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18th-May-2010 01:25 pm
The content of this post may be considered somewhat inflammatory. However, the intent is not to cause drama, but to inform community members of a situation with a fairly well-respected rescue organization, which may affect whether they choose to support that organization in future.

Two representatives of Mickaboo Companion Bird rescue -- lomaprieta (a member of this community) and someone I did not know -- stole three cockatiels from my house yesterday morning, which would seem to indicate that Mickaboo is currently in possession of stolen property.

selasphorus, a former moderator of this community, and her husband eclipsegryph are divorcing. I will say as little about the divorce itself as I possibly can: their personal business is personal and none of parrot_lovers' concern. However, Mickaboo's involvement, including the unlawful seizure of contested pet cockatiels, IS the business of this community, which contains many current or former Mickaboo supporters and volunteers -- myself included. I really would like to keep my head down and let the legal system sort this out, but I'm overriding that impulse, because if this had happened to anyone else, I would want to know about it.

Before their divorce turned contentious, the verbal agreement between selasphorus and eclipsegryph regarding the disposition of family pets, all of which were acquired during the course of the marriage and all of which are considered community property under California law, was that selasphorus would take the cats with her when she left, and eclipsegryph would keep the cockatiels. The rest of the birds would be taken into Mickaboo for either fosterage or adoption, however selasphorus decided. eclipsegryph and I have been taking care of the cockatiels for the past five weeks.

Mickaboo's involvement on the day of selasphorus's departure was a surprise: eclipsegryph and I were under the impression that all the birds that were going to foster/adopt -- that is to say, Gojira the linnie and Ciatol and Elijah the budgies -- had already gone. We assumed, erroneously, that selasphorus would be taking her greencheek Mori with her when she left. It was only when we began loading the U-Haul trailer that her family had brought, and asking questions about how Mori's cage would fit, that she admitted Mickaboo representatives were on their way to collect him. She made no mention of any other reason for their presence, so we were again surprised when lomaprieta and her associate brought two vehicles.

selasphorus, lomaprieta and the other woman from Mickaboo entered my personal bedroom, without permission, against my wishes, to collect the finches I was caring for on selasphorus's behalf. This is also of questionable legality, as I was informed later by an attorney, but I backed down at the time because I didn't want to start a fight. I did, however, go outside to clear my head. We allowed them to load up the finches and Mori, all of us watching from outside the house. This is why, when lomaprieta emerged with the carrier holding Aki, Aya, and Alcyone, we were unable to stop her. She all but ran to her car. eclipsegryph, understandably distraught at the unforeseen abduction of his pets, followed selasphorus to her family's car, saying "You can't take the cockatiels, you can't take them", and lomaprieta yelled back "They're not hers anymore" (referring to selasphorus), and the two drove away with them.

Mickaboo has flagrantly overstepped their mandate: even in cases of extreme neglect or outright abuse, animal control officers (which is to say: the representatives of a government agency not to be confused with a private non-profit rescue organization) need the equivalent of a warrant to seize animals against their owners' will. These cockatiels are beloved housepets, in no danger in eclipsegryph's and my care -- AND EVEN IF THEY WERE, MICKABOO REPRESENTATIVES HAD NO RIGHT TO TAKE THEM. Which of the divorcing couple ultimately owns the cockatiels is for the divorce lawyers to settle, not Mickaboo.

Benefit of a very slight doubt: it's possible that lomaprieta and the other woman acted on their own initiative, and their actions weren't condoned by the organizations as a whole, but Mickaboo is still on the hook: their Mickaboo volunteer status is how they got into the house. It is also possible that selasphorus lied, and Mickaboo is unaware that selasphorus is not the sole owner of the birds in their care, and that they are marital property and cannot be surrendered without the signature of BOTH their owners. At no point did Mickaboo representatives even attempt to contact eclipsegryph, which is damned sloppy from a legal standpoint: if eclipsegryph wanted to, he'd be well within his rights to demand the return of ALL the birds, not just the Aki, Aya, and Alcyone. From the speed at which the cockatiels were whisked out of the house (leaving their food and cage behind), it is clear that resistance was expected. Those cockatiels are not selasphorus's exclusive property to sign over; sending them away out of eclipsegryph's reach is theft.

