Chicago bird sanctuary in need of help as people ditch pets after COVID-19 pandemic adoption boom

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Bird sanctuaries in the city said after they saw an adoption boom because of the pandemic, people are now ditching their backyard chickens.

The Chicago Roo Crew, a grassroots organization, has been fostering and nurturing birds who have been abandoned since 2017. Volunteer Julia Mgnus said people ditching their birds and dumping them in all parts of Chicago has always been an issue, but she's helped rescue even more birds this year because of the pandemic.

"I think it's a function of people during COVID, during the pandemic, people got bored and decided it'd be a good idea to have backyard birds. They got them but didn't notice the responsibility that comes with them," said Magnus.

Currently, Magnus is housing about 20 birds in her Bronzeville home - a lot for her sanctuary. The organization said most birds they nurture need medical attention.

"We often pick up dumped birds off the street that are sick, and we take them to the vets and foster them and find good placements for them," said Christine Fox, a volunteer and co-founder of the Chicago Roo Crew.

The organization said medical bills can ring up thousands of dollars, an expense that's been weighing heavy on the organization. Magnus said other sanctuaries are facing the same issue.

Magnus urges everyone to treat these birds with kindness.

"We who live with them know that they are intelligent, sensitive creatures and that their care is significant," she said.

If you'd like to help the Chicago Roo Crew, visit their Facebook page.
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