Aurora bird hoarder pleads not guilty, animals up for adoption - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

PHOTOS: Aurora bird hoarder pleads not guilty, animals up for adoption

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AURORA, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A west suburban man who had more than 300 birds removed from his feces-filled house pleaded not guilty Tuesday to an animal hoarding charge, even as DuPage County prosecutors contended he still has about a dozen birds in his home.

Prosecutors made the claim as 57-year-old David Skeberdis appeared in court for the first court time since city officials in late October declared his townhouse unfit for habitation after discovering the birds flying freely inside.

Skeberdis, 57, of the 200 block of Shadybrook Lane in Aurora, is charged with misdemeanor companion animal hoarding, according to Aurora police. A companion animal hoarder is a person in possession of "a large number of companion animals" who fails to provide sufficient care for them.

If convicted, he faces up to six months in jail, 24 months probation and $1,500 in fines, a statement from police said. He also could be ordered to undergo psychological evaluation and may be forbidden from possessing animals in the future.

The investigation began Oct. 17 when an exterior painting contractor working on the home saw numerous dead birds and live, uncaged birds flying inside.

A contractor removed 359 live and 120 dead birds from the home on Oct. 26, and the live animals were given to the Greater Chicago Cage Bird Club.

The investigation found bird food, feces and garbage throughout the house, the statement said. The house had mold counts indicating potential hazards and the property was deemed a nuisance, unfit for human habitation.

But the Greater Chicago Cage Bird Club said all 358 birds have been rescued and cleaned, and are now up for adoption. For more information, visit the club's website at GCCBC.com

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