In any case, there is no place in the world for "rescue" organizations who illegally remove pets from caring homes. If Mickaboo as an organization deserves to continue to exist, they need to return eclipsegryph's cockatiels PROMPTLY, and have a serious talk with every single employee and volunteer about what they can and cannot legally do as its representatives. The actions taken by Mickaboo's agents reflect directly on the integrity of the organization.

I respectfully suggest that anyone currently involved with Mickaboo Cockatiel Rescue carefully consider whether or not to continue their support. I will answer whatever questions I can, but I am extremely hurt and angry over this situation, and may take some time getting around to comments. I will be forthcoming with any progress updates: as of this posting, Mickaboo was sent a formal letter of demand in the form of an e-mail message, but we have not yet received a response. eclipsegryph is meeting with his attorney, and depending on the advice he receives, we may be contacting the police later today.

EDITED TO ADD: Someone claiming to represent the CEO of Mickaboo has responded in the comments below: there has still been no response to the e-mail demand directly, nor has anyone attempted to get in touch with eclipsegryph or myself via email or telephone. If the comment is genuine, it seems to indicate that Mickaboo has no intention of releasing Aki, Aya, or Alcyone back into their home without a court order -- which means eclipsegryph will be forced to file suit to get his pets back.

The organization's interest in maintaining, in foster care, cockatiels who
have a loving home remains unfathomable. However, I will leave that to the litigators. Thank you all for your attention to this matter; I will update the situation when I can.
18th-May-2010 08:52 pm (UTC)
I am not intending to start any flaming here, she will be keeping Mori though. I am watching him for the time being because she had asked me to. I do not know what has happened yesterday, but he was dropped off at my home in the evening.
18th-May-2010 09:09 pm (UTC)
You have no idea how glad I am to hear Mori, at least, is safe and sound. After having seen post after post here about all the birds mentioned, I have to admit I'm pretty upset they're all going into rescue, especially Gojira (dunno why, I think cause he's the only one whose full story I remember, and I love Linnies second best to Cheekies.)

So thank you at least for letting us know that much.
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18th-May-2010 08:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing this story. Since Mickaboo has a presence on this comm, and has even solicited donations here, you're right, I'd want to know how their representatives conduct themselves.

Btw, if this had happened to me, I would've called the police right then and there, and let them explain their actions to the authorities. It's hard enough to be in a situation where you have to surrender bird/animal friends to a rescue group, but to have ones that weren't being surrendered snatched away like this must've been horrible.

Please do keep us informed.
18th-May-2010 09:05 pm (UTC) - whooo.
how horable for you and for the birds. I hope that you can find some peace in this matter.
Bless you for being a foster mom.
I hope that you never have to go through this again.
18th-May-2010 09:11 pm (UTC)
While I can tell this post is a reaction of what happened yesterday, I am still glad you informed us of how some of Mickaboo's representatives handle themselves. This is no way to to seize pets. No way, no how. I don't know the laws in CA, but I know where I live, the owner (both if applicable) have to legally surrender an animal and if they are to be seized through animal control or the aspca there has to be proof that animals are being neglected and/or abused and I know both you and eclipsegryph take excellent care of your animals, so that is not the case.

Anywho, It seems messy divorce is messy and I hope everything gets figured out quickly, easily, and as painlessly as possible for everyone involved.
18th-May-2010 09:16 pm (UTC)
Having seen post after post about all the birds in question, I can't even tell you how sad this makes me. I hope the ones Eclipse and you want to keep get returned, and that those going into rescue (sweet little Goji, even if I recall he's somewhat difficult, but all of them, too) get into really great homes. I don't know why I persist in worrying about Gojira so much in this, but I guess it's cause, last I remember, he wasn't the most social bird, from what had been said. And honestly, I'm a little confused, because I'd never really pegged Selasphorus for giving the birds up that readily- but divorces are hard, and I can see how it'd happen. It just makes me sad, though.

And you own Firefly too, right? Is she alright in all this? Good luck to all of you.

