We received this appeal for help:
I have been told that you are concerned about animal abuse, and would like to help prevent it. A situation currently exists in our area that needs of the help of concerned people like you.
In August of 2011, a man named Doug Ratcliff, a breeder of exotic birds, refused to give proper care to a number of exotic birds that he owned. Miami Valley Bird Club & Rescue was called in to help feed and care for them. They found that the situation was beyond horrible, and contacted the Humane Officer in Miami County. She refused to bring charges, and helped him dispose of the evidence of many dead and mummified bodies of birds found throughout the home. These birds had roamed freely throughout the structure searching for life-sustaining food and water. That journey meant death for some, since their metal leg bands ensnaring on various protrusions throughout the house; and with no one properly caring for them, they were left to suffer and die. Some birds were imprisoned in their cages, and met the same fate. The Humane Officer assigned to the case allowed Mr. Ratcliff to sign a release for the birds, many of whom were then sent to a bird sanctuary in Florida. She has since refused to prosecute the case, and stated in writing that she will testify on his behalf if he is charged with animal abuse.
Dr. Daniel Brauer from the Dayton South Veterinary Clinic currently has custody of 10 of the birds. These birds were the sickest ones, and were signed over to the Miami Valley Bird Club and Rescue. The veterinarian says that they will need medical care the rest of their lives. These birds have tested positive for Bornavirus (similar to the human AIDS virus), in addition to suffering physical and psychological problems. Dr. Brauer has filed for legal custody of the birds in order to prevent them being returned to Mr. Ratcliff and his abuse.
Would you consider helping with Dr. Brauer’s legal fees? His attorney is former Dayton mayor and former Ohio Lt. Governor Paul Leonard, who specializes in animal law and advocacy. A total of around $10,000 will be necessary to complete the case. A fund has been set up to assist in paying these expenses. The ONLY function of this fund is to prevent the 10 birds from going back to their abuser! Dr. Brauer and the Miami Valley Bird Club and Rescue have already given up a great deal of time and money to keep these birds safe. They are dedicated to making sure that these birds get the care they need for the rest of their lives. If you could help in any way, it would be greatly appreciated!
All of this information is published on Facebook on the “Save the Troy Parrots” page including graphic pictures of the birds and the abuse situation. The story was also covered by the news media in August and September of 2011. I encourage you to look at Facebook to see the situation for yourself.
If you are interested in donating, you can donate to the veterinarian directly at Dayton South Veterinary Clinic, 3200 Wilmington Pike, Kettering, OH 45429. Please be sure to specify that your donation is for the “Brauer 10”. You can also send a donation using PayPal. To donate that way, click on “Send Money” and send to the email address DrBrauer10@gmail.com. (The email address is not case sensitive.)
If you have any questions regarding this matter, you are welcome to contact me, Lynn Labs, at my home phone (937) 778-1539. If you get my answering machine, please leave a message including that you have a question about the “Brauer 10,” and I will call you as soon as I am available. If you prefer to contact Attorney Leonard directly, I will be happy to give you his contact information.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please share this letter with anyone else who might be interested in helping to protect these abused birds.
Ms. Lynn M. Labs