Ann Arbor, MI (November 2, 2015) – Forty-two (42) birds, three (3) degus and one (1) rabbit living in deplorable conditions were rescued from an Ypsilanti Township home by theBird Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV) late afternoon on Tuesday, October 27. HSHV personnel received a tip on Monday that the owner had an excessive number of birds living in poor conditions.

“The owner claimed a few of the birds were ‘rescues.’ However, it appears most were used in breeding for profit, yet without regard for the animals’ welfare or even her own. Fortunately, the owner surrendered all of the animals to us,” said Matt Schaecher, HSHV’s Chief Operating Officer. “Of course, now we really need the community’s help to find great homes for these deserving animals.”

Despite living in dirty, crowded cages with many inches of feces and in a house filled with garbage, the majority of animals seem in good health.

“We’re glad we got there when we did,” Schaecher said. “Because of this tip, we got to intervene on behalf of a lot of animals who weren’t being properly cared for. Our investigators had to wear respirators just to be inside the home. If this situation persisted longer, it could have been much worse.”

Birds“Unfortunately it’s not uncommon for breeders and even people who call themselves ‘rescuers’ to keep animals in deplorable conditions. Animals in the care of rescues and shelters, and those used for breeding, are in desperate need of better legal protection in Michigan. We see repeatedly, in our own community and in others, how a lack of required standards and oversight causes suffering and unnecessary death, even in places that exist to offer refuge,” added Tanya Hilgendorf, HSHV President and CEO.

HSHV regularly rescues animals from hoarding situations, and often the animals are sick and malnourished.  This hoarding case presents a new problem for HSHV: housing.

“The majority of our shelter’s housing is for four-legged animals,” says Krista Donohoo, HSHV’s Adoptions Manager. “So we’ve had to get creative in finding housing for forty-two birds. We’re thankful we are able to provide temporary space that is clean and roomy, but it’s a very full house here.”

The rescued parrots vary from sweet little Love Birds to a handsome and talkative Macaw.  Many are singing happy tunes in HSHV’s Education Center.

“We’ve never had this many birds,” Donohoo says. “And we hope to have qualified adopters flock to HSHV as soon as they’re ready for adoption—which we anticipate will be Wednesday.”

Because of the extra challenges of owning a larger parrot that can live many decades, some of the birds will require experienced adopters.  Most animals will likely be available for adoption on Wednesday, November 4. Interested adopters can find information and applications on HSHV’s website or call 734-662-5585, and they can visit the animals atBird the Humane Society of Huron Valley, 3100 Cherry Hill Road, Ann Arbor. HSHV is open for adoptions 7 days/week, Monday through Wednesday 11-6, Thursday and Friday 11-7 and Saturday and Sunday 11-5.

The HSHV Cruelty Investigator team will be submitting a report on the hoarding case to the Washtenaw County prosecutor’s office for review. HSHV encourages anyone who suspects a crime involving animals to call 734-661-3512 or submit a report to HSHV online.


About the Humane Society of Huron Valley

The Humane Society of Huron Valley, located in Ann Arbor, is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and relies solely on the generosity of our supporters to provide critical community programs and services. HSHV is an award-winning organization, recognized for our best practices and highest animal “save-rate” among all similar shelters in Michigan. Charity Navigator, the nation’s top charity evaluator, awarded HSHV a 4-star ranking, the highest possible. The mission of HSHV is to promote the loving, responsible care of all animals in our community. HSHV is not affiliated with any other humane organization and does not receive funding from the United Way. More information can be found on HSHV’s website ( and on our annual report ( LOVE STARTS HERE!