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Columbia Heights South, Penrose
Pet Stores


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Small Cages

According to an observer knowledgeable about birds, the larger birds in this store seemed healthy, but their cages were not large enough, and some of them were did not have enough of the toys required for the emotional health of these intelligent animals. The smaller birds were in "intolerable" condition. One cage contained nine cockatiels in a space that would be adequate for two IF they were let out frequently for exercise. Five of the cockatiels showed signs of being plucked; one severely, with crest, belly, and neck bare instead of being covered with feathers, with a lot of wing skin exposed. The plucking is highly likely to be due to overcrowding, as cockatiels rarely self-pluck. A similarly sized cage contained eight cockatiels, also overcrowded, and in semidarkness, which is completely unsuitable for these birds.

The store owner was notified of these problems. While she seemed to genuinely care about some of the birds, she refused to make any changes to alleviate the overcrowding, dark cages, or lack of mental stimulation for the other birds. She also changed her story several times. On the first visit, she said the cockatiels are newly acquired and pluck themselves because they are hormonal. She told a second visitor that she's willing to euthanize the worst-plucked cockatiel. When the first visitor returned and offered to take the worst-plucked cockatiel instead of having her euthanize him, the owner refused, saying now that she had had the birds for some time, that they are good breeders, and the reason for him being severely plucked was that he was separated from his mate. She refused to part with him under any condition. Animal Control was notified and is investigating.

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