Since it's possible this could be understood: I am certainly not taking sides or judging anyone at all... I was mostly expressing sadness for the birds, and I wasn't accusing anyone as being out to hurt them, certainly, because if there's nothing else I know for certain (and I don't know anything) it's that, from the posts here, those birds are loved. And... well, I hope everyone involved, feathery and furry and two legged, turns out alright in the end of it all.

Edited at 2010-05-18 09:31 pm (UTC)
18th-May-2010 10:00 pm (UTC)
The main issue I want to present here is the actions of the rescue organization. While I can only offer one side of the issue -- that is to say, mine -- I do know that selasphorus didn't give up her birds readily. Off the Internet, the process that led to her decision began nearly half a year ago, if not earlier. I do hope that some of them find their way back into her hands, once she's settled.

Firefly is well, as is Kalu the Senegal and Ninja the pi. Thanks for your concern.
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18th-May-2010 09:27 pm (UTC)
All I can say is that I hope that everything works out for the best. Most importantly for the animals but for everyone involved as well.

18th-May-2010 09:31 pm (UTC)
You put that so much better than I did.
18th-May-2010 09:49 pm (UTC)
That is incredibly shady. I hope this gets resolved quickly.
18th-May-2010 09:54 pm (UTC)
I...I have no words. I would seek every legal recourse open to me.
18th-May-2010 11:39 pm (UTC)
**Face palm** What... A .. Freaking... Mess. Hope there's a happy ending to all of this!
19th-May-2010 01:44 am (UTC)
Please keep us all updated on what is going on with this case. I have supported Mickaboo financially in the past and will be following with some interest how their administration handles this situation so I can see if I need to reconsider in the future.
19th-May-2010 01:53 am (UTC) - Official response from Mickaboo
Hi all! I am the technical lead for Mickaboo (I run the IT systems). Since she doesn't have a livejournal account, our CEO has asked me to post her official response to this thread. Also I'd like to personally point out that the phrase posted by the original poster "talk with every employee and volunteer" is misleading. Mickaboo has no employees - zero - and is a 100% volunteer-staffed organization.

I'd also like to encourage you all to remember that the internet is a place where anyone can post anything about anyone, and request that you please take facts presented on such forums with skepticism. As sketchingvenus already pointed out, organizations like ours take time to respond to things like this, because unlike an anonymous poster on a message board we have to make sure we know all the facts first!

======== Response from Mickaboo =========

I have received copies of a number of statements made on this list about Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue and our recent actions to take in three cockatiels. I don't recognize most of the somewhat bizarre allegations that have been made, but I can tell you what circumstances resulted in our accepting three surrendered cockatiels named Aki, Aya, and Alcyone.

I am the Chief Executive Officer of Mickaboo. I can tell you that the three birds were accepted from a surrenderer who said that she was the legal owner. She signed a surrender agreement (which we have) and asked a couple of her friends to take the birds and see that they were transferred to Mickaboo and placed in an approved foster home. The birds were living in a house in which the surrenderer also resided at that time, and she personally supervised the removal of the birds.

If you are tempted to believe the nonsense printed on this list describing how we came to have these birds, please believe that we do not break into homes and steal birds. I'm not sure who would think that we needed to steal cockatiels -- there are, unfortunately, far too any birds posted on our website already, waiting for homes.

If there is a legal question about the ownership of the birds, we will defer to the courts to make the determination in adjudicating the divorce. In the meantime, the birds are well cared for and safe.

I would also like to suggest that whoever is responsible for making these allegations should ask their lawyer about the legal definition for deliberately lying in a public forum for the purpose of defaming a person or group of people.

Michelle Yesney
Chief Executive Officer
Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue

19th-May-2010 02:07 am (UTC) - Re: Official response from Mickaboo
Thank you for posting the response. I hope that you gave the courtesy of informing the involved parties by phone and / or email before posting the response publicly here.

Out of curiousity, what is the process for determining ownership before a bird is surrendered to Mickaboo?

(edited to change "surrendered by" to "surrendered to")

Edited at 2010-05-19 02:10 am (UTC)
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19th-May-2010 03:21 am (UTC)
Well, given I'm a volunteer NOT on the board, my comments aren't official, but...

