Bird dies at Oklahoma City Animal Welfare, over a year after being seized from home

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OKLAHOMA CITY– Controversy has emerged at Oklahoma City Animal Welfare after a bird died while in the city’s care.

“That’s been the fight for the last year and a half, so obviously they’ve come to the realization that they’ve done everything illegally as I’ve been telling them and as the courts been telling them,” said Scott Adams, who is representing the bird’s owner.

“At this point, we don’t have a lot of information,” said Jon Gary, Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Welfare Supervisor. “We do know the bird was an older bird.”

Photo goes with story
Paul Fondren

Back in 2019, animal welfare seized 14 exotic birds from Paul Fondren’s home.

The city said the birds were malnourished and found in deplorable conditions. Body cam footage shows the birds were caged in Fondren’s garage. Some of them were even missing feathers.

In September of the same year, a county judge ruled the birds must be returned to the owner.

And earlier this year, the charge of animal cruelty was dismissed. 

But the birds were never returned. 

“There is a case that’s currently in the appeals process and pending but at this point he can actually contact us and he is welcome to come actually get the birds from us,” Gary said.

“I’ve heard crickets from them until this week when a bird is dying,” Adams said.

Adam says he received an email from the city earlier this week. Saying in part, the bird “did die, as was expected by the treating veterinarian. Please advise when your client would like to regain possession of the remaining birds.”

But Adams says he now has concerns for the other birds’ health.

“We’re gonna have to have a vet check them all out and see what he says before we do anything with the birds,” Adams said. “The last thing we want to do is bring diseased birds home. I need to figure out what the city is up to. They’re up to no good and they know that they’re up to no good, and we’re gonna figure it out, and eventually they’re gonna have to pay for everything they’ve done to Mr. Fondren.”

But the city assures that the birds have been in good care.

“These birds have had a lot of direct care. We’ve worked with veterinarians that specialize in exotic birds. We increased their diet. The birds are doing well, so we’ll look into this and see if we can figure out what happened,” Gary said.

The city says they don’t know the cause of the bird’s death just yet. They say after a certain point the city could take steps to gain ownership if the birds aren’t picked up.

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