Charges filed against man who had 479 birds

October 26, 2012 (AURORA, Ill.)

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.

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