When Parrot Adoptions Go Wrong

Written By: B.D. Butler - Jul• 31•14
Mealy before APR rescue.

Mealy before APR rescue.

There are countless exotic bird rescues and parrot rehoming organizations across the United States and spanning into other countries all over the world.  These organizations work their hearts out to make sure that the birds they take under their wing (pun intended) are given an excellent quality of life and are found “forever” homes.  But what if that “forever” home that you found for one of the birds in your charge, was possibly even worse than the home it came from.  I got a call from a local bird buddy that told me about a situation, involving a parrot that had been adopted out from All Parrot Rescue and was allegedly being neglected.   I contacted Sonya Brewer of All Parrot Rescue for a phone interview.

Mealy's 3rd degree burns

Mealy’s 3rd degree burns

Mealy a 27-year-old DNA sexed female Mealy Amazon parrot who was adopted out from All Parrot Rescue in Graham, Washington 6 months ago after being there over a year.  In 2012  Mealy was discovered on Craigslist with photos of an over grown beak and appeared to be malnourished.  Sonya Brewer of All Parrot Rescue offered to trim her beak but ended up bringing Mealy home.  After a thorough vet examination from All Parrot Rescue’s regular avian veterinarian, Dr Ferguson, it was revealed she was severely malnourished, due to beak over growth, had caused liver panels to be elevated and other vitamin/mineral deficiencies.  Mealy was also suffering not only from a staff infection, but 3rd degree burns on her feet.  It was not determined if the burns were caused from flying into hot oil or being left outside in the direct sunlight with no shade.  Mealy was placed on zero seed and healthy leafy green/vegetable and pellet diet.

mealy

Mealy, after months of antibiotics and extensive care.

After months of antibiotics and regular beak trimming, the infections went away and Mealy began to put weight on again.  She appeared to be a normal Mealy Amazon that would required extensive specialized care and needed a home that could provide such.  “Cheri appeared to be a very sweet woman and came to APR and appeared to have fallen in love with Mealy”, Sonya Brewer said.  “I was a little reluctant because of her special needs, but she said that she was home all day and she thought that Mealy would be a perfect companion for her and she promised to provide her with nothing but the best care” Sonya added.

Mealy at APR

Mealy at APR

All Parrot Rescue has become an established rescue here in the Pacific Northwest and has done more than over 30+ adoptions into healthy and happy homes, while housing 28 more birds that are looking for their forever home.  They have an extensive screening process that includes home checks and an interview process.  “The bird picks the person”, Sonya Brewer said of her rescue’s adoption process, “We don’t just let anyone take any bird home with them”.  This process is true of many rescues around the world.

“We have had great luck with finding homes for our birds” Sonya said, “or so we thought, this has shaken us to the core.”

mealy.4

Mealy with extremely overgrown beak on July 27th, 2014

All Parrot Rescue often requires regular “photo” checks, which means a current photo is sent via email/text etc., so the rescue can see what the welfare of their birds are. They also make surprise “in person” welfare checks. After seeing that Mealy’s beak had not been groomed, for what appeared to be since she was adopted out in January, Sonya immediately contacted Cheri to make arrangements for a “beak groom” at Cheri’s residence.  Sonya and Steve Brewer received text messages asking them to “come in” and to “come to the back yard, through the sliding glass door” where Cheri was working in the yard.  As they came through the back yard, they noticed what appeared to be a very skinny Mealy on a perch with a Cockatiel.  “She had pin feathers she couldn’t even groom herself because of the overgrown beak”, Sonya said.  Steve approached the bird and said “this has gone on far enough, she needs to go to the vet immediately”.  While he picked up Mealy, Cheri allegedly reached for her as well.  “Steve had the feet and body and Cheri grabbed her head and neck began yanking her towards her chest”, Sonya said.  Steve began yelling “stop, you’re choking her, you’re choking her”. During the commotion, after Sonya tried to get in the middle and break it up, allegedly all parties involved fell over a railroad tie and into a rose-bush.  This prompted a call from the next door neighbor to the police.  During this Mealy was freed and Steve grabbed her and ran to their vehicle.  Cheri then allegedly laid under the Brewers vehicle to prevent them from driving off, until the police arrived on scene.

