Friday, December 1, 2023

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ARL Rescues 11 Exotic Birds


Multiple large exotic birds who had been living in deplorable conditions in a Des Moines home are now safe at the Animal Rescue League (ARL).

When ARL Animal Services and Des Moines Police arrived, they found 11 birds in filthy enclosures with feces coming up over the bottom bars of the cages. Nearly a foot of trash covered the floors of the house, making walking difficult, and rodent droppings were everywhere. When our team got to the room where the majority of the birds were being kept, they had to dig the trash and debris out of the doorway so they could enter. Dust from the birds was also thick throughout the house, making the air quality poor for both the birds and humans. Rescuers were covered in the dust when they exited the home.

The 11 birds – three Moluccan cockatoos, four Goffin’s cockatoos, two Amazon parrots and two cockatiels – were transported to the ARL, where we had clean enclosures ready and our veterinary team was waiting to evaluate them.

The birds had obviously been without proper care for a long time. One cockatoo’s beak is so severely overgrown it almost touches her breast, making it impossible for her to eat properly. Another bird’s nails are so long that some have curled into a complete circle, making it difficult to grip. Several birds have areas on their body where they’ve pulled out their feathers, and one has gone even farther and has begun self-mutilating, resulting in a large wound in her chest area.

The investigation is on-going. Donations towards the rehabilitation and on-going care can be made online ( or by mail/in-person at 5452 N.E. 22nd St., Des Moines.

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