Reading Time: 2 minutes Dubbed an animal hoarder, the resident was spending $1,200 a month on feed for the birds Credit: Martina Berg/Adobe
Reading Time: 2 minutes

An animal shelter in Michigan, US, has been swamped with hundreds of parakeets after their owner tried to breed them and it got “out of control.”

It is being described as an animal hoarding case.

Last week, The Detroit Animal Welfare Group revealed it had been handed almost 500 of the birds and was “in shock” as a result.

They were packed into seven cages and “smothering each other,” so, the shelter said it could not turn them away.

Just days later, the owner surrendered a further 339 bringing the total to 836.


Writing on Facebook, staff members outlined: “These birds came from a very unhealthy situation. And, the irresponsibility of the owner is infuriating. 

“However, it truly takes a village to help these animals and we are so thankful for everyone that works together to get them the care and proper homes they deserve.”

According to the shelter’s director, the son of the resident who handed in the birds had originally claimed he was handing in around 70. He later showed up with a staggering 497.

“The problem is birds breed easily. And then you just have more babies and more babies and more babies if you don’t control the situation,” Kelley LeBonty told the Detroit Free Press.

The owner was reportedly spending $1,200 each month to feed all the parakeets after breeding plans became difficult to manage.

‘These birds came from a very unhealthy situation’ Credit: Detroit Animal Welfare Group/Facebook

Michigan animals rescue shelters

Two further local shelters, Birds and Beaks and East Michigan Bird Rescue gave the Detroit shelter a hand and took 400 of the animals into their care.

Now, the shelters are calling for people to adopt the parrots.

This is once they have been checked by a vet and are healthy, however. And many of the birds have eye and feet problems. “Some of them are pretty sick,” LeBonty added.

Owning a parakeet is a six to 15-year commitment. And, “should be part of the family,” it stressed in a social media callout. 

Emily is a News and Features Writer for Plant Based News. She has previously worked as a journalist in Devon, UK, reporting on local issues from politics to the environment.