Charges filed against man who had 479 birds

November 7, 2012 3:43:14 AM PST
The owner of an Aurora home where 359 live birds and 120 dead birds were removed has been charged with companion animal hoarding.

David Skeberdis, 57, of the 200 block of Shadybrook Lane, was served Monday with a notice to appear in DuPage County Court on Dec. 2. The birds were removed October 26.

According to Illinois law, a "companion animal hoarder" is a person who possesses a large number of companion animals; fails to or is unable to provide sufficient quantity and quality of food and water, adequate shelter, veterinary care, and humane care and treatment; keeps the companion animals in a severely overcrowded environment; and displays an inability to recognize or understand the nature of, or has a reckless disregard for, the conditions under which the companion animals are living and the harmful impact they have on the companion animals' and the owner's health and well-being.

If convicted, Skeberdis could face a maximum 6 months in jail, up to 24 months' probation, and $1,500 in fines.

Officials began investigating Skeberdis' home on Oct. 17, after an exterior painting contractor working on the home saw numerous dead birds and dozens of live, un-caged birds flying inside the home.

Police say the home was also filled with garbage, debris, junk, trash, bird feces and bird seed; and had mold counts indicating a potentially hazardous mold problem.

Authorities say Skeberdis is not cooperating with efforts to re-inspect the home.