Written arguments due in case of Youngwood woman's confiscated bird
The squawk over Gizmo the parakeet may quiet down next month.
Following a brief court appearance on Friday, Westmoreland County Judge Gary Caruso ordered attorneys for the pet bird's owner and the state, which confiscated the 27-year-old fowl last year, to submit written legal arguments within 10 days.
Lawyers agreed there are no disputes over the facts in the case.
At issue is whether Gizmo can be legally returned to owner Faith Good, 63, of Youngwood.
Last spring, Pennsylvania Game Commission officials cited Good for possessing eight illegal birds. In June, she pleaded guilty to summary offenses before District Judge James Falcon.
Good was fined $500, and the state confiscated from her home the eight birds, including Gizmo, a monk parakeet that the commission contends cannot be owned by private citizens in Pennsylvania.
The birds are considered to be agricultural pests that could ruin crops and cause power outages by building nests on electrical lines.
“It's contraband,” Assistant District Attorney Kelly Hammers said. “She was convicted of a statute that says it is contraband. There is no spite or ill will and no dislike of animals. We're officers of the court.”
Wildlife Conservation Officer Matthew Lucas said the bird has been kept in a menagerie, where it has been cared for since its confiscation.
Lucas said Gizmo has outlived its life expectancy, as monk parakeets typically live about two decades.
Good was not in court on Friday.
“She's distraught,” said her attorney, Anthony Rosner. “This is her bird, and it's been her pet for 26 years. There's been an amazing amount of support for this woman and this bird.”
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.