GRANDVIEW, Mo. - Julie Burge, a veterinarian at Burge Bird Service in Grandview, said she had pretty much seen it all.
"I've been in places where the poor animals, the birds, were crammed into places so small they could barely move -- feces everywhere, filthy or empty food and water dishes -- and it's just tragic what happens to some of these poor animals," she said.
But on Feb. 8, Burge responded to a call in Pleasant Valley that shocked her. She said and rescued six parrots living in deplorable conditions in a vacant home.
"These birds were living in squalor and filth -- running up the walls and the electrical wiring and in a room that obviously hadn't been cleaned in years," she said.
The six parrots were from the home of Carol Fisher. After divorcing from her husband in October, Fisher received the Pleasant Valley home in a settlement. She said only recently was she legally allowed to enter the home. When she did, she says she found their pet parrots in bad shape. Fisher said they were starved in the cold with little food and water.
"They looked like normal parrots: beautiful red feathers, tail feathers and when they were picked up they had no feathers on the chest, no feathers around their necks," Fisher said.
Fisher called Burge to rescue the birds and nurse them back to health.
Burge started a rescue and adoption program several years ago to take care of neglected and abused exotic birds.
"There are so few people that focus on some of the exotic animals and I saw a tremendous need. Birds are the third most commonly kept pet behind dogs and cats," she said.
Burge said the birds won't be ready for adoption for several months. Five of the parrots are now living at the Burge Bird Service in Grandview. Fisher adopted one.
If you'd like to adopt other birds you can call Burge Bird Service at 816-356-4700.