31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia

Posted By: couragee

31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 05/16/08 07:01 AM

Hey all ~

I have a couple of friends (Holly, who used to be our Grey coordinator, and Rowan) who volunteer with a rescue back east. They've been helping out with the rescue this week of 31 macaws living in horrible conditions as breeders. A lot of the info about it can't be made public yet, because it's going to court, however I got the "ok" to share the following which is a message from the rescue's executive director. I know that similar situations must exist all over the US, I'm glad these birds at least will now have a chance at a healthier happier life.

Rowan runs, a fabulous bird-toy company that specializes in foraging toys. She has offered to make as many macaw toys as she can from any money donated and give the toys to the rescue. If you want to donate to help, you can get more info by emailing her at

Some of you have asked about an "official" update which can be
circulated, so here's the update as of 5/14 at 6pm:

The total number of birds seized was 31 large macaws. This was
largely a breeding situation - most are bonded pairs but there are a
few singles. Most were active breeders with attached nest boxes to
their makeshift cages. More info. on the conditions will be released
after the initial hearing on Wed. the 21st. We will be attending the
hearing. We will eventually release our own video footage of the
conditions and the rescue, which we hope to bring awareness to such
situations that exist in far too many places in this Country.

Within 24 hours of taking in the birds, we were able to find temporary
situations w/ suitable quarantine standards for 2/3 the birds
including 9 of them going to the vet's office that we have been
working with closely on this rescue. Within 48 hours, all 31 are in
stable, short term places including our own quarantine room and an
outdoor aviary we have designed for Macaws. All have been eating alot
since the first evening we took them in. The taste of a banana,
orange, sweet potato or apple is most appealing to these birds.

Most of the birds have already been examined by Dr. Cook, with full
workups completed on all 9 of the birds at her clinic. We are
confident all will survive - a near miracle considering how they were
kept. One Greenwing Macaw has a massive cyst/tumor on one of it's
wings. The wing had minor surgery today. All seem to have been
exposed to an upper respiratory illness and treatment is underway.

It's too soon to determine each individual's long term placement, we
will be evaluating each bird during this time of quarantine - which
could last as long as 3 months. Most, however, have spent a lifetime
as a breeder bird void of any pleasant human contact and will most
likely prefer a life with other macaws. Our new Macaw room will be
able to accomodate at least half of the ex-breeder birds in a
cage-free natural-themed macaw community and we are also working with
other accredited Sanctuaries to determine other options. For those
birds that do seek human companionship, we will conduct adoptions to

When I first stepped out of my truck into the muddy farm field on
Monday to see the situation for the first time, with one hour's notice
- I was immediately overwhelmed by the magnitude of what needed to be
done. With the help of so many of our incredible volunteers and Dr.
Cook and her veterinary staff, we were able to quickly not only get
all of these birds a clean, sanitary environment with good food and
clean water, but we were also able to begin medical testing and exams.
I couldn't be more proud of the community of positive-spirited bird
lovers that have stepped in and helped out - and will continue to help
out until things settle down eventually around here.

Thank You!!!!!
Posted By: EchosMom

31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 05/16/08 03:10 PM

Thanks for posting this Maria and please everyone, keep your fingers crossed that the hearing on Wednesday goes in favor of the birds.

We'll circulate another official update after the hearing.
Posted By: BE2Cassie

31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 05/16/08 03:29 PM

What a horrid story with a much needed intervention. It's amazing that the birds were able to survive the winters in such awful conditions. Kudos to Dr. Cook and the rescue. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for a positive outcome on Wednesday. It's too bad that they can't charge the owners the $2500 fine per macaw and 1 year in jail for each macaw. That would really send a message to other breeders and hoarders that keep their birds in abusive and neglectful environments. Nancy
Posted By: Dirtpilot

Re: [Mickaboo Discuss] Shared with permission: The res - 05/16/08 05:16 PM

I know what I would like to do to these _____________....!!!
Posted By: couragee

31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 05/16/08 09:24 PM

I don't understand how the pentalties are so low. One bird sale will take care of the fine; no big deal to the offender. Also, how could the courts not rule against the owner. I don't have much money, but let me know if I can write anyone, or just bop someone on the head for you.
Posted By: Donnalee

