We continue to support efforts to provide legal protections for parrots in Pierce and other counties, and to promote the welfare of birds.
Beginning in the early 1980's, Martha and her husband John Scudder
owned and ran a parrot breeding farm, M&J Enterprises, in Roy, Washington.
John Scudder passed away in 2002. Martha Scudder still owns the farm, now
called Scudder's Parrot Depot, largely run by her live-in boyfriend, Robert
Vincent. By Martha's family's own testimony, the facility has been in decline
for a number of years, and Bob Vincent's arrival has not improved matters.
|Picture taken March, 2006
Life at Parrot
Depot: dark cages in poorly sheltered ramshackle barns
recognized for their intelligence—are
farmed in utterly degrading conditions.
We have created this web site not just to try and help set things right
at Parrot Depot, but to raise the issues involved, which extend to other farms
and to the role of county and state governments in the bird-breeding industry.
Despite public perception that widespread protections are in place to prevent
animal cruelty, the facts are that laws and ordinances do not apply equally to
all situations, types of pets, or animals in general. Birds such as parrots are
often left woefully unprotected, inviting exploitation and abuse.
We want to insure our readers do not confuse Scudder's Parrot
Depot with Scudders' Happy Hookbills Ranch, owned and run by Martha's son and
daughter-in-law, John and Kathy. While we cannot speak to motives, it was after confrontations
with Robert Vincent that John and Kathy (whose property adjoins Martha's, and who have
made attempts to assist Martha) were served a restraining order preventing them from
coming on to Parrot Depot property.
Zone of Despair
This article, written by Larry Gallawa, details how he became involved
with fighting for humane treatment of parrots in Pierce County, WA and his
subsequent frustrating and heartbreaking journey. His efforts to obtain help
for these suffering birds were repeatedly blocked at every turn. It seemed that
anyone in a position of authority whose responsibility it was to protect these
magnificent animals could only be described as apathetic—at best. Click
on the link following to read Larry's story about the initial events
surrounding this travesty and you'll understand why he titled it The
Zone of Despair [here»].
As this case has taken on visibility—including an unsuccessful
attempt by Parrot Depot (Martha Scudder) to sue Larry Gallawa—the amount of disinformation
and speculation on both sides has been increasing. (Documents from
Scudder vs. Gallawa are accessible through the Court Case tab above.)
Our focus has been to build a repository of all publicly available, relevant
documents. In doing so, we hope to assure that every interested party has available the
most complete, current, and accurate information possible. This includes not only those
directly involved with Scudder Parrot Depot case, but those interested in understanding
the issues surrounding it and also concerning the care and needs of parrots in general.
We have also gathered relevant news, accessible through the News
Articles tab above. The most comprehensive and informative of these is the article
Parrots in Peril, written by respected investigative journalist Mira
Tweti, who has written extensively on parrots and investigated the Parrot Depot
situation. After it was
published, local residentsnow alerted to conditionsbegan to contact
their officials demanding action. Our hope is that this public scrutiny will
help improve conditions at Parrot Depot and other bird farms.
Where the facts
are clear, they are stated as such. Where opinion or a single source—in
cases wishing to remain anonymous—is involved, we have used phrases such
as alleged, allegedly, or presumably to qualify comments. The outcome of
Scudder v. Gallawa, in favor of Larry Gallawa and confirmed on appeal,
certainly counters Martha Scudder's and Bob Vincent's assertions they are
simply victims of "personal attacks" (quoted from their web site, also echoed
in comments by their lawyer, Jack Maichel). Nevertheless, to insure our
comments are read based on the facts and not their source, we have kept our comments
anonymous because we want this website to focus solely on issues surrounding the
welfare of parrots, not on personalities.
We invite those just seeking more information to
browse the document collection.
We believe it speaks for itself.