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Woman sentenced to 6 months for stealing ‘Hollywood Madam’s’ exotic bird

Updated March 11, 2022 - 7:48 am

The woman convicted of stealing one of former “Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss’s prized parrots will spend six months in jail.

Lisa Huggins was sentenced on March 2 in Pahrump Justice Court after a judge denied her public defender’s request to instead perform community service at a local animal shelter for her crime.

“That is a dangerous person, so why would they let her do community service at an animal shelter?” Fleiss told the Pahrump Valley Times after the woman was sentenced. “The judge eventually gave her the maximum time that she can give, but I wanted the death penalty. [Huggins] was taken into custody right then and there and she was crying up a storm, begging not to go to jail.”

The bird went missing from the 40-acre aviary sanctuary Fleiss owns in Pahrump in early 2021. It was returned in late March of last year. Fleiss had initially offered a $10,000 reward for the safe return of her bird named Miller, which she has owned for more than a decade. A man who knew Huggins provided a tip that led to the return of the bird and ultimately the woman’s conviction, Fleiss said.

“He drove [Huggins] to my house,” said Fleiss, who claims the pair were seeking to recoup the reward money.

“The guy told me that [Huggins] wanted to go to my house for something and Miller just hopped in the car and they drove away, so that was his story.”

Fleiss said Nevada lawmakers should revise penalties for those who steal animals.

“I really wish there were stiffer penalties that [Huggins] could have gotten,” Fleiss said. “The judge gave the maximum penalty that she could give. I believe this judge would have given more because she really understood that this stuff is unacceptable and it’s not just a victimless crime.”

Animals are not property, Fleiss said, and they could potentially pose more harm than would-be thieves understand.

“These are complex animals that most people don’t understand,” she said. “There must be harsher sentences.”

Fleiss and her birds made headlines a few months ago when someone shot her 5-year-old macaw Chuey with a pellet gun on Christmas Eve outside her sanctuary in Pahrump. A local veterinarian was able to remove the bullet and the bird survived.

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