An animal shelter in Michigan has been inundated with hundreds of parakeets.
The Detroit Animal Welfare Group in Romeo said in a Facebook post that the first group of the small, colorful birds were dropped off Thursday night.
“We were in shock also but could not turn them away as they were all crammed in seven cages and smothering each other and needed immediate help,” the shelter said in the post.
Get Chicago local news, weather forecasts, sports and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Chicago newsletters.
The group's director, Kelley LeBonty, told the Detroit Free Press that the son of an animal hoarder had called to say he was coming to surrender 60 to 80 parakeets from his father's house. But he showed up Thursday with 497 parakeets in his truck.
“His son said that he just wanted to breed a few of them, and it got out of control,” LeBonty said. “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.”
Shelter officials said they reached out to bird rescue organizations for help. Temporary housing for the parakeets was found and food was donated for the birds.
“These birds came from a very unhealthy situation and the irresponsibility of the owner is infuriating,” shelter officials wrote on Facebook. “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.”
On Sunday, the organization said another 339 more parakeets were then dropped off, bringing the total to 836.
The birds have to quarantine for 30 days. Adoptions were expected to begin Jan. 23, the Detroit News reported.
The shelter said it was already accepting adoption applications, but cautioned potential adoptees to learn about caring birds ahead of time.
"Owning a parakeet is a 6-15 year commitment and they require not only food, water and daily cage cleaning but also daily interaction, enrichment and flight time," the shelter posted. "As any pet they should be part of the family. Please know that birds are vocal and can be noisy and messy."