31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 05/16/08 09:45 PM

Hopefully the Judges will get tired of seeing this and start uping the penalties. I'd love to see these losers have to do community time at a rescue cleaning bird cages and getting educated about what they are perpetuating.
Posted By: EchosMom

31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 05/17/08 11:00 PM

I've posted some images of the situation these birds were in on For the Birds.
Posted By: alexz

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 05/18/08 01:19 AM

Has anyone contacted Cockatoo Rescue in Washington? I know Lori has macaw flights, so she may be able to accommodate.
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 05/18/08 01:52 AM

Alex, as the update says, the birds are all in good, temporary, local situations, pending the outcome of the court hearing on Wednesday. Arrangements for permanent placement are not appropriate at this time.
Posted By: couragee

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 05/18/08 08:26 AM

Okay, here's my question after seeing those photos. Where was animal control a year ago or more. The only reason the birds were rescued was they were abondond. But OMG! They were abandond (philisopically speaking) a long time ago. I hate that is has to get so D! bad and disasterous before the "law" steps in. I am so angry after see those pictures. I also wonder for all their suffering, how many of the babies that they produced are and will be in rescues at some point themselves. This is a D! disgrace!
Posted By: Donnalee

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 05/19/08 10:19 PM

Just shameful! Thanks for the pics EM. Words could not have done justice here. Is it the people's fault for not reporting this because I can't imagine animal control letting this happen? Shame Shame Shame!!!
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 05/19/08 11:35 PM

The costs associated with this rescue effort are considerable. For those that would like to help, besides direct donations, here is another avenue.

Avian Antics Bird Toys has selected Project Perry as this months featured organization. There are several options. You can shop directly for the sanctuary and Avian Antics will ship your order directly. They are offering free shipping of most items and under the Emergency assistance program, are offering a 20% discount. Your dollars will go further. There are also offering other discounts and savings on your entire order if a portion goes to help the sanctuary.

Many, many thanks to the folks at Avian Antics!!!!

ETA: Donna, AC, has filed charges, and the courts will be making a ruling on Wednesday.

Orange County did an excellent job of responding to this as soon as it was brought to their attention. The property is a 600 acre farm and was a foreclosure sale. The birds had been moved from the side of the house to a field and the new property owner discovered them. Authorities took IMMEDIATE action.
Posted By: Donnalee

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 05/20/08 12:06 AM

Good-good! I didn't think AC would take something that serious lightly. Ah-ha--another good reason to go shopping. Thanks for the link EM.
Posted By: Donnalee

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 05/20/08 08:41 PM

I was wondering...When you go to buy a bird from a breeder like this, how is it that people do not see the conditions that the birds are kept in? Do they bring out a cute little chick in a basket so people don't see the horrid conditions? Or do people see that and turn their cheek not wanting to get involved in reporting to AC?
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 05/21/08 12:00 AM

I've never been into a breeding facility for the purposes of buying a bird. Unaware, I purchased my M2, but it was from a petstore, not directly from her breeder. But I have a couple of thoughts. The inside operation of many breeders (especially the worst ones) is not seen by the public because a) they only sell to petstores and most likely the birds are just shipped OR they have a petstore themselves; b) the eggs/chicks are pulled from the parents for hand-rearing and are housed separately from the breeder pairs, and c) the breeder sets up "shop" in a flea/swap market and sells the babies there.
Posted By: Cassie's_girl

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 05/21/08 02:49 AM

EM, thanks for posting this, I hope they make an example of the breeders, those pics were DISGUSTING!

Many years ago my husband (then boyfriend) and I traveled for a living. Whenever we were in the warmer areas of the country where birds were more available I scoured pet stores and visited breeders because I was fascinated with parrots, but there weren't many back then in WI. Back then there wasn't really any internet, and all my research in books and magazines sung the praises of breeders and hand-fed (ESPECIALLY unweaned sick babies!!!! eek ) parrots. It took me a long time to realize what a cruel industry it truly was.

I visited several breeders in California, Arizona, and Florida. In practically all the larger ones they would ask what types of parrot you were interested in, and when you got there they would have a couch or playstand full of adorable, friendly, sweet, playful baby birds.

