Rescued Parrots' Fate Still Uncertain

The Florida breeding facility that has masqueraded as a sanctuary and received 31 macaws seized in Virginia (AWI Quarterly, Winter 2009), is liquidating and auctioning off all its birds and exotic cats. Readers may recall that the macaws were seized in Orange County, Virginia, as part of a cruelty investigation, and were sent to Florida in 2008. While the Virginia macaws are not included in the liquidation auction, this development raises disturbing questions about their fate. As far as we know, two macaws have already died at the facility. Their former—and possibly future—owners, Danny and Sally Crosswhite, have yet to fully reimburse the county more than $19,000 in expenses, which they had agreed to pay in order for cruelty charges—which could have resulted in jail time—to be dropped and to allow for the possible return of the birds. Instead the Crosswhites have received multiple extensions from the court. Orange County Commonwealth’s Attorney Diana Wheeler has said the Crosswhites will not automatically get the birds back if they pay up; they will have to petition the court, which will assess their ability to care for the macaws. AWI has asked Ms. Wheeler to seek the birds’ return to the Central Virginia Parrot Sanctuary (Project Perry), which is accredited by the American Sanctuary Association. Project Perry cared for the birds after they were seized and wanted to keep them, but the Crosswhites insisted they be moved to Florida.