1) Regardless of how the person feels about the surrender to Mickaboo, the organization has a legal document signed by a person who asserted to be the owner of the birds, surrendering them to us. If that person committed fraud and the birds didn't belong to them, that's surely actionable by the birds' owner - but the action needs to be against the surrenderer for fraud, not Mickaboo for theft. Since Mickaboo can't know that in advance and can't simply take someone on their word for that fact, the only thing we CAN do is wait for the courts to adjudicate the divorce while we keep the birds safe.

What would your reaction be if this were a messy divorce and we returned the birds to someone who asserted ownership but was NOT the owner, who then killed them out of revenge? We have no way to know, so we leave it to the folks who are beholden to find facts: The courts.

2) The original poster did in fact claim that Mickaboo stole their birds. "Two representatives of Mickaboo Companion Bird rescue -- lomaprieta and someone I did not know -- stole three cockatiels from my house yesterday morning, which would seem to indicate that Mickaboo is currently in possession of stolen property." -- While also asserting that the actions of any volunteer directly reflect upon Mickaboo, this individual is in fact directly stating that Mickaboo stole three birds.

In my view that can accurately be described as nonsense. Mickaboo does not steal birds and does not obtain animals illegally. There are some times when I WISH we could and would; abuse cases in which we leave obviously mistreated and sick animals with their legal owners, because we're not entitled to steal them. But we don't.

3) Whether or not one half of a married couple are entitled to sell, part with or surrender "community property" is in fact NOT a matter for Mickaboo to adjudicate on its own - it's a matter for lawyers and the courts. This is exactly the reason we must wait for the lawyers to figure everything out. We're not lawyers and don't know which way to "rule", as the case were.

Perhaps some folks on this board would like to tell me... if you were an animal welfare organization whose charter focused on the well-being of the birds, what would you do in a similar situation? One person legally surrendered their animal to you, and while in the middle of fostering them another person whom you cannot verify showed up and claimed to be the real owner of the birds and demanded their immediate remand on threat of lawsuit.

Would you just hand them over with no verification? Would you wait for the lawyers to decide who got custody? Saying "talk it over with all the parties", for the record, will be discounted as a legitimate answer. If "talking it out" worked in difficult divorce cases, divorce lawyers wouldn't have much of a career.
19th-May-2010 03:27 am (UTC)
You are absolutely right that Mickaboo has no authority or right to adjudicate community property. By choosing to keep the cockatiels, Mickaboo is doing just that. Keeping the birds is not a neutral choice.
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19th-May-2010 03:35 am (UTC)
corpsefairy: If we hadn't yet accepted the birds you'd be right - taking them in would be picking a side. As it is we already have the birds and are now being asked to send them to someone else. THAT would be taking action. The best we can do right now is halt ALL action involving the birds until someone tells us legally what we can do.

jamijo: That's an option that we'll likely consider, but it may not be that simple. In a case like this where two people so wholly disagree about the situation, I still think the best we can do to satisfy everyone is to halt action and wait for the courts/parties involved. To do anything else would be adjudicating the issue on our own, wouldn't it?

Imagine a situation NOT involving the people in this forum who you may know well, since we're talking organizational operations here. If party A surrendered "their" birds, and party B came to us and claimed the birds were theirs instead... what would you do? What if Party B is a jilted ex-lover who knows how much the birds mean to party A, and decides that getting the birds is the perfect revenge? What if they kill the birds out of spite? It's NOT beyond cruel people to do so. Consider that if we did give the birds to person B and that happened, I'm sure the livejournal headline would be "Mickaboo participates in the murder of three birds"...
19th-May-2010 03:39 am (UTC)
You should refuse to take them in if the surrenderer cannot prove ownership. You don't have to give them the *new* home, just give them back, yes - then Cody can be responsible for the mess she left and put them where they belong.
19th-May-2010 04:00 am (UTC)
@everyone: I know it seems like a bit of a red herring to ask you to imagine a situation that is NOT this one, but that's the only way I can really set up for you what goes into our decision making process WITHOUT specifically discussing the issue at hand with the original poster. Something which, since lawyers are inevitably involved, seems like an unwise decision.

