Aurora bird hoarder pleads guilty, gets probation

November 18, 2013 1:05:58 PM PST
An Aurora man has pleaded guilty to animal hoarding and cruelty charges after nearly 500 birds were found in his west suburban Chicago home.

The Daily Herald reports 58-year-old David Skeberdis was convicted Monday in DuPage County court. A judge sentenced him to a year of probation, counseling and 50 hours of public service. He was to go to trial Monday.

In October of 2012, authorities found hundreds of birds, mounds of garbage, bird feces and bird seed in the home. About 150 birds were dead, and others were taken by the Greater Chicago Cage Bird Club.

Prosecutors said Skeberdis told investigators he didn't expect the birds - canaries, finches, parakeets and others - to multiply in such an "extreme manner."

On Monday, Skeberdis told the judge he had been in therapy for about a year.

Skeberdis' townhouse was condemned. His attorney, Roderick Mallison, said there had been birds inside the suburban home that Skeberdis "has not been able to capture yet."

On Tuesday, Skeberdis, 57, pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of animal hoarding and acknowledged his bird collecting got out of control.

"They're in pretty good physical shape," said veterinarian Peter Sakas. "When you get into a situation like this, you're not helping them at all."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.