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Aurora Removes 325 Live Birds, 125 Dead Birds From Hoarder’s Home

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Crews in hazmat suits clear the Aurora townhome of an owner who kept more than 300 live birds. Dozens more birds -- dead -- were also found. (CBS)

Crews in hazmat suits clear the Aurora townhome of an owner who kept more than 300 live birds. Dozens more birds — dead — were also found. (CBS)

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Updated 10/26/12 – 6 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – Contract workers hired by the city of Aurora removed more than 300 birds from the home of a hoarder in Aurora after he failed to remove them by a Friday morning deadline.

David Skeberdis was given until 10 a.m. to remove the birds from his home, but missed the deadline. Crews went in and removed 325 birds — including parakeets, cockatiels, conures, canaries, doves and finches — by 5 p.m.

In addition, 125 dead birds were removed from the home, Aurora spokesman Kevin Stahr said in a news release.

Aurora had declared his home a nuisance property, after finding piles of junk and hundreds of birds inside the home last week. Bird feed and bird droppings were spread throughout the townhome.

“I’ve got some problems, obviously,” Skeberdis told CBS 2′s Brad Edwards Friday evening.

Although Skeberdis began working late Wednesday night to catch the birds, according to Aurora Deputy Fire Chief John Lehman, the owner only managed to capture 10 to 12 birds on his own.

Skeberdis admitted the situation at his home got out of control. He has claimed he started off with about eight birds several years ago, but they’ve multiplied over the years.

“I probably will feel bad after they are gone, but the crying is over, and thinking of what the best for them is,” Skeberdis said. “I felt really bad last week, but I’ve had a lot of time to come to grips with this. I mean, this has been unacceptable living conditions. It’s unacceptable for birds.”

Around 10 a.m., workers from a third-party contractor arrived at Skeberdis’ house at 248 Shadybrook Lane, and went inside wearing white protective gear. Officials have said he conditions inside the house are hazardous, with Mold Inspection counts as high as 15 times more than normal.

“Please understand that the interior conditions of this home do not warrant for easy capture of the birds. We must first attempt to make the environment safe,” Lehman said.

Earlier in the morning, Skeberdis handed over the birds he had captured to workers from the Greater Chicago Cage Bird Club. He was hoping to get most of the birds out himself, but barely made a dent.

“You certainly have feces problem, and I think that it’s gone for such a long time, that … it just got out of hand,” said GCCBC member Barbara Morris.

Lehman said it’s clear Skeberdis violated city ordinances, but until they finish assessing the situation, they won’t know what penalties or fines he should face.

The captured birds will be taken to a shelter in Villa Park, where they’ll be checked out by a veterinarian and quarantined for 30 to 60 days. Then they’ll be up for adoption.

The dead birds will be given to DuPage County Animal Control for disposal, Stahr said.

Meantime, the DuPage County Health Department has reached out to Skeberdis to offer him counseling.

The Greater Chicago Cage Bird Club is accepting for donations of food for for the birds it is taking in, including finches, parakeets, cocatiels, diamond doves, button quail, and conures. Food donations can be dropped off at 19 W. Park Blvd. in Villa Park. You can donate money to the club at their website, by clicking here.

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