Hoarder’s 300 birds survive weekend after rescue in Aurora
By Stephanie Lulay email@example.com October 29, 2012 5:54PM
Dozens of parakeets, rescued from and Aurora hoarder, enjoy each others company in one of several cages at the Greater Chicago Cage Bird Club facility in Villa Park on Monday, October 29, 2012. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 29, 2012 10:04PM
Sandwiched in a storefront between Ms. Robert’s Academy of Hair Design and Sensei Steve’s Karate Center are more than 300 birds that up until last week lived in an Aurora townhome.
After workers wearing hazmat suits rescued the 325 live birds from the townhome that was declared unfit for habitation on Friday, the birds were turned over to the Greater Chicago Cage Bird Club, where they are being housed at a Villa Park storefront for a 30- to 60-day quarantine period.
Nancy Carlson, vice president of the bird club, said Monday that volunteers are taking turns monitoring the birds. None of the live birds that were rescued from the house died over the weekend.
The birds have been exposed to poor air quality conditions, said Barbara Morris, bird club spokesman, and a veterinarian will evaluate them this week.
Carlson wore a mask as she changed papers in the dozens of large cages on Monday.
“We’re surprised with how well they are doing,” Carlson said. “The birds are tough but they were in a rough environment.”
Some of the birds are struggling, though. One bird was laying on its side dying, but they have separated that bird from others and it is doing better, Carlson said.
“I hand fed him. He was on a heating pad. It was a struggle,” she said.
Daily, volunteers are assessing each cage and bird droppings to make sure the birds are healthy. All of the birds have been bathed and are being kept in groups.
“The birds seem so happy today. They were sleeping a lot the first couple of days,” she said. “And they just ate and ate, slept, and ate and ate.”
Homeowner Dave Skeberdis, 57, who was hoarding the birds in his Aurora townhome in the 200 block of Shadybrook Lane, said Monday at the make-shift bird shelter that he’s visited the birds every day since they were removed from his home.
“I might paint a picture of someone who didn’t care about the birds, but I did,” he said. “I’ve been going through a lot.”
Skeberdis said he is feeling stressed, but is meeting with a mental health professional. He has also met with a lawyer.
The city plans to re-inspect the home Friday because the homeowner was previously cited for two property code violations, said city spokesman Dan Ferrelli.
The city found junk, trash, debris, bird seed and bird feces in every room of the townhome up to waist high in depth, officials said last week.
“The house is a different story (than the birds),” Skeberdis said. “I just want protection from the city. I don’t want to be steamrolled.”
Skeberdis said he plans to work hard to clean up the house this week.
Skeberdis said Monday that he was glad to see two of his favorite birds, Liz Kojack and Longstreet, in a cage together.
“Hi baby bird,” he said to scalped bird Liz Kojack. “She loves to bite but she’s friendly, too.”
Skeberdis acknowledged that the city’s contractor found 120 dead birds in the home on Friday.
“There’s a lot of birds that I’m missing, and that makes me feel bad, too,” he said.
The club is not encouraging the public to stop by to see the birds, Carlson said. Donations to the Greater Chicago Cage Bird Club can be made at www.gccbc.org.