Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"Be Our Voice" by Irena Schulz

The song "Be Our Voice" was written within two weeks of seeing photographs of the largest animal cruelty case in history on the Harris County Attorneys Office Facebook page. I wrote it for my own peace of mind. I had to untie the knots in my stomach created by those pictures, and writing "Be Our Voice" was the therapy I needed.

Soon thereafter, I stumbled upon an ASPCA announcement with Sarah McLaughlin singing and narrating it. So why not take "Be Our Voice" to the next logical step...an animal cruelty prevention video? But I would need a celebrity to narrate it. I had a few in mind, but one name continued to tower above the others because of her respect for both animals and nature. Sy Montgomery, national best-selling author and naturalist, wrote her own narration to provide scientific facts with sensitivity, and created a plea for a call to action as a result.

But before I could create this video, I needed the photographs that inspired this entire project. This project would be meaningless without them for this was what the project centered on. I contacted Linda Geffen, the Chief Prosecutor on this case at the Harris County Attorneys Office in Houston, Texas. I was granted permission to use the evidence photos for the video. So I waited to release this video until the appeal had been heard and the trial ended with a verdict.

I expect mixed reactions to my project...mostly due to political conviction. Those who favor human rights may have a very different opinion than those who favor animal welfare. Because this project came from my own heart, the song and video express what I hold in my heart as my personal belief without sway from political sentiment.

Each of us are molded by the events in our lives, the people we admire and aspire to be, the pain and suffering we live through and learn from, and the laughter and love which heals and holds us together. "Be Our Voice" is simply a result of my own journey in life. -Irena Schulz

"Animals are more than ever a test of our character, of mankind's capacity for empathy and for decent, honorable conduct and faithful stewardship. We are called to treat them with kindness, not because they have rights or power or some claim to equality, but in a sense because they don't; because they all stand unequal and powerless before us." - Matthew Scully

Coming soon: www.BeOurVoice.org

http://www.youtube.com/user/BirdLoversOnly?feature=mhsn#p/u/12/yb-VzeVA1ZE">

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Vigilante Justice


Vigilante Justice

A court in Houston, Texas recently found the Gracias to be guilty of Animal Cruelty. This case became very controversial and much outrage was expressed not only because of the lack of care provided to these birds and animals, but because of those speaking out in their defense and going to great lengths to justify the pictures which you are about to see as acceptable and humane. You can find pictures of some of the seizures on Facebook by going to the Harris County Attorneys Office site:

http://www.facebook.com/SnowballTheDancingCockatoo?v=wall&story_fbid=417417441597#!/pages/Harris-County-Attorneys-Office/359181251081?v=photos

An attorney, Genny Wall, had posted the following public statement because of the outrage expressed over the internet regarding this case:

I have been reading posts on many lists about the Houston, TX bird seizure case (Gracia').
...
I am saddened, but more, I am angry, to see that SOME of the members of our society have regressed to the point where SOME of ...you think that "VIGILANTE JUSTICE" is preferable to the DUE PROCESS which is supposed to be GUARANTEED TO ALL OF US under the U.S. CONSTITUTION.

Maybe you haven't regressed. Maybe you were never educated about DUE PROCESS in the first place. Perhaps you fell asleep in civics class and never read that document. Or maybe you just don't care, because you are perfect and YOU KNOW that YOU will never be subjected to an illegal search or seizure, and that YOU will never have your civil rights violated by any quasi or real agents of our government.

Regardless of your excuse, your online comments show that you have no concept of what DUE PROCESS is, or of how it is supposed to protect all of us against the evils of an overbearing government and its agents.

TO THOSE OF YOU WHO ACCEPT VIGILANTE JUSTICE - YOU ARE TODAY'S KU KLUX KLAN.

"We know they're guilty, we've seen the photos posted online - why bother with things like the Constitution, warrants, courts, sworn testimony, trials, or appeals? JUST HANG THEM NOW, AND GET IT OVER WITH ..."

This is my personal comment to each and every one of you who has convicted the Gracias in an "internet trial" simply because you have viewed some photos posted online - SHAME ON YOU.

