ONLY ON 3: Complaints filed about dozens of birds at Shallotte service station

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — An automotive service station with exotic birds on the market is ruffling some feathers.

Complaints from people range from the birds being kept in hot conditions to too most of the animals in a single cage.

The surface of Barrett’s Service Station in Shallotte gives the looks of an easy automotive service business. That’s until you walk into the office. There, we found dozens of birds, including some not in cages, while others, the babies, were kept in plastic boxes with towels covering the tops. There was no air con within the room on a day reaching 88 degrees.

“They’re babies,” said a