Over 160 exotic birds rescued in Fort Walton Beach after owner dies

FORT WALTON BEACH — Over 160 exotic birds were rescued recently from a home where the owner had passed away, leaving them flying loose without food or water for several days.

The Fort Walton Beach Police Department notified the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society of the “extreme hoarding situation” on the evening of June 17, said Michelle Thorson, community development and public relations officer for PAWS.

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“They asked if we had protective gear to keep our team members safe, but they did let us know that there was a variety of birds that were in need of rescue,” Thorson said. “It was over 160 birds, and over 100 of them were free flight. So they weren’t in cages.”

After sending an animal control officer out to assess the situation, PAWS reached out to the Alaqua Animal Refuge in Freeport for help. The staff at the refuge immediately began preparing to eat the animals.

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