Dead birds, mounds of trash found in Aurora home
Aurora authorities say they found mounds of garbage and dozens of birds, some of which were dead, inside a home Friday morning on the 200 block of Shadybrook Lane.
No charges have been filed yet, but authorities said their investigation is continuing. The building has been deemed uninhabitable and a private contractor specializing in hoarding cleanups is working at the scene.
Aurora Animal Control is arranging to have the surviving birds, including finches, canaries, parakeets, conures and cockatiels, checked by a veterinarian, city spokesman Dan Ferrelli said.
The birds will be transferred to a rescue organization, The Greater Chicago Caged Bird Club, once they're removed from the home, he said, but it could take days because of concerns with potential health hazards inside the building.
Officials said they learned of problems with animals at the home on Wednesday, when a painting contractor doing exterior work called Aurora police to report seeing several dead birds inside.
Ferrelli said police have never received any previous complaints about the home.
Aurora Animal Control and Care, along with city inspectors, launched an investigation based on what they could observe from looking through the home's windows, police said.
They deemed the property unfit for habitation, and on Thursday officials secured a search warrant and contacted the 57-year-old man who lives at the residence.
Then, at roughly 10:15 a.m. Friday, members of the fire department's hazardous materials unit entered the house and discovered the building was full of garbage and dozens of birds, both living and dead.
Fire officials tested air-quality standards inside the home, but the results are being sent to Phoenix, Ariz., for analysis and may not be available until Monday, Ferrelli said.
"The home was so full of junk that we could not effectively get the birds out," Ferrelli said. "(The test results) will indicate what we do next. If it's a hazmat scene, you need special training to enter. If it's not, it will make it much easier for us to remove all of the animals."
The homeowner has been "completely cooperative," Ferrelli said, and is not in police custody. Authorities said any possible criminal charges or citations for code violations will not come until their investigation is complete.