Slain Chelsea Man's Cockatoo in Foster Home

By Mathew Katz on March 7, 2012 4:46pm 

Bolo will remain in a foster home until an appropriate permanent home can be found.
Bolo will remain in a foster home until an appropriate permanent home can be found.
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DNAinfo/Mathew Katz

CHELSEA — The cockatoo once owned by a Chelsea man who was killed in his apartment last week is still in need of a home.

Bolo, the beloved bird of John Laubach, the 57-year-old Chelsea man found dead in his apartment on Friday, is in foster care with the Empty Cages Collective, an animal rescue and advocacy group.

The group said it will continue to care for Bolo, but that it is trying to find out whether Laubach made provisions in his will to leave the bird to a friend.

If a friend does not step forward, Empty Cages will find Bolo an appropriate home.

"We wanted to ensure that he would be cared for gently after such a traumatic thing happened to him," said PJ McKosky, a coordinator with the organization. "Bolo has been eating well and getting lots of scratches on his head by our volunteers."

Bolo has been staying at McKosky's apartment in Williamsburg since the weekend, after the city's Animal Care & Control office decided it did not have the proper resources to keep the Goffin cockatoo.

Dr. Shachar Malka, a avian specialist with the Human Society of New York who examined Bolo, said the bird was doing alright and is awaiting the results of a blood test.

Police are still looking for a suspect in the murder of Laubach, who was found bound and gagged with electrical cords and tape.

Cops questioned one person of interest for hours about the murder before releasing him, and are seeking a second man captured by surveillance video at a nearby bank as he allegedly tried to use the victm's ATM card.

Neighbors and bird-lovers around the city feared that Bolo would get lost in the system or put in a shelter not able to deal with a a traumatized exotic bird. On Monday, Parrot Haven, a sanctuary for injured and traumatized exotic birds in Amityville, N.Y., offered to take care of Bolo until a proper home could be found.

"Anyone who has a pet should make sure that a provision for immediate transfer of the pet to a trusted friend or relative must be part the will," wrote Jeff Weil, a member of the Parrot Fancier's Club, which runs Parrot Haven.

"The sooner the pet gets to its final home with a friend it knows, the better."

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