Aurora bird removal

George Hallenbeck, volunteer from the Greater Chicago Cage Bird Club, a bird rescue group takes birds removed by contractors for the city of Aurora from the house of David Skeberdis on Oct. 26, 2012. (Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune / October 26, 2012)

An Aurora man who was living in his town house with more than 350 live birds – and 120 dead ones – was charged today with animal hoarding, according to the city.

David Skeberdis, 57, has been cited for companion animal hoarding, a class B misdemeanor, according to Aurora police.

His residence in the 200 block of Shadybrook Lane was declared unfit for human habitation last month after a painting contractor alerted Aurora officials to the hundreds of birds flying around uncaged inside the home.

City officials gained a court order to remove the birds, which were given to a non-profit bird group.

The city said that it is reviewing its options to bring the property into compliance.

The charge against Skeberdis carries a maximum jail time of six months, along with probation and possible fines. He could also be ordered to undergo counseling and barred from owning an animal.
According to state law, a “companion animal hoarder” is someone who possesses a large number of pets, but is unable to provide proper care and has a “reckless disregard” for the conditions in which the animals are living.

Skeberdis said last month that he started with a small number of birds, mostly parakeets, but his collection grew out of hand over the years. He was ordered to appear Dec. 4 in DuPage County court.

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