A Chorley pensioner is sick as a parrot after a charity refused to hand over his lost bird.
Roy Fisher, 73, was distraught when his South African Grey, George managed to escape through an open door at his Devonshire Road home more than three weeks ago.
But, the grandfather was given a glimmer of hope after a reported sighting at Chorley hospital’s stroke ward.
However, he later found out that parrot rescue charity, Birdline UK had collected his seven-year-old pet and despite trying everything he can, he claims that the charity is refusing to return him.
Roy said: “I didn’t think I’d ever see George again after he escaped. I thought he would have been found dead somewhere and I was heartbroken as he is part of the family. My daughter-in-law is a mobile hairdresser though and was at a client’s house when she heard about a parrot being found at the stroke ward at Chorley hospital.
“Apparently he had flown in through an open window and given the staff there a right fright. I went straight up to make sure it was George and from the descriptions that the nurses gave it most certainly was. George has some very distinctive features as he had some problems before I got him and I was so relieved that he had been found safe and well, although the nurses said he had collapsed from exhaustion.”
Roy, who had put posters up around Chorley appealing for information about George’s whereabouts was told that a representative from Birdline Parrot Rescue had been called in to collect him and he immediately rang their helpline.
“I tried and tried to ring them, but didn’t have much luck,” Roy added. “I was told that there is a pet shop in Bolton that works with Birdline UK so I went over with my daughter.
“When we arrived it looked more like a house, but we eventually tracked down the people who had picked George up.
“They told us that we would have to liaise with Birdline UK direct, but I am still waiting now and they haven’t even let me see him yet.”
Roy said that the problem has arose because George’s identity ring is registered to a breeder who has now moved house so they cannot confirm that Roy is in fact his owner.
He said that the parrots can cost up to £700 to buy and his cage alone cost more than £200.
“I have all the details about the breeder and George’s markings and only his owner would know that kind of information. I just want to get him back and I’ve even had to report it to the police.
“I’ve cleaned out his cage, but really do hope I can bring him home.”
The registered charity, which was launched in 1992, is run by volunteers who provide homes to a variety of rescued birds. A spokesman for the charity said: “The description of the lost parrot doesn’t match that of the bird we rescued from Chorley hospital and its ring number has worn away.”
A spokesman for the charity said: “Before we can release the bird we need proof that Mr Fisher does own him. The description he has given us does not match that of the bird we rescued from Chorley hospital and he does not have the ring number.
“We have strict procedures to follow and our main aim is to reunite the birds with their owners. If he can provide proof that he does own the bird we’d be more than happy to return him.”