The owner of the Manhattan pet-boarding facility Bird Camp is crying fowl in a defamation lawsuit against a family for claiming in online reviews that she killed their Canary Winged Parakeet Polly.
Bird Camp has “boarded birds for 16 years without incident,” fumes proprietor Rosalee Gibson in her new Manhattan Supreme Court suit against Jennifer Vanderkieft, husband Kenneth, daughter Emily and mother Erna West.
The suit comes a month after the Vanderkiefts sued the East 53rd Street boarding facility in June in Small Claims Court over Polly’s “brutal death” from avian tuberculosis.
After the case was tossed, Bird Camp owner Rosalee Gibson countersued for defamation.
Emily and her grandmother had posted negative reviews of the aviary on Google and Yelp, Gibson alleges in the new claim.
“Fly, not run, away from Bird Camp!” Emily urged in a review attached to Gibson’s new suit.
Polly, who had a life span of over 15 years, was just 4 years old when she went to stay at Bird Camp from Dec. 28, 2016, through Jan. 3, 2017.
Two weeks later, Jennifer, a Douglas Elliman broker, returned to the pet store for some millet and Nutriberries to “entice Polly to eat,” Gibson’s suit says.
“On Jan. 23, [Gibson] received an extremely belligerent telephone call from defendants Jennifer and Kenneth alleging, without basis, that Polly ‘contracted a virus’ during the period of her boarding at Bird Camp,” Gibson says in her suit.
Polly died at The Center of Avian and Exotics on Jan. 30.
“A full necropsy showed that Polly died from Avian Tuberculosis, a condition that is not viral,”according to Gibson.
She spoke to experts who confirmed that “it was impossible for Polly to have contracted this disease at the Bird Camp facility” because “it takes months or years for it to manifest throughout the body until death ensues.”
Gibson says the Vanderkiefts threatened to ruin her business with negative online reviews if she didn’t…