Hundreds of Parakeets Released at Michigan Animal Shelter


FILE: A Rose Ringed macaw looks out of its nest in a tree in Hyde Park on May 16, 2011 in central London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood / Getty Images)

DETROIT (WTVO) – Nearly 500 parakeets were released to a rescue shelter in southeast Michigan just before Christmas, with at least 50 more expected after that.

The birds came from the son of an animal hoarder, according to Detroit Free Press. The son is said to have called Kelley LeBonty, director of the Detroit Animal Welfare Group, and said he was planning to surrender about 80 parakeets from his father’s home.

However, he arrived at the shelter on Thursday night with 497 birds.

“He kept them all in seven cages,” LeBonty said. “A very tight fit. They confronted each other and dominated each other. They were very stressed. They barely move. We had to get them out and into different cages.”

According to LeBonty, the son said his father spent $1,200 a month feeding the birds he kept in one room of his house.

“His son said he just wanted to breed a few of them, and he got out of control,” LeBonty told the newspaper. “The problem is that birds breed easily. And then you just have more babies and more babies and more babies if you don’t get the situation under control.”

Many birds are thought to have eye and leg problems, although some appear to be healthy.

Another area shelter took in 220 parakeets, while another is set up to pick up more on Sunday. It will take about two to four weeks before they are ready for adoption.

LeBonty told the newspaper that the son plans to return to the shelter with more birds after Christmas.

LeBonty said that although law enforcement is often involved in animal hoardings, the group decided not to contact parakeet authorities.

“They reached out to us for help and it was a step in the right direction,” she told the Free Press. “These birds can now stay in a suitable home and receive the care they need.” Hundreds of Parakeets Released at Michigan Animal Shelter


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