So. Polk Street. Pineville is 15 minutes from uptown Charlotte and the SC state line. We’re open seven days a week and there’s ample free parking. Parrot University is owned by Karen Cheek Justice and managed by Lea Waller. You can reach us at 704-889-2325 or


We offer the full range of products needed to care for and engage your companion parrot. Our nutritional offerings include Harrison’s Bird Foods, Roudybush, Zupreem, Lafeber, TOPs, Volkman, Goldenfeast, Halo, Beak Appetit, and Crazy Corn. You can choose from dozens of perches, swings, and boings to outfit the cage. For daily care we offer full spectrum lighting, mister bottles for bathing, Avix health products, water bottles, food bowls, cleaning supplies, and gram scales to monitor your bird’s weight. There is a wide variety of cages, play stands, and travel cages in stock or available by special order. Our toy selection is the largest and most reasonably priced in the region. If you can’t come to us, we will be happy to ship to you!

Parrot University is an authorized dealer for Wingdow, Bird Toys Etc. and Batik, Canada. Parrots boarding with us enjoy the use of Wingdows so that they can see beyond their room while protecting the woodwork! All our birds are crazy about BTE’s “kitchen sink” as well as other PVC and stainless toys by them. You must see Batik’s beautiful sarongs to appreciate their beauty. They truly are wearable art. Also available are parrot molas handmade by the Indians of the San Blas Islands, Panama. They can be made into lovely pillows, clothing, and wall hangings. Also many wonderful custom framed bird prints are available for purchase.

Educational Resources

With our focus on education, Parrot University offers a wide selection of books, magazines and DVDs to improve your understanding of your companion parrot. Current and previous issues of ‘Good Bird Magazine’ and ‘Bird Talk’ are always available. Classes on a variety of topics are available each month. Please check our Calendar of Events regularly as schedules may change and classes may be added.

Behavioral consultations and in-home visits are available. Parrots are available for adoption through Companion Parrots Re-homed. Click on Adoption Information to see birds that are currently available as well as those who are in new, happy homes. Check with us frequently as this list is always changing. You can visit and interact with many of the birds here in the store, so please stop by for a “birdie fix”!


Parrot University is proud to offer high bio-secure boarding with both private and communal rooms available. Go to Boarding Info for complete details. We urge you to make early reservations during holidays and school breaks as these times fill up quickly!


About Karen

Animals have always been Karen’s first love. Through the years, she has proudly been owned by many wonderful dogs and cats, as well as caring for many strays and rescues. While on vacation, four year old Karen met a wild caught DYH Amazon named Poncho whose antics enthralled her. From that point she always wanted a parrot. (Over forty years later Karen discovered Poncho was still alive and visited him several times before his death at age 52!) In December of 2000, her dream of owning a parrot came true with the purchase of a CAG named Cheeko. Having been deeply involved with pets all her life Karen felt certain she knew what it took to care for a bird. Thankfully she scheduled a wellness visit for Cheeko with an avian veterinarian where it quickly became obvious she knew very little and the pet store even less! Karen threw herself into learning all she could to properly care for Cheeko. Quickly falling into the “Lay’s Potato Chip Syndrome” her flock grew to five parrots! A White-capped Pionus (Emma Ruth), Cockatiel (Sydney), and two Peach-faced Lovebirds (Sweet Peaches and “Lil Bird) joined Cheeko.

Reading everything available at the time, Karen attended parrot conferences and seminars all over the U.S. To learn about avian medicine she volunteered as a vet technician with her avian veterinarian. With the vet’s encouragement Karen started “From a Bird’s View”, providing in-home caregiver education and behavioral assistance. Karen is a member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians and serves on the board of the Mid-Atlantic States Association of Avian Veterinarians. Additionally she is a member of the American Federation of Aviculturists. Attending each association’s yearly conference continues her pursuit of information to assist parrots.

The greatest impact on Karen’s education and focus has been studying under Susan Friedman, PhD. A graduate of Dr. Friedman’s “Living and Learning with Parrots” Karen assists parrot owners by applying positive reinforcement training to their interactions with their birds. Additionally Karen is a graduate of the Basic and Advanced Companion Parrot Training Courses taught by Steve Martin, internationally known animal trainer and owner of Natural Encounters, Inc.

At Parrot Festival (an excellent conference held each January in Houston) Karen met Barbara Heidenreich, another internationally known animal trainer, author of several books and DVDs on positive reinforcement training as well as the editor of “Good Bird Magazine.” Participation in several of Barbara’s seminars has provided further skills for interacting with parrots and their owners.

During this educational process Karen learned of the severe problem of unwanted and neglected parrots. She discovered such wonderful adoption/sanctuary organizations as The Gabriel Foundation and PEAC. While trying to assist owners locally it was inevitable that some birds needed to be re-homed. The numbers grew rapidly. Providing education on a one-to-one basis was slow and frustrating. Thus Parrot University and Companion Parrots Re-homed were created!

Parrot University is very fortunate to have the support and encouragement of two local avian vets, Dr. Lauren Powers, ABVP (Avian Practice) and Dr. Frank Rutowski, DVM. Dr. Powers is the vet for CPR and both are generous with their time and knowledge to assist with any questions or concerns that may arise.

Parrot conservation is of huge concern to Karen. Taking eco-tours to Panama and Costa Rica provided opportunities to not only observe parrots in their natural habitat but to also see the damage man has brought. She attended the VI International Parrot Convention at Loro Parque in the Canary Islands. Held every four years, this conference’s focus is on preserving habitat and breeding for species conservation in both the wild and captivity. Man has exploited (as well as driven many species near and to extinction) these wonderful creatures. We MUST give back whatever we can to protect and preserve them. For information on conservation please visit Parrot University’s library.

Karen and her staff are passionate about what they do. It always has been, and always will be, “ABOUT THE BIRDS!” Visit Parrot U and be part of the solution!