San Diego

Dozens of Cockatiels Seized From Rancho Bernardo Condominium

The agency said the birds were taken into protective custody where they would be examined and possibly put up for adoption

The San Diego Humane Society seized more than 80 birds that were living in unsanitary conditions from a one-bedroom condominium complex in Rancho Bernardo Wednesday.

When the San Diego Humane Society arrived to the unit located near the intersection of Bernardo Center Drive and Camino Del Norte they found a man living in the small unit with 84 birds, mostly cockatiels, SDHS spokesperson Laurel Monreal said.

Dozens of birds were flying freely about the room, Laurel said. The apartment unit was covered in bird feces and there was dust from the birds in the air. 

Crews wore masks as they used nets to trap the birds. 

Monreal said the owner was "a good man who had a few birds, and they keep breeding and then, you know, it gets out of hand pretty quickly." 

All of the birds seized appeared to be healthy, including at least one that was a chick. The agency said they were taken into protective custody where they would be examined and possibly put up for adoption. 

Monreal said the situation wasn't healthy for the man that lived there because the conditions posed a risk for disease. 

"I’m sure he did not intend to get into this situation," Monreal said. 

SDHS said it received a call about the birds the week before crews came to the man's home. The organization made contact with the man at that time, and again when the man called SDHS Tuesday.

The man was taken into custody by a San Diego Police Department Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT) who would serve as a connection to mental health resources.

The humane society's Humane Law Enforcement team is investigating the case to determine if any charges will be recommended against the man. 

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