MICKABOO COMPANION BIRD RESCUE
July 14, 2010
Mickaboo is an organization which has helped find so very many birds a loving and deserving home in the San Francisco area for many years.
Unfortunately I am in the awkward situation of having had Mickaboo forcibly remove my three beloved family pets FROM their loving and deserving home.
I live in California, and I am also going through a divorce from my wife of 7 years. During that time we had accumulated a wonderful flock of birds, consisting of zebra finches, cockatiels, canaries, budgies, a lineolated parakeet and a green cheeked conure. When my wife and I moved to California we contacted Mickaboo and volunteered as a foster. We successfully fostered a half dozen birds for the organization.
As a verbal agreement of our divorce my wife and I agreed to re-home and split the birds - using her contacts with Mickaboo the canaries, budgies, finches and the linny were all handed to Mickaboo for rehoming. My wife was going to take the conure and I would keep our three cockatiels. The linnie and budgies were all handed to Mickaboo prior to Cody's moving out.
On the day that my wife moved out of our home she surprised me by saying that Mickaboo was coming over to take the conure. This was a surprise because I had previously thought the bird was already rehomed. The Mickaboo volunteers arrived and took the conure and his cage, and also took the remaining zebra finches and their cage. Without my knowledge or being informed in any way, I saw the volunteers walk out of my house a third time, this time with the three cockatiels in a travel cage. I informed the volunteers that they didn't have the authorization to take the cockatiels, but they ignored me and said that the cockatiels weren't mine anymore. They quickly got into their car and left. That was on May 17th, and it was the last time I have seen my tiels. The cockatiel cage was left in my house, door open, food and water bowls filled by me that morning, toys hanging, yet completely empty. This quickness of the bird's retrieval and attempt to sneak by me leads me to believe that the volunteers knew I was not willing to give up the cockatiels, and makes it questionable that Mickaboo is acting in the birds' best interests.
A lawyer immediately sent Mickaboo a letter demanding the birds back, which was ignored. I sent Mickaboo an e-mail with proof of my co-ownership of the birds (through veterinary records) and told them that my wife lied to them by saying she was the sole owner of the birds, and requested their return. That was also ignored. A second lawyer, my divorce lawyer, has sent Mickaboo a final letter about proof of my ownership of the birds and demanding their return or else they will be sued and brought in to my divorce as a third party, since they are holding Community Property that should belong to both my wife and I. That was three weeks ago, and there has still been no response. In fact, the only "official" claim from Mickaboo about the situation was in an internet forum discussing the situation, where someone claiming to speak for Michelle Yesney said that Mickaboo was keeping the birds because my wife feared for their safety and that I have no proof of co-ownership. A recent e-mail to Michelle told me that I should be talking to their lawyer instead.
Mickaboo, as an organization, has provided so much help to so many people and birds. I used to foster for them - I know that they provide a much needed service. Yet as much as I am disappointed that my wife chose to drag this organization into my divorce, I am appalled at how Mickaboo has handled this situation. They have repeatedly ignored me and my lawyers, and forcibly removed my birds from my house with no authorization to do so. I haven't seen my birds in over a month. I don't know if they're alive, where they are, if they have been adopted out or really, anything about their status. All that I do know is that despite a desperate plea from a concerned and loving bird owner and proof of that ownership, Mickaboo has continued to keep three loving cockatiels from their proper, loving home. And that is the exact opposite of what their organization stands for.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
As a volunteer for Mickaboo my household helped to foster a half dozen birds within 3 years. Unfortunately now I am fighting with them for the return of my three cockatiels which were unlawfully removed from my home by Mickaboo.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Mickaboo needs a way to verify the ownership of the birds that are surrendered to them - they currently have no policy set for this. I would not be fighting them if such a policy was already in place.
What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...
They have connected so many birds and bird owners together throughout the years.
The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...
They ignored me and continue to cause me anguish by keeping my birds away from me.
If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...
It could probably provide better training for their volunteers so that they could be more aware of when it is okay or not to take a surrendered bird, and how to do so.
Ways to make it better...
If they had listened to me.
In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...
Mickaboo's policies are incomplete, and the training given to their volunteers needs to be completely relooked at.
One thing I'd also say is that...
I just want for people to know of the situation I'm going through, and I hope that my efforts prevent anything like this from happening to anyone else. No one should be treated the way that Mickaboo has treated me.
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
Client Served & Volunteered with Organization, Then Betrayed By Them.
Review from Guidestar