@greenanimal: I get that people are disappointed that we're not immediately returning the birds, but you've also not answered my question. As a matter of organizational policy, which we have to follow as uniformly as possible in many cases, what would you do when Party A signed a legal surrender agreement assigning the birds to you, and Person B wanted to claim the bird immediately?

In cases where someone wants to reclaim a bird that they claim to have lost, our standard process is to try as hard as possible to establish their ownership of the bird through interviews, descriptions and photos of their lost bird, etc. If we believe the bird is theirs, we ask them to take our basic bird care class just like every other adopter, but reserve that bird for them to adopt with certainty. If they threaten to sue us, what do we do? Let the lawyers decide! What has the original poster done? Threatened suit.

In this case, anyway, I am willing to bet that you'd be offended if we suggest the original owner take our adoption class, no?

@everyone: As to the claim that we were not legally given the bird due to the other owners' interest in the bird, here's the relevant lines from the SIGNED surrender agreement:

It is hereby agreed, by and between Surrenderer and Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue (“MCBR”), as follows:

1. Surrenderer is no longer able to keep/Interested in keeping the Bird described above.

2. Surrenderer knows of no other person who has any claim to the above Bird.

3. Surrenderer hereby relinquishes, in favor of MCBR, all rights, title, and interest to and in this Bird, along with any
cage(s), toys, or other items concurrently surrendered. This grant is immediate and absolute.

Again, if the poster has a legal claim against anyone, it's against the signee of that document for fraud (item #2).

For those who think we should establish absolute proof of the above items.... short of a private investigator, how do you suppose we should accomplish that? Remember, all donations to us are supposed to go to the care of the birds, NOT performing investigations on surrenderers.
19th-May-2010 04:16 am (UTC)
In cases where someone wants to reclaim a bird that they claim to have lost, our standard process is to try as hard as possible to establish their ownership of the bird through interviews, descriptions and photos of their lost bird, etc. If we believe the bird is theirs, we ask them to take our basic bird care class just like every other adopter, but reserve that bird for them to adopt with certainty. If they threaten to sue us, what do we do? Let the lawyers decide! What has the original poster done? Threatened suit.

Okay, let me make sure I understand this... a hypothetical situation for you:

My cockatoo gets surrendered to Mickaboo by my ex. Let's say he got my apartment landlord to let him in to my apartment in Michigan, saying that he's my brother and I've been in an accident and needs to get my medication, left the side window unlocked, then came back at a later point in time, let himself in through the window, and took the bird. He then drives to Cali, where he lives, and surrenders the bird. She's special needs, chronic picking (behavioral), so Mickaboo doesn't have to make the decision on whether or not she's eligible to be surrendered. He fills out the forms fradulently, saying that there's nobody else with a claim to the bird. I see her on the website, contact you, and ask for her back, proving ownership with my vet's records. Instead of being able to make arrangements to get my bird back right away, I would have to take your new owner class (thankfully its offered by phone), get a home check, plus pay the adoption fee to re-adopt the bird I already own? PLUS I assume with the no-ship policy, I'd have to take time off work and invest personal resources to drive and or fly myself out there so I could take my bird home with me?

I'm sorry, I don't know what the legal ramifications of that approach are, but to me it sounds like the owner is being forced to buy back stolen property. I can understand the threat of legal action being threatening and frightening, but it really sounds like the board is acting in the best interest of the individuals on the board, not in the best interest of the birds in these sorts of situations. I'm highly disappointed in Mickaboo after these revelations.

Edited at 2010-05-19 04:17 am (UTC)
19th-May-2010 04:03 am (UTC)
@raptavio: Why would someone who already signed a legal document asserting that they know of no one else with claims to the bird, suddenly know the opposite? Short of letting professionals decide, how can we be sure they're not being coerced by the other owner? Remember, for all Mickaboo knows for sure (I at least don't know everyone personally) this is a bitter divorce case and such things are not out of bounds.

I know, I know... red herring. Except, matters of organizational policy are meant specifically to keep us from having to be judge and jury in these kinds of things.

