A Michigan animal shelter has been inundated with hundreds of parakeets.
The Detroit Animal Welfare Group in Romeo said in a Facebook post that the first group of colorful little birds were dropped off Thursday evening.
“We were also in shock, but we couldn’t push them away as they were all crammed into seven cages and choking on each other and needed immediate help,” the shelter said in the post.
Group manager Kelley LeBonty told the Detroit Free Press the son of an animal collector called to say he was coming to deliver 60 to 80 parakeets from his father’s house. But he showed up on Thursday with 497 parakeets in his truck.
“His son said he just wanted to breed a few, and it got out of hand,” LeBonty said. “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 it under control.
Officials at the refuge said they had asked for help from bird rescue organizations. Temporary housing for the parakeets has been found and food has been provided for the birds.
“These birds came from a very unhealthy situation and the irresponsibility of the owner is infuriating,” the shelter officials wrote on Facebook. “However, it really takes a village to help these animals and we are very grateful to everyone who works together to provide them with the care and homes they deserve.”
On Sunday, the organization said another 339 parakeets were subsequently dropped off, bringing the total to 836.
Birds should be quarantined for 30 days. Adoptions were scheduled to begin Jan. 23, the Detroit News reported.
The shelter said it is already accepting adoption requests, but has warned potential adoptees to inquire in advance about how to care for the birds.
“Owning a parakeet is a 6 to 15 year commitment and they require not only food, water and daily cage cleaning, but also daily interaction, enrichment and flight time,” said the shelter. “Like any pet, they should be part of the family. Be aware that birds are vocal and can be loud and messy.”