Hundreds of birds, dead and alive, found in Chicago area home - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Hundreds of birds, dead and alive, found in Aurora hoarder's home

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Health and animal personnel are investigating an animal hoarding incident at a west suburban home, in which hundreds of birds, alive and dead, have been found.

The investigation was prompted by a painting contractor who reported seeing several dead birds inside, a release from Aurora police said.

City workers brought in a dumpster to haul out some of the trash, but until the city gets test results on air quality, they won't risk going back in to begin the bird rescue and cleanup. Police say they've never seen anything like this.

"This is a pretty extreme incident of hoarding period," says Aurora spokesperson Dan Ferrelli. "A lot of garbage and trash throughout the home 41 we also estimate there's hundreds of birds inside that house of varying species."

Attempts to contact the homeowner and secure a search warrant were initiated and the warrant was issued Thursday. Animal Control employees, along with the Fire and Police departments went to the home at 247 Shadybrook Ln. about 10:15 a.m. Thursday, according to police.

Members of the Fire Department HazMat team entered the home after looking inside and deeming it unfit for habitation. They found full of garbage and trash, and hundreds of birds of varying species, some of them dead, the release said. The Haz-Mat team is also taking air quality samples. Police said the 57-year-old man was living in such squalor they could barely get inside the door to check on the birds.

The birds included finches, canaries, parakeets, conures, cockatiels and others, according to police.

"There's so much junk inside that house that is impeding any efforts now to successfully remove the birds 55 and the birds appear to be on all three floors of the home," Ferrelli said.

Animal Control has made arrangements to have the live birds checked by a veterinarian and then taken to the Greater Chicago Caged Bird Club. A private contractor specializing in cleanups is working with the city on the house. There were no other animals in the home, police said.

The 57-year-old homeowner has been "cooperative," according to police. Code citations or criminal charges will not be initiated until all the animals have been removed.

"I had no idea about the birds," said neighbor Janet Miller. "I did think he had a little bit of a hoarding issue because, like I said there's never garbage out and he's got cars full of bags and that kind of thing."

An animal control officer walked through the neighborhood passing out informational fliers Friday night, letting people know what was going on and assuring them that there was no danger to anyone outside the unit.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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