To those of you who believe in VIGILANTE JUSTICE and "internet trials" - good luck finding an attorney willing to defend you pro bono when it's your turn to be the accused.

Genny Wall, JD
Attorney at Law
Sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution

Yes, vigilante justice is a very real thing. When people witness events or horrors that are outside the scope of what is considered socially acceptable, they want heads to roll. Some examples: the recent BP oil disaster in the Gulf, Michael Vick and other dog fighting incidents, repeat drunken driving offenders who end up killing an entire family in a car crash with a blood alcohol level of .21, pedophiles released from prison to destroy another child's life.

If a mother leaves her three year old daughter alone in her house for three days so she could spend some time alone with her boyfriend at his place, the public will become outraged at the selfish behavior of the mother. The daughter is still alive because she was eating some of the dog food left in the bowl to sustain her. The daughter is found roaming in front of the house in a three day old soiled diaper, the dog is alive because he has taken to eating his own feces from the carpet in the living room. But the defense can argue that no harm was done because they are both alive. But is this acceptable? Should the mother be allowed to keep custody of this child or the dog for that matter?

Now look back at the pictures. People defended the condition of these animals as directed by the defense. " No harm done." The diseased bird with the overgrown beak was shrugged off as being acceptable. Those in defense of this cruel and neglectful act threw up their arms and cried "What's wrong with that beak? There's nothing wrong with it. It's NOT animal cruelty." It was ok that this bird existed like this with no way out, no visit to the vet for medical treatment, no hope for anything different because it knew no other existence other than this. This was life and these animals accepted it because they had been bred into it. If you know nothing else, you expect nothing else. So no harm done.

Yes, Genny Wall, there is vigilante justice. There always will be as long as outrageous, inhumane, and socially unacceptable "crimes" continue without courtroom justice. New laws are created to set standards for what is socially acceptable and humane. There is a saying..."A picture is worth a thousand words." For those whose voices went unheard in the Gracias' home, the pictures spoke volumes on their behalf.

Irena Schulz
Founder and President
Bird Lovers Only Rescue

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Special Thanks to Windy City Parrot



A very warm thank you to Mitch and Catherine at Windy City Parrot (Chicago, IL) for the wonderful deal on three new macaw cages!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Parrot Cages and Stands

Bird Lovers Only Rescue is having a GARAGE SALE in order to raise funds to purchase three new macaw cages. We have approximately 30 parrot cages, travel cages, and stands ranging in size to suit small birds (parakeets, cockatiels, conures) up to large birds (cockatoos). Prices range from $15 to $300.

WHEN:
Thursday, August 5 (8am until 1pm)
Saturday, August 7 (8am until 12noon)

WHERE:
1448 Tanglewood Drive
Schererville, IN 46375
219-322-0037

Sunday, May 30, 2010

TASC Midwest Bird Expo - 2010

The TASC Midwest Bird Expo 2010 was a huge success as always. We ran into some terrific old friends, and made quite a few terrific new friends as well. Sy Montgomery, author of "Birdology" which had a chapter on Snowball, sat at the booth next to us. Patricia Sund of Bird Talk and Parrot Nation joined our cozy group and wowed us with her talents for cinematography and feather scarves! There's a lot of creativity in that young lady! We were also lucky enough to be placed next to T-W Birds so I was able to meet Traci LaMon in person. A very big thank you to Traci of T-W Birds for all the toys for our rescue birds!

Irena Schulz presented the Music Therapy Studies on parrots, but was upstaged by a funny, dancing bird...none other than Snowball the Dancing Cockatoo. Here is a short clip of him dancing to Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" at the close of the presentation. We hope to see you at next year's Midwest Bird Expo.


video

Please be sure to visit Bird Lovers Only Rescue to receive our brand new t-shirts and books in return for your donations. Your support helps fund our continuous efforts to rescue, rehabilitate, and adopt out parrots as well as allow us to further understand parrots through research studies. Thank you!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Snowball and PondHawks

Two years ago Jorie Gracen of the PondHawks sent a CD for Snowball to dance to. He immediately took to "Crying Hyena." He didn't even need to hear the song twice like many of us do in order for a song to grow on us. I pressed play, turned around, and there he was dancing away already! Snowball picks the tunes. And there's something about the PondHawks that he definitely likes. Is it the vocals? The melodies? The beat? Maybe it's a combination of all those things. Snowball knows what he likes.