Our chosen course of action as soon as someone threatens lawsuits against us, is to play the ball as it's been handed to us, and let the lawyers handle the communications. We didn't set up the lawsuit game, but we do have to play by it.
19th-May-2010 03:34 pm (UTC)
One phone call seems like very little to ask. If they double down on their statement, fine. Sorry, no dice. I know enough about the law to know when someone's trying to play games with it.
19th-May-2010 04:23 am (UTC)
@jamijo: Actually, this is a good response, as it results in a clarification. When someone proves ownership of a lost bird to us, we ask them to take the adoption class (it's free) but waive the adoption fee.

We have made arrangements in the past to fly birds to remote locations, so in your hypothetical situation that's likely what we would do - either with a volunteer on commercial air or with one of our volunteers who is a private recreational pilot.

You'd also be able to take your ex to small claims court and recoup all travel costs, lost wages, etc - since we'd provide you with a copy of the signed surrender agreement when the court ruled that the bird was yours, which in your case I can't imagine them not doing.

Really, I don't think the lesson here should be "Mickaboo is unwilling to work with people" or "Mickaboo cares more about themselves than the birds". I think the lesson should be, "Mickaboo abides by standard procedures for handling intake and adoption, and if you threaten lawsuits to get around those procedures then we'll let our lawyers handle the issue because that's all we can do".

Again I have to stress, I don't represent the board and I don't have knowledge of the individuals in this posting; I'm just a longtime volunteer who wants to provide some clarity into what I perceive as (initially) a very one-sided, accusatory internet posting.
19th-May-2010 04:36 am (UTC)
I really appreciate you taking the time to provide these clarifications -- there's a lot of parrot lovin' folks on this board who try to pick what organizations they support, and situations like this, nasty as they are, quickly show what an organization's priorities are

"Mickaboo abides by standard procedures for handling intake and adoption, and if you threaten lawsuits to get around those procedures then we'll let our lawyers handle the issue because that's all we can do".

I'm not surprised by this response, or shocked by it, but I am disappointed -- largely in that there's no requirement that the surrenderer prove ownership. I'm not suggesting that Mickaboo spend time or energy doing a background check on surrendering parties, but some sort of document showing a history of ownership -- vet records, a store receipt, a notarized letter from all parties of a household in situations where people are living together but are not together -- any of those things could be easily obtained by the surrendering party and would do much to avoid situations like this. The rescue that I volunteered with required this in cases where the bird was being surrendered due to lack of interest / lack of ability to care for the bird (it was waived in cases of abuse or rescues from distressed situations, such as the cleanup after Katrina). I thought that it was a fairly standard requirement, and I'm sad to see that I was incorrect.

Ultimately, this boils down to the surrendering party being at fault for providing false information. It really is terrible that an organization that is intended to save birds from bad situations gets stuck in the middle of a he said-she said fight. I'm sorry that your whole organization got dragged through the mud because one person checked one box that they shouldn't have.

Thank you again for shedding light on how Mickaboo is handling this.
19th-May-2010 04:50 am (UTC)
Wow..after reading this. I'm speechless about the whole situation and what's gone down with certain members of this community. I guess that "you think you know a person" thing applies?

Good luck, in any case.
19th-May-2010 07:25 am (UTC)
I'd be heartbroken if for some reason Luen was surrendered and I couldn't get him back...
All the best and good luck with a speedy resolution.
19th-May-2010 08:55 pm (UTC)
I don't know anyone involved. I'm just going to say this, I don't think it's reasonable to expect Mickaboo to ascertain ownership beyond someone stating that it's so. It's not REASONABLE to assume a non-profit agency has the ability to ascertain beyond someone's statements and surrender. They can (and should) confirm legal identity of the person surrendering, and that person can be held accountable IF they're surrendering property not theirs...but the burden isn't on Mickaboo beyond doing what they do.

That being said, it's absolute horseshit that the statement has been made that *IF* Mickaboo believes someone to be the rightful and legal owner that they dictate ANY terms of surrender other than restoring someone's property immediately.

Yes legally and in reality animals ARE something more than property, though they mean more to us as owners than the courts have the ability to recognize at least at this point...but Mickaboo has absolutely NO RIGHT to dictate terms of returning something not theirs, once it's been established it's not theirs.