Almost none of them would let you tour the breeding or handfeeding areas, claiming it was to protect the birds from diseases. I'm sure as soon as I left they were back to their lonely boxes or cages til the next feeding time. I'm sure that's how they get away with the neglect seen in those pics. I hate that I ever contributed to any of it. I won't even buy toys or food from a store that sells animals now.
Posted By: Donnalee

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 05/21/08 05:34 PM

Thanks for the story CG. I like seeing the breeders exposed for what they are! That should turn away most prospective baby buyers. What a bunch of dirtbags!
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 05/22/08 01:31 AM

Here is the 5/21 update from Project Perry:

We went to court today for the seizure hearing which determines custody of the parrots. The defense did ask for a continuance which was granted by the Judge. I just spoke to the animal control officer in charge and both people were arrested today and each charged with 31 counts including 26 counts of animal cruelty. The trial date is set for June 20th. We're continuing with veterinary exams, tests and treatments and all of the birds are doing much better than 10 days ago. I will give another update as we get more information and as the birds progress. I want to take this opportunity to once again thank everyone who has been involved with helping these birds!
Posted By: Bird Mom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 05/22/08 04:29 AM

Thanks for the update!
Posted By: Donnalee

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 05/22/08 09:43 PM

I'm glad to hear they are doing better! Thanks for helping them!!!
Posted By: Donnalee

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 06/02/08 10:24 PM

Hey EchosMom, The 4 LARGEST toys comming your way. Let me know when you get them (there was a bit of a mix up with the sending--I guess some people did not know they get sent directly to PP).
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 06/02/08 11:01 PM

On behalf of the birds and all of us at Project Perry, thank you Donna, and everyone else that has helped these guys out.

Two more of the birds unfortunately had to be hospitalized last week because of respiratory issues, and a few have have been tentatively diagnosed with Aspergillosis.

Hopefully Matt will be releasing another official update in the next week or so. And of course, we'll let everyone know the outcome of the next hearing on the 20th of this month.

Thank you again! I would also like to thank Parrot Toy Angels for their generous support.
Posted By: Donnalee

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 06/04/08 12:31 AM

You're very welcome! : )
Posted By: TimmyGrey

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 06/26/08 02:08 AM

Is there an update on the macaws? Wasn't the hearing on Friday?
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 06/26/08 02:58 PM

There really isn't much of an update (which is why I haven't updated the thread). The case did not go to trial on the 20th, and a new date has not yet been set.

TimmyGrey, I recognize your username but it's been awhile. I see that you have 5 posts, so I went to view them to refresh my memory, but they are gone. So my guess is that they were deleted because they go against the agenda here - a bird auction I do believe.
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/10/08 03:46 AM

Please feel free to circulate.

Many people have been following the 31 Macaw story since the beginning, hoping for justice to be served for these birds. Sadly, today I must report that an agreement has been made between the Orange County's Commonwealth Attorney and the defendants in the case. This was not the positive outcome we had expected and hoped for from the justice system. According to the agreement entered by the court this morning - on July 25th, the defendants will pick up from Orange County Animal Control and transport all 31 Macaws to a breeding facility in Florida, adding to the nearly 1,000 birds currently at that facility. The end result of the disappointing agreement includes all criminal charges will be dropped and the defendants retain ownership of the birds, regaining custody of them after 18 months. The defendants are required to reimburse the County the nearly $20,000 in medical care provided to these birds since under our care.

Since there has been an unnecessary amount of false, defamatory and downright malicious information presented by particular extremists in the breeding community, we are currently putting together a website which includes all of the truthful and factual information pertaining to this case including the actual photos and video of the conditions the birds were removed from, the vet report, all public court documents and their documented progress since being placed under our care by Orange County officials. We are also retaining counsel to address all defamation instances which have or might arise over this case.

This is not the email I would have liked to have shared with those who were counting on justice being served but it is indeed the reality of what has transpired in a most absurd turn of events. Thank you to everyone who has been supportive throughout this event and stay tuned for a new website to be released.


Matt Smith
Executive Director
The Central Virginia Parrot Sanctuary

For information on our African Grey Project go to:

Posted By: Charlie

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/10/08 04:19 AM

What a shame. It just reinforces what we have seen over and over in the past; animals are property, pure and simple. It can be heartbreaking. What a great system we have! mad
Posted By: Brandy's mom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/10/08 04:33 AM

Son of a GUN!
Posted By: TiKa's Dad

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/10/08 04:34 AM

Sure doesn't inspire much hope. The system does the same thing to our children. It's evil.
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/10/08 04:37 AM

Wait until you see the new website and see for yourselves, who some of the key "players" were in the way this came down.
Posted By: Kim & Lilly

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/10/08 09:40 PM

To express your disappointment in the outcome of this case you may write or call The Commonwealth Attorney: Ms. Diana Wheeler. Her email address is

Website is:

I hope all of you will call or write. This is such an injustice to those poor birds. k

Posted By: Charlie

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/10/08 10:08 PM

Done gladly! Here is the address folks, just one person to write, do it. Things will never change if everyone just talks.

