Just before Christmas, the son of a hoarder surrendered hundreds of parakeets to a shelter in Detroit, Michigan. There were 497 birds surrendered to Detroit Animal Welfare Group’s (DAWG) rural Bruce Township shelter on December 23. An additional 339 birds were surrendered the day after Christmas.
On December 26, DAWG updated Facebook followers about the massive intake of birds:
We thought 497 parakeets was a lot …. Until they surrendered 339 more in boxes this afternoon. The grand total of parakeets surrendered is 836!
Huge thank you to Birds and Beaks and East Michigan Bird Rescue for coming today to take close to 400 parakeets.
Three bird rescues working together today to help over 800 parakeets surrendered. It takes a village! They are all in good hands and will be getting the care they need. GREAT job everyone!!
The next day, the animal welfare agency announced that the birds would be available for adoption after being evaluated by a veterinarian, reminding everyone that owning a bird is a 6 to 15-year commitment which includes not only food, water, and shelter, but daily interaction, enrichment, and flight time.
As reported by the Detroit Free Press, the hoarder’s son told the shelter staff that his father had intended to breed the birds, and it got out of hand. Kelley LeBonty, director of the Detroit Animal Welfare Group, told the news agency:
All he said was his dad had mental illness, and (the son) had moved out and he hadn’t been back in a while. And when he went back, he saw (the hoarding) and obviously knew it was a problem, and reached out to us right away to try and get control of the situation.”
Four rescues are working to care for the birds, including: Detroit Animal Welfare Group, JoJo’s Flying Friends, Birds and Beaks Rescue and Rehab, and East Michigan Bird Rescue.