I get that establishing that might be a matter for a court. But someone claiming to work for Mickaboo has stated several times that people can get their parrots back (if Mickaboo knows or believes it to belong to someone) IF they....(take a class, potentially pay for some things).

No. And quite frankly if anyone had possession of one of my animals and attempted to dictate such terms I would go from a grateful and relieved owner, to someone with an attorney going after you.

It's not only not reasonable, it's insufferably insulting. Would you suggest that if I lost money from my wallet (or my wallet was stolen) that in order to get it back I had to take a class on fiscal management? Or that if you had possession of my car (because someone illegally donated it) that I could have it back...if I took a safe driving course?


That's the one issue here that has me most concerned. Everything else...well there's enough dispute on who did what to whom and personal drama (sorry) that I'm more than willing to wait and see where the dust settles there to see what in the hell really went on.

But this area of contention isn't under dispute. And frankly if you have attorneys (and well you should given this seems a serious legal threat) I'd suggest consulting them before making statements of policy over lost and stolen property. It's a pretty BFD.
20th-May-2010 03:31 pm (UTC)
This was my impression as well, and what got my attention the most too. I'm curious as to what's happened.
20th-May-2010 06:45 am (UTC)
Mickaboo's standing on this really rubs me the wrong way. i could repeat a lot of what people have said, and i questioned a lot of people's tones and choice of words on here, understanding how hard it is sometimes to stay civil.

but with that, i feel i must release myself a little here and say this:

this smells like a pile of rancid, biased bullshit.

i agree with the commenter up there about the dogs, ex-boyfriend relinquishing the dog by pretending to be a family member, etc. i think that if there is a lack of a second official John Hancock on that surrender form, the entire "surrender" should never have taken place.

i should hope this gets straightened out fast.
22nd-May-2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
Okay, here's the thing that I see: Mickaboo's unofficial representative here says that the birds cannot be returned without a court order, because the dispute of ownership occurred after the birds were already in custody. From their perspective someone claiming to be the rightful owner has appeared out of the woodwork, and so they cannot make a ruling.

The problem as I see it is that, according to the story above, Mickaboo's right to take the birds was questioned at the time of the pickup, which was the first time that anyone became aware of the disputed ownership. The people who now claim to be the rightful owners could not object because they were not made aware of the problem beforehand. However, the volunteers were alerted to the problem before the birds left the property. The proper course of action at that time should have been to stop and attempt to determine the legitimacy of all claims of ownership.

Is there another side to this story? We have only the information in the original post about what happened, and no further information has been brought forth. If the birds have, in fact, come into Mickaboo's care, then the entirety of the story cannot be dismissed as "nonsense", because those birds got there somehow. I would love to hear another version of what happened. Were the words "you can't take the cockatiels" somehow, perhaps, misunderstood? Misheard? Not heard at all?

I must add my voice in saying that I am deeply disappointed in Mickaboo's actions in this, if indeed Mickaboo is being represented in these comments and we are not witnessing fraudulent representation of their views. I am apalled by the lack of professionalism in posting a public reply but making none privately, not to speak of the language of the apparent reply. Further, I must agree that conditionally returning a stolen bird is absurdity in the extreme, and makes me hope that we are, in fact, dealing with a very sophisticated troll and not anyone associated with Mickaboo.
24th-May-2010 03:56 am (UTC)
Thank you. This is how I feel too, summed up very nicely on all points made.
30th-Jun-2010 05:08 am (UTC)
Hey, just wondering if there is anything new going on with this situation... Just thought about it when someone mentioned contacting Mickaboo to place a bird...
17th-Jul-2010 04:16 pm (UTC)
Sorry if this news is coming so late, and that it can still be relevant to your situation.

As of yet, Mickaboo hasn't returned the birds, and insists that all communication be through lawyers. I have given them proof that my wife and I both owned the birds together, through vet bills and statements of the individuals who gave our household two of the three cockatiels.

Still haven't heard anything back from them, and their response in this post remains the only "official" statement that I have regarding their stance on the subject.
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