SAN DIEGO -- The Humane Society helped rescue dozens of birds from their cramped quarters in a San Diego apartment Friday.
Officers with the organization's law enforcement unit spent the late morning and afternoon removing more than 80 birds from the building on Avenida De Los Lobos in Rancho Bernardo. The cockatiels had been freely flying around the one-bedroom apartment.
Officials said they first learned about the situation from a concerned neighbor. Eventually, the resident himself contacted the Humane Society and asked them to come remove the birds.
"He actually called us yesterday asking for some help," Sgt. Laurel Montreal explained. "That's why we're here, we want people to be comfortable to contact us so that we can help them when they get into situations like this. I'm sure he did not intend to get into this situation. I'm not here to judge; I'm here to help."
Officers described the residence as a hoarding situation in which the man started with a few birds, they laid eggs, and the situation ballooned out of control.
Officers took the birds out of the apartment in carriers and brought them to a veterinarian who was working from the field. Most of the birds were in acceptable medical condition to be taken back to Humane Society shelters for more medical checks and eventual adoption.
Police were also looking into the man's health and mental well-being.