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Youngwood woman files to reclaim monk parakeet from state

Rich Cholodofsky
| Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, 10:49 a.m.

A Youngwood woman contends her monk parakeet, Gizmo, should be returned to her because it is too old to reproduce.

In written arguments filed on Wednesday, the attorney for Faith Good said the 27-year-old bird is a family pet, has never lived in the wild and cannot mate.

State game commission officials confiscated Gizmo last year once Good, 63, pleaded guilty to eight summary offenses of keeping illegal birds at her home.

“Petitioner's bird being a lone monk parakeet poses no threat to the Pennsylvania ecosystem as petitioner's bird will not be mating, will not be set free and petitioner has no intention of losing possession of her bird,” attorney Anthony Rosner wrote.

Gizmo's fate is up to Westmoreland County Judge Gary Caruso, who last week said he would rule soon on Good's request.

Monk parakeets are considered agricultural pests that could ruin crops and cause power outages by building nests on electrical lines, according to the game commission.

Good pleaded guilty to the summary offenses and paid $500 in fines in an effort to have Gizmo returned to her custody, Rosner said.

Good applied for state certification to run a menagerie at her home as a way to have Gizmo returned to her. That application was denied because Good was cited for violating game laws, Rosner wrote.

Gizmo is being cared for in a state-run menagerie.

Assistant District Attorney Kelly Hammers has opposed returning Gizmo to Good, saying the bird is illegal contraband that was confiscated after the commission of a crime.

“Even if she obtained a menagerie permit, the status of the seized monk parakeet is still contraband. Arguably, the permit would give her her right to obtain a monk parakeet for display to the public, but the permit would not authorize the return of this specific bird,” Hammers argued.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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