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Poway Woman Forced to Surrender Wild Birds to State Wildlife Officials

You can say that Dr. Lindy O'Leary's seven-year battle with the state's Fish and Game Department was all for the birds.

Today, after years of fighting and hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney fees on both sides, O'Leary is handing over the 10 wild birds she has kept in her home to state officials.

For seven-years now the Poway resident, who runs the Poway, California Wildlife Center, has fought the state, saying the seven gulls, two hawks, and crow would not be able to survive in the wild. The state, however, has maintained that she needs a permit to keep those birds.

The fight over the birds has had its ups and downs. In November of 2010, a compromise was nearly reached. The Department of Fish and Game said that O'Leary would be able to keep the birds if she promised not to take custody of any more restricted animals, and pay the $752,139 in court fees accrued by the state.

O'Leary rejected that compromise.

Then, last month State Senator Mimi Walters introduced a bill that would have transferred oversight of the Wildlife Center to the Department of Agriculture. The change would have resulted in a five-year permit being issued to O'Leary's center. However, Walters later dropped the bill in favor of another compromise, which O'Leary again rejected.

In a half-page advertisement in the Sacramento Bee on Wednesday, O'Leary made a last-ditch plea to Governor Jerry Brown to allow her to keep caring for the injured animals. That plea seems to have gone unanswered.

According to a statement from her lawyer to the Bee, the compromise was unreasonable and O'Leary didn't have much of a choice other than to give the birds up.

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You can say that Dr. Lindy O'Leary's seven-year battle with the state's Fish and Game Department was all for the birds.

Today, after years of fighting and hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney fees on both sides, O'Leary is handing over the 10 wild birds she has kept in her home to state officials.

For seven-years now the Poway resident, who runs the Poway, California Wildlife Center, has fought the state, saying the seven gulls, two hawks, and crow would not be able to survive in the wild. The state, however, has maintained that she needs a permit to keep those birds.

The fight over the birds has had its ups and downs. In November of 2010, a compromise was nearly reached. The Department of Fish and Game said that O'Leary would be able to keep the birds if she promised not to take custody of any more restricted animals, and pay the $752,139 in court fees accrued by the state.

O'Leary rejected that compromise.

Then, last month State Senator Mimi Walters introduced a bill that would have transferred oversight of the Wildlife Center to the Department of Agriculture. The change would have resulted in a five-year permit being issued to O'Leary's center. However, Walters later dropped the bill in favor of another compromise, which O'Leary again rejected.

In a half-page advertisement in the Sacramento Bee on Wednesday, O'Leary made a last-ditch plea to Governor Jerry Brown to allow her to keep caring for the injured animals. That plea seems to have gone unanswered.

According to a statement from her lawyer to the Bee, the compromise was unreasonable and O'Leary didn't have much of a choice other than to give the birds up.

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Comments
2

Now maybe O'Leary can focus her energies on humans in need.

May 10, 2012

I'm so sorry that this kind member of our local community was forced to give up her birds. She works as an occupational therapist and in her spare time cares for the birds at home. God bless you, Ms O'Leary.

May 10, 2012

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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