(WSVN) - A South Florida bird lover shelled out a lot of money, time and patience for the perfect pet, but she says the seller never came through. The Nightteam’s Brandon Beyer has the fight over her “Empty Nest.”
Kim Johnson grew up taking care of birds in Indianapolis.
Kim Johnson, bird lover: “When I was a young girl, my mother bought me some finches.”
So when she moved to Florida, she couldn’t wait to get one of her own.
Her search led to Bill’s Birds in Davie where she found a baby blue and gold macaw. It was so young, it was still being weaned.
Kim Johnson: “I would go in there after work, and I would feed it or hold it. And then, when it got 14 weeks old, we brought it home.”
But nine months later, the bird died from a bacterial infection. Kim was heartbroken.
Kim Johnson: “She was my child. She was my baby, and I did everything I could to save her. I couldn’t save her.”
A few months later, Kim decided it was time to try again. So she called Bill’s Birds to find another feathered friend.
This time she decided to buy a scarlet macaw.
Kim Johnson: “He had two babies, and I could come in and pick one out of the two babies.”
While she was waiting for the macaw, she bought this green parrot from Bill’s.
The store owner felt bad that Kim lost her first bird, so he agreed to only charge her the shipping fee it cost him to bring the bird from the breeder to South Florida, which is about $1,100.
Kim didn’t hesitate.
Kim Johnson: “I said, ‘Oh, I’m so excited, keep in touch with me and send me pictures and everything, and let me know when I can bring it home.'”
She paid the money.
But before she could take the bird home, the owner of the store and his son, Nathan. called with some bad news.
The bird she had chosen was being sent back to the breeder.
Kim Johnson: “Nathan says, ‘Oh, something’s wrong with the foot,’ and his dad said, ‘Yo, we have to send it back.'”
Kim was disappointed, but was promised another bird.
Kim Johnson: “A week after that, they called me and said they had another scarlet macaw.”
They told her it would be a couple of months before the bird could go home with her. But before she could pick up the bird, they told her, the bird had problems with its legs.
So she went to the store to get answers.
Kim Johnson: “This is where I bought my bird. This is where I paid the money.”
She left that day with yet another promise that her dream pet would be coming. But several months later, still no bird.
Kim finally confronted the owners.
Kim Johnson: “I said, ‘What’s going on?’ He says, ‘I’m working on getting you a bird.'”
Kim says the owner told her the third bird had been sold. She says the owner’s son told her it died.
Kim Johnson: “I said, ‘I waited two and a half years. Two and half years is enough; it’s long enough.'”
So Kim sent Bill’s Birds a certified letter asking for her money back. The owner agreed and Kim got this cashier’s check within days. He said it has always been this store’s intention to satisfy this customer, but Kim had never asked for a refund before, and finding the exact bird she wanted takes time.
Nathan Kalichman, Bill’s Birds in Davie: “We can always provide a bird. Whether it’s this season or next season, when they have babies, we can always provide a bird.”
Producer: “But do you think two and a half years is a long time to wait?”
Nathan Kalichman: “No, not when you want a specific type of bird.”
Kim still hopes to find the bird of her dreams.
Kim Johnson: “This is my hobby. This is something I love: birds.”
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