Oklahoma County Judge Rules Animal Control Illegally Seized Exotic Birds From Owner
OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma County judged ruled on Wednesday that Oklahoma City animal control officers illegally seized 14 exotic birds from a home.
The birds were taken in June from Paul Fondren’s home. Fondren’s attorney Scott Adams showed the court the city did not obtain a warrant to seize the birds.
“Before the government can enter your home or my home or anyone’s home, they have to have several things,” said Scott Adams, attorney. “But if they don’t have our consent or they don’t have a warrant from a judge it’s very difficult, if not impossible for them to get in your home.”
Oklahoma City Animal Welfare officials said this is the first animal neglect and cruelty seizure that has been overruled.
Lyne Huffman said the officers did it under a city ordinance, the Oklahoma County Health Department also deemed the home unlivable.
“We still believe we had the right to do that,” said Huffman, Oklahoma City Animal Control supervisor. “Because the birds were in imminent danger. However, the judge disagreed with that.”
The 14 Amazon parrots and Macaws were malnourished and injured when they were taken from Fondren’s home. He did not live in the home but kept the birds in the garage.
“There was a really strong pneumonia smell. They were cooped up in the garage with no ventilation,” said Huffman. “They were missing feathers, some had extremely long claws.”
The birds have since been nursed back to health.
“They are socializing with us,” said Huffman. “One of the Amazon parrots is talking to us now.”
Adams said Fondren has built a new home for them in Crescent, Oklahoma. He said he would not be surprised if the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office dismisses the animal cruelty charge against Fondren.
“I would think after they’ve taken a look at it and the way the government go into the home,” said Adams. “Again, I think they’ll dismiss, and we’ll move on.”