The PondHawks latest CD is receiving worldwide recognition. And why not? After all, Snowball gave it his seal of approval. One can watch the You Tube video of him rockin' out to "Crying Hyena" here.

To read more stories on the PondHawks and Snowball:

Billboard Publicity Wire

My Space

Facebook

Paul McCartney.com

The Macca Report

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thanks to Central Indiana Cage Bird Club

The Central Indiana Cage Bird Club donates generously to many bird-related organizations to assist in care and education of parrots. Thank you for including Bird Lovers Only in your lengthy list of recipients. We remain in operation because of donations such as yours. Your generosity is very much appreciated!

Please click on this link to view CICBC.
Central Indiana Cage Bird Club

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Book-signing Benefit with Sy Montgomery

National best-selling author, Sy Montgomery, will be in the Chicago area on May 23 promoting her two books "Kakapo Rescue" (written for children in grades 4 - 9) and "Birdology" (written for adults) which features a chapter on Snowball the Dancing Cockatoo. Sy has also won The Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award for 2010. These awards go to authors or authors-illustrators "whose body of work has contributed significantly to the quality of nonfiction for children."

The Boston Globe once called Sy Montgomery "part Indiana Jones and part Emily Dickinson." Her sense of adventure is evenly matched by her sincere compassion for animals and their environment. Sy Montgomery is an author, naturalist, newspaper columnist, documentary scriptwriter, all-around adventurer, and wrote for the TV show "National Geographic Explorer." Sy travels the globe to research the animals she writes about and enchantingly delivers them to you via her books.

Sy Montgomery has generously agreed to do a book-signing and presentation of her adventures to benefit Bird Lovers Only Rescue on Sunday, May 23rd, 2010. Both books will be available for purchase at the book-signing. Proceeds from ticket and book sales will go to fund the continuing care and research of parrots at Bird Lovers Only Rescue. So please join us for an enchanting and fun-filled afternoon with Sy Montgomery.

Please visit Sy Montgomery at http://www.authorwire.com/

WHEN: Sunday, May 23rd, 2010
TIME: 12 noon until 1:30pm
WHERE: Bird Lovers Only Rescue
1448 Tanglewood Drive
Schererville, IN 46375
219-322-0037
EVENT: LUNCHEON hosted by Irena Schulz and Snowball the Dancing Cockatoo. An intimate luncheon with Sy Montgomery to be followed by the opportunity to dance with Snowball. Participants may request songs. Book-signing and photo opportunities with Sy Montgomery and Snowball. Limited seating available so order your tickets now. (Luncheon menu available upon request)

WHEN: Sunday, May 23rd, 2010
TIME: 2pm until 4pm
WHERE: Bird Lovers Only Rescue
1448 Tanglewood Drive
Schererville, IN 46375
219-322-0037
EVENT: PRESENTATION hosted by Irena Schulz at Bird Lovers Only Rescue. An enchantingly fun afternoon with award-winning author, Sy Montgomery. Sy will take you on her "Kakapo Rescue" adventure to be followed by a book-signing opportunity. Finger foods/desserts and beverages will be served.

TICKET PRICES PRIOR TO MAY 1, 2010:
$75 to attend both of the above events (Luncheon & Presentation)
$10 to attend the Presentation only.
TICKET PRICES AFTER MAY 1, 2010:
$85 to attend both of the above events (Luncheon & Presentation)
$15 to attend the Presentation only.
Payment Options (please be sure to state how many tickets you wish along with whether you will be attending both events):
Send check or money order to:
Bird Lovers Only Rescue
PO Box 552
Dyer, IN 46311
Please RSVP to Irena Schulz at birdloversonly@sbcglobal.net or 219-322-0037

Tickets will be held for guests at the door of the events.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Snowball a favorite of 2009 in Science Magazine

Snowball made the Top Ten list for favorite and most read stories of 2009 in Science Magazine.


http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2009/1224/1

Go Snowball!!!


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