A very thin Mealy on July 27th.

A very thin Mealy on July 27th.

Sonya stated, after the police arrived and interviewed all parties involved, Animal Control was called and Mealy was deemed appearing to be “in need of immediate vet care”, however City of Federal Way Animal Services does not deal with exotic birds and could not give an “educated and official” opinion.  If you would like to contact them regarding this case #14-10001 you may click here.

According to Sonya, all information was taken by Federal Way Police Department, statements were given and Mealy was returned to Cheri regardless of the stipulations of All Parrot Rescue’s contract with Cheri or the appearance of neglect.  Neither Sonya or Steve Brewer were officially charged with any type of theft or assault, however the case has been sent to the prosecutor’s office and they were informed they would be notified by mail.

lettersonya

Click to enlarge.

Later, Sonya said she received an email from Cheri, which was also cc’d to the police and animal service officers stating Mealy’s beak was trimmed a few hours after the attempted repossession yet she refused to release any other information.  According to Federal Way Animal Service, Cheri allegedly told them Mealy had an appointment a vet to have her beak trimmed on Monday, however she allegedly refused to release the vet name or location to them.  Cheri also allegedly told animal services the same vet told her to “leave the beak alone and just let it grow naturally”.

Sonya said a certified letter was sent to Cheri by All Parrot Rescue giving her reasons the contract, that was signed at the adoption in January 2014, is now in breach and Mealy is to be returned to APR.  It is also informing Cheri that All Parrot Rescue is ready to take full legal action to ensure the return and rehabilitation of Mealy to a safe and healthy place.

If you would like to see the interview from Kiro 7’s Amy Clancy please feel free to click here.

I hope this can be resolved quickly and justly.  For Mealy’s sake.

It still amazes me that exotic birds are not on the priority list of animal services or other animal control organizations, especially considering they are the third most popular pet in the United States.  It shocked me that Federal Way Animal Services would not take Mealy in their possession, take her to a vet and get a viable opinion on her health.   Animal Services would have taken Mealy into custody for mistreatment, neglect or abuse, if she was a dog, cat or even a horse.  Hopefully someday these laws and regulations will change.

Editors Note: Parrot Earth reached out to Cheri who was unavailable for comment.

Copyright 2014 – Parrot Earth – When Parrot Adoptions Go Wrong

 

 

 

 

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7 Comments

  1. Cyndi says:

    What are you going to do if she harms Mealy because she feels that she is in the right with how Mealy is being treated? I do not trust people like that… sorry.
    I do hope and pray that Mealy will be returned to where she can be properly cared for.

  2. Bob Kaegi says:

    Steve and Sonya have done their damnedest to do things right in a short time they have been involved with Rescue. They talked to many of the experienced rescuers, and asked all the questions. She and I have talked for hours, and answered all the questions.

    They have done it right. They are the voices of the voiceless. I have worked with several Humane Agents but there are the few, who are willing to listen… There needs to be an established criteria across the board, and across all states that raise the minimum training standard before anyone can be a humane agent. This along with higher minimum care standards established for all species…

  3. Cate Clark says:

    I understand the Brewer’s concern for Mealy but the bird was adopted out in January. What happened to the home visits between then and now? Maybe this all could have been avoided if they were done. It took time for that beak to get into that shape. If I am incorrect and home visits were done, I apologize but from everything I have read, there has been no indication that they were.

  4. Lisa Tabor says:

    Oh how I am praying for Mealy. Please someone help this little bird. Please please:)

  5. Gina decareaux says:

    Please help rescue this poor bird- it is being abused through neglect !!!

  6. Cyndi says:

    Give Mealy back so she can be cared for properly….

  7. Mercedez says:

    Damn, and this nut job has an umbrella cockatoo, too?!

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