Diana Wheeler

Posted By: EchosMom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/21/08 05:06 PM
Posted By: Brandy's mom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/21/08 06:24 PM

I can't type the words that are running through my head that I shouldn't even be thinking.........God help these poor beautiful dears....because man's justice has totaly *messed* let them down. Thank you to all the rescue workers, avian medics, legal professionals, foster's, financial donators, and those who prayed and sent good thoughts.
Posted By: Charlie

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/21/08 08:54 PM

I added my comments to the narrative. This really makes me see The Gabriel Foundation in a new light. mad

I suggest that other enraged members make their comments there as well.
Posted By: Bird Mom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/22/08 04:50 AM

Thanks for the link!
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/22/08 05:12 AM

This site is still under construction, but ready for release...

Please circulate.
Posted By: Janny

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/22/08 07:52 AM

I posted a comment as is awaiting approval.

I really am at a loss for words. cry
Posted By: ZazuSally

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/22/08 03:18 PM

Janet, I had no idea this is what you were talking about. You know I've always said you get in bed with a snake and you are going to get bitten or if you get in bed with a fish, you will stink like a fish and I'm thinking The Gabriel Foundation is stinking to high heavens.

This is just disgusting. Those poor birds. Until animals are thought of as more than just property they will always get the crappy end of the stick.

Posted By: spinnyspoo

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/22/08 03:53 PM

I'm shocked at the gabriel foundation. I posted my comment. I had to use a made up zip code to do it. I'm willing to take the karma for it.
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/22/08 05:07 PM

For those of you unfamiliar with TGF's mission/purpose statement, it includes the following:

The Gabriel Foundation is pleased to support responsible and ethical breeders who implement the very best standards of care for the needs of the psittacine and parrot-like birds raised and housed in their aviaries.
Posted By: ZazuSally

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/22/08 05:23 PM

Right and those birds look like they were treated with dignity and respect with 8 inches of poop under them and $20, 000 worth of vet bills.

"responsible and ethical breeders" Now isn't that an oxymoron?

I remember when the guy who used to be the Director of World Parrot Trust Canada told me that "there is no such thing as rescue, just a bunch of women with nothing better to do". And of course, this guy is a breeder and now runs an aviary in Niagara Falls.

Posted By: Charlie

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/22/08 05:29 PM

It seems that statement might be conflicting with the information supplied for 501c3 status. Having never filed those kinds of paper, I don't know but it would be interesting to hear, in a legal sense, how someone that contributes to the overpopulation of parrots can be awarded tax advantages for SAVING them.
Posted By: flowerchild

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/22/08 07:23 PM

ethical responsible breeder is an oxymoron. i know, i used to be one. only tiels, and with the best of care and intentions- but even the little guys, which i still consider to be an ideal pet for anyone responsible enough to own pets. the problem is those people are so few and far between that i had to stop. the only ethical breeder is an ex-breeder. i'm praying for all involved in this nightmare. apparently 'american justice' is also an oxymoron.
Posted By: Ladyhutch

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/22/08 07:43 PM

This information about TGF is disgusting!! mad I should have read all of their mission statement BEFORE I donated my money!
I tried to post a response, but my membership is not activated? I will try later. This really pisses me off! mad
Posted By: Garnet

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/22/08 07:54 PM

This is horrible. I cannot believe that the birds will be allowed to go back to their original owners. I cannot see how they aren't being charged with animal cruelty.

No one "needs" to own parrots and it should be considered a privilege to have them. If you will not care for them properly, you don't deserve to have them. Birds need some protection against abuse and neglect.

It also seems that the "avicultural rights" fanatics (people who figure that folks should be able to treat birds however they want) are raising money to defend these birds' owners. Apparently, the macaws owners couldn't afford to take care of them. Well, I couldn't afford 31 macaws either, and that's why I don't have 31 macaws! I'd rehome animals before I'd just abandon them to live in rusted shut cages in their own crap.

