DENVER, AP — A former board member who regulates Colorado veterinarians is facing animal cruelty allegations after authorities say pet birds were found living in poor conditions in her home. home in suburban Denver.
Ellen Kessler, 72, received a court summons on May 23 to face 13 counts of animal cruelty after a visitor notified authorities earlier this month, said Tuesday Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Karlyn Tilley.
A woman who answered the phone at Kessler’s home said she had no comment.
According to the sheriff’s office, the birds were found by animal control officers living in Kessler’s basement with water and food but no sunlight and their cages and floors were covered in seeds, soil and excrement.
Flies and numerous mice, dead and alive, were also found, Tilley said.
Kessler agreed to have the birds taken to a vet, but one of the 13 birds was dead and another died at the vet’s office, Tilley said. The other birds suffered from various health problems.
Kessler, an animal rights activist, was named to the board of directors to represent the public by Democratic Gov. Jared Polis, but resigned earlier this year after making critical comments about ranchers and the animal industry. ‘breeding.