By Brandon Johansson, The Aurora Sentinel
The city’s Animal Care Division seized 111 birds last month from an Aurora home last month, claiming that the animals were treated cruelly and forced to live in inhumane conditions.
City officials say they seized the birds — a group that included parrots, macaws and conures — from Lisa McManus’ Aurora home last month, following an unannounced inspection of her home by an Aurora Animal Care Officer. According to court documents obtained by The Aurora Sentinel, the officer found dirty cages with no water, bedding soiled with feces and several dead mice in McManus’ home.
Spokesmen for the city’s Animal Care Division say that McManus is facing several charges related to infractions to the city code, including cruelty to animals, the endangerment of the health and life of an animal, failure to remove feces and humane care charges related to the lack of potable water. The possible fines for the misdemeanor charges range from $15 to $1,000, plus one year in jail. McManus was not arrested, but was issued a summons by the city. She is due in municipal court next month, city spokesmen said.
McManus, a licensed bird breeder, was unavailable for comment at press time. McManus is featured on websites for several local and international aviary societies that specialize in parrots, macaws and other exotic birds.
McManus is also featured on a website offering bird sales and breeding services. The site advertises McManus’ “nursery” in Aurora, and it offers customers a wide variety of bird species. According to the site, McManus offered 15 different breeds of conures from her home in Aurora, including blue crowns, roseifrons, peach fronts, half moons, crimson bellies, nandays, mitreds, slender billed and patagonians.
The website says that McManus is an aviculturist, and that “caring for birds and breeding birds has been a growing passion for her for over a decade and every day brings new discoveries.”
According to the search affidavit, the city code officer conducted an unannounced visit to McManus’ home on Sept. 18. During the inspection, the officer found a number of filthy cages that had attracted flies, as well as dead mice. The affidavit says that the Denver Dumb Friends League had received a complaint about the conditions in McManus’ home.
According to the affidavit, the inspecting officer visted a downstairs room where he “could detect the odor of feces and rotting organic matter.” He also found that all the cages in the room “were filthy and appeared not to have been cleaned in weeks.”
Aurora officials say that officers also found four dogs that had not been registered with the city at McManus’ home.
Officers from the city’s Animal Care Division had also conducted searches of McManus’ property earlier in the year, the affidavit states, but McManus had corrected violations related to mistreatment and neglect standards.
Some of the birds were relocated to the city’s animal shelter, Animal Care employees said, while others were transferred to the care of a local bird rescue organization.