I saw the pictures of them at the Virginia sanctuary. How sad it must be for the people there to know that these poor birds are going to go back to living in cages without trees, and room to fly and climb. The breeder who's taking them has over 1000 birds. She breeds cockatoos as well...and like I say, we all know the fate of the average hand-fed cockatoo. How can anyone breed them knowing how many end up going mad?
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/22/08 10:02 PM

Some of you may have already seen the two separate statements made by TGF concerning the "facts" and "misinformation" about their involvement in this case.

The first link is the "revised" version which is a "click here" link on their homepage under their "News & Events" section located on their homepage.

Now, read the the original statement that TGF released and circulated. This document still sits on their site, but is no longer linked on their homepage.

Read carefully. You will see a wide variety of "facts" changing from one "release" to the other. We all know that "facts" don't change. Based on the "facts" presented in their first announcement, it seems clear that TGF knew very little about the true facts of this case before getting involved. Perhaps their source of information, was unreliable - whoever the "individual" was that contacted them on behalf of the owners? Who knows?!?
Posted By: Mona

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/22/08 10:51 PM

What the Gabriel Foundation has done is DISGUSTING. I hope word gets out to everyone who has ever donated money to them, thinking they were ANTI breeding, finds out, and the money stops coming in to help them support breeding.

This just makes me sick.
Posted By: bellesmom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/23/08 04:12 AM

This makes me sick. There is not even a provision in the agreement to have the premises inspected before the birds go back. I hope they are unable to raise the $$ to get them back. But gee, looks like the gabriel foundation might just help them raise the money. One thing though, in my county,you would reamin a target/suspect with animal control. unfortunately there are just not enough officers to go around. Re-paying the vet bills is not enough either, most defendants have to pay a fine. They should have been made to surrender the birds with no chance to getting them back. Sick.
Posted By: Charlie

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/23/08 04:17 AM

One has to consider the very real possibility that all concerned parties KNOW that the owners will not pay because they can't or just won't. Then where will the birds be? Yes, with a breeder in Florida that sits on the board of The Gabriel Foundation. Then, the only decision is how to split the profits. Sickening scenario but nothing would surprise me. mad
Posted By: TiKa's Dad

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/23/08 04:31 AM

It just gets sicker, and sicker, and sicker. Unreal!!!!
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/23/08 04:35 AM

And let's not forget the $27,900 that the owners will be responsible for their day-to-day rountine care to TGF. (As per TGF - $50 per mo/per bird.) And that is IN ADDITION to any and all veterinary costs incurred - which is ongoing and is already extensive. Tack that onto the nearly $20k the owners have to reimburse the Commonwealth???
Posted By: Donnalee

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/24/08 01:43 AM

I hope EVERYONE involved in this horrid outcome rots in HELL! I'll give them a piece of my mind too!
Posted By: Charlie

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/24/08 03:55 AM

Take a look at their new homepage:

I used the contact to let them know, personally, how I felt about the disgusting situation. One can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear!
Posted By: Java_One

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/24/08 04:05 AM

Boy, talk about backpedaling and FAST, what do they think we are all STUPID????

Posted By: Charlie

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/24/08 04:07 AM

I really think they do, Java! It if wasn't so sick, it might be funny!
Posted By: Lanie

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/24/08 05:23 AM

Why would a "breeder" be allowed on the board of a rescue???????
That's like letting the devil be a church elder. The mind boggles.
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/25/08 12:03 AM

Richmond Channel 6 did a feature a 5pm - there is a clip on up on their site. (click on the picture of the macaw)

The video says there will be more on the 6pm news, including another video, so hopefully that one will be up later this evening.

Posted By: EchosMom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/25/08 06:58 PM

The birds are now in possession of the Crosswhites. They were loaded into the back of a NON-climate controlled box truck. A peaceful demonstratation was held in the public right-of-way in front of the animal shelter, and the media was present for the event. The demonstration has now been relocated to the public right of way in front of the OC Court House. Representatives from the sanctuary filmed the event and we'll get that up, and available to everyone in the near future.
Posted By: TiKa's Dad

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/25/08 07:24 PM

public coverage of all this is the key. Video the hell out of everything and plaster it on every video site on the web.
Posted By: alexz

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/26/08 08:49 PM

Out of curiousity, did the hy get loaded onto that truck, or were special arrangements made for transport? Anyone know?
Posted By: Charlie

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/26/08 08:58 PM

According to this witness, they were loaded onto a regular tractor trailer. That should be abuse right there. I wish their "keepers" were with them in that truck. If this is true, it is the cruelest irony!

This morning, I woke up. I took my dogs out. Fed the birds. Ate breakfast. Got in the car. Drove an hour and thirty minutes. I felt a heaviness in my soul. The best I can describe is the combination of numbness and pain that comes when you are on your way to a funeral. Your thoughts and emotions blur, and you just feel empty. That awful feeling persisted as I arrived at Project Perry. I watched as 31 macaws were handled with loving, gentle hands. I watched as animal control officers brought a seemingly endless number of carriers into Project Perry, and these great creatures who have learned how to trust people in the last two months surrendered themselves to being crated. Only a few really protested, only a few panicked...most just had a quiet trust and dignity about them, that made the situation that was unfolding even more heart breaking. The trip to the shelter to protest seemed quick. As a concerned citizen, I wanted to call attention to the injustice that had taken place. I prepared myself to be emotionless as I stood there. Instead the other protesters and I quietly made conversation..if this had happened to dogs, people WOULD care. Imagine 31 dogs were taken from small cages in which they were intended to breed, with excrement crusted about them, rotting food, abandoned in a field, exposed to the elements. The media would have been flooded with the images of the puppy mill. Instead only 2 news media sources covered the story. Had the world been watching, they would have felt a victory when they saw the improvement in the 31 macaws’ lives as Project Perry took in these birds and contacted volunteers to foster them. Lovingly and patiently these birds began to have their health restored with nearly $20,000 in vet care, fresh wholesome foods, clean water, and human attention. Rescued. Rehabilitated. And then this is where people should be throwing a fit; the courts rule the birds should be RETURNED. Returned to their abusers, after an 18 month stint in a breeding facility! Where it seems like there will be far too many birds to insure that these birds, some in still fragile health, will get the care they deserve. Fighting to remain calm on the surface, I held my sign. It said “RESCUED, REHABBED, RETURNED”. I raised it up as a rental moving truck approached, and I watched the defendants who had been charged with animal cruelty pull down the long gravel driveway to collect the birds like property. My heart sank even further as the reality struck me, these birds would have a 13 hour long trip to Florida in the back of a metal moving truck. The sun was hot, I was sweating, others in our group were complaining of sunburn...I was afraid the truck would turn into an oven....we did what we could, spoke to animal one had the authority to insure the healthful transport of the birds. Where is the accountability? Why is it acceptable to move these birds like they are furniture? I wonder about the people involved in the courts’ decision making, I wonder about the defendants, and I wonder about the Gabriel Foundation. How many of them profess themselves as animal lovers, as kind or caring people? Where along the way did they got lost? When did they bury their sense of right and wrong? How do they justify cruelty and neglect? When did worshiping money replace their human thoughts and emotions? I really, truly hope for these people that someday they will see the truth and understand what they have done.

EDT: The Gabriel Foundation website has been inaccessible all morning. I wonder what will be on the front page when it reopens?
Posted By: alexz

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/26/08 09:06 PM

then Julie Murad and TGF are accountable for the abuse since the birds are released to TGF control and custody.

I'd say it's probably time for an anti-TGF campaign.
Posted By: Charlie

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/26/08 09:14 PM

Well, if they were loaded onto a standard metal truck body for a trip from Virginia to Florida in the dead of Summer, that would probably qualify as animal abuse. Yes, I suppose TGF is in charge of the operation. mad
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/26/08 09:59 PM

Alex, I replied to your question on FTB also, but for the benefit of the readers here. They were all loaded together on the box truck w/out food or water. So either they did w/out the long trip to Florida, or a stop was made once they left the shelter. We don't know.

ETA: The Crosswhite's were instructed by Officer Dahl that they were required to contact the local animal shelter as soon as they arrived at the facility in Florida. We've been trying to confirm all day if they arrived safely, w/out success.
Posted By: alexz

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/26/08 10:05 PM

We'll never be privvy to the final outcome at any rate. As soon as I saw the hyacinth--it answered the question as to how and WHY TGF got involved. I'd lay odds that at some point (whether now or in the future) that hy will be julie's property.
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/26/08 10:53 PM

Originally Posted By: Charlie
EDT: The Gabriel Foundation website has been inaccessible all morning. I wonder what will be on the front page when it reopens?

The site is still down...perhaps the "Contact Us" was getting flooded? For anyone that may have planned to send an email but can't because they don't have the addy, it's
Posted By: Garnet

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/26/08 11:28 PM

Holy $#%@. Those poor birds! How could they transport them like that? It's muggy and hot and it can get worse in a metal trailer. The LEAST they could do is transport them properly. Why couldn't TGF send funds for a few big vans to be borrowed or rented for the trip so there could be air conditioning when needed?

I still can't wrap my head around the fact that these birds are going back to their first owners. This is crap. Who lets that much fecal material build up in their birds' cage? I know they had financial trouble but it costs nothing to clean a cage and if they cannot afford proper care, they shouldn't have thirty one macaws! Their water looks disgusting too (and it's no cost to change water!). Plus, they've got nest boxes, which I think explains why they chose to neglect the birds rather than rehome them.

Did "Project Perry" pay for the birds' medical care? Thirty-one birds needing that much vet care indicates serious neglect to me.

Naturally certain people in the breeding community are defending the macaws' owners.
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/26/08 11:40 PM

Garnet, the medical care the birds received was provided by the Orange County shelter's appointed vet, Dr. Hillary Cook, and the Commonwealth was billed for her services. Part of the written agreement between the Commonwealth and the Crosswhite's is that defendants must repay the Commonwealth nearly $20,000 in veterinary services provided by Dr. Cook. You can view the agreement at
Posted By: Charlie

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/26/08 11:48 PM

EM, was Dr. Cook, or any other vet in attendance when those birds were loaded into that truck? It would be interesting to see what a professional has to say about that. I do know vets, however, that would probably find that perfectly acceptable! They have to make a living too, if you know what I mean.
Posted By: Garnet

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/26/08 11:51 PM

Thanks Echosmom.

Edit: I guess it was the Crosswhites who transported the birds to Flordia, so that's why they're in a hot trailer. They were allowed to have the birds just to take them to the Florida breeding facility.
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/27/08 01:07 AM

I just received this email from TGF:

Everyone who has expressed an interest and concern about the 31 VA macaws will be relieved to know that ALL of the macaws safely arrived in FL today. They arrived mid-morning and their brand new aviaries awaited them. They had food still remaining in the crates in their food dishes and the crates were only moderately soiled with fresh droppings upon arrival. According to the veterinarian and TGF team on site, the birds appeared to make the transition without incident. Each of the pairs were set up together so that friends could remain with friends.

Our team in FL was on hand to meet the birds, photo their arrival, and upon transferring them from crates to aviaries, each bird's oral cavity was swabbed for additional c&s testing. Dr. Hillary Cook had faxed us copies of the birds' recent lab test results that were provided to our veterinarian in FL. We are awaiting additional information concerning these birds to add further insight about their present state of health.

These birds are now settled in and appear to be acclimatizing to their new surroundings. Many of the birds were observed to be preening each other and grooming themselves after the journey. Their appetites appear good, and our veterinarian said that even those birds with scissor-beaks appeared to be able to eat well. Files are in the process of being assembled from paperwork sent to us from various veterinarians and other sources about each of the birds to create as accurate a medical and social history as possible. Once our veterinarian has had the opportunity to thoroughly review all records, have additional onsite observation time with the flock, and evaluate their activity level, she will determine what additional testing or treatments are necessary immediately and for the long run. We have scheduled an enrichment day for them this coming week to add pandanas nuts, fresh palm branches, FL pine branches and wild sea grape browse to their aviaries. We are working with several folks to provide foraging materials for this flock so that their days will continue to be rich and full as they have been for the past several weeks.

We'll be providing updates on our website about this flock since so many of you contacted TGF to wish the birds a better future. From the hundreds and hundreds of emails we've received it seems that this particular flock has generated many emotions and we want to thank you all for the many positive comments, passing on their stories to your friends and your well wishes for the flock's continued improvement.

From the Virginia macaw flock: Pretty-bird & Lisa, PB Jr and LisaLisa, William & Janet, Manuel & Natasha, Thunder & Attitude-child, Buddy & Blue, Sam & Sunshine, Mannie, Nattie, Shem & Rocky, Charley & PicoSwerto, Rainbow, Buddy, Max and Polly, Patrick & Charlene, Beegee, Boogie, and Bodie, and the Twins.

All of us at Project Perry are relieved to hear that the birds arrived safely and are asking for those pictures taken today (as per the email) to be provided, as promised.

ETA: This appears to be a mass-email that was sent out by TGF to everyone that sent them an email concerning their involvement - positive or negative.

The big picture remains unchanged, but we are all concerned about the birds and at least we know they survived the trip.
Posted By: alexz

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 07/27/08 04:12 AM

I got the same email; but I did email Julie earlier expressing my disgust of the entire matter.
Posted By: Donnalee

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 08/17/08 12:13 AM

I'd like to hear someone other than TGF verify they ALL arrived alive because I highly doubt being transported in an OVEN that they all lived. What a bunch of idiots! I'm so PISSED!!!!
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 08/17/08 12:35 AM

It just so happens that I live in FL so I called TGF and asked if I would please be allowed a brief visit to see the macaws and meet their new caretakers. No grand tours - I'm not interested in seeing the breeding operation. A few days later I received an email from Julie Murad inviting me to the CO center, but denying my visit to Florida. I was instructed to contact them again in 3 months. 3 months?!?!?!

I didn't wait the 3 months to write back though. I made another appeal and told Julie Murad that nothing would make me happier than to visit, and report to the avian community that the birds are settled, well-cared and progressing. That was a week response.

Posted By: EchosMom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 08/17/08 02:19 AM

Sorry Charlie, I just saw your question. To my knowledge no vets were in attendance when the birds were transferred from OC to the Crosswhite's. Dr. Cook examined each bird at the sanctuary before they were loaded by Animal Control, who transported them back to the shelter.

I do know that concerns were expressed by witnesses on the scene at the shelter, but AC officials allowed the transport vehicle because it conformed to local statutes. So once again...the laws failed these birds.
Posted By: katy girl

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 08/19/08 05:55 PM

EchosMom, I have read all of this and I can't believe what I am reading. I am confused though, did the Gabrial Foundation have anything to do with this? Is Julie Murad a part of the Gabiral Foundation or did she just work with them at one time?
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 08/19/08 06:21 PM

If you read the madmacaws site (the link is in my signature) you'll see how TGF was involved. Julie Murad is the Founder and President of TGF.
Posted By: rockinseattle

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 08/19/08 07:19 PM

I along with others have emailed TGF for more info about the 31 macaws but TGF doesn't seem to be returning emails.

Hmmm. What do you suppose they are hiding now?

One would think that TGF would want to show pictures of the macaws safe and happy and not avoid the issue because by doing so it only makes them look worse.
Posted By: Charlie

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 08/19/08 07:40 PM

I e-mailed from Mytoos as well. No response. They just want this to die a quick death I am sure. I hope it does not!
Posted By: Rukesmom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 08/19/08 08:38 PM

thank you Echos Mom for staying on this~ Hopefully they will let you see them soon. The poor sweet beings~
Posted By: Donnalee

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 08/20/08 12:29 AM

Oh yes--thank you so much Echosmom for your endless help with these poor dears! (I get so rilled up when I read this thread I forgot to thank you)
Posted By: katy girl

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 08/20/08 04:28 PM

I e-mailed them yesterday and asked if they would please post some pictures of the macaws on their website. Everyone is very anxious to see how they are doing.

Where in Florida is TGF located?
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 08/20/08 07:17 PM

TGF isn't located in Florida, they are in Colorado. The macaws were sent to a breeding facility in Florida that is owned and operated by one of TGF's board members.
Posted By: katy girl

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 08/23/08 03:35 PM

I knew they had a rescue operation in Denver but did not know they had a facility in Florida that was owned by a board member. I certainly think this a conflict of interest, to have a rescue and breeder on the board of the rescue.
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 10/27/08 06:11 PM

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) featured an article in the latest issue of their Animal Sheltering Publication (magazine)....

Macaws for Alarm
Posted By: Donnalee

Re: 31 Macaws abandoned in Virginia - 10/28/08 01:56 AM

That is a great article. Really impressive about the housing for the African Greys...BIG! And I thought Perry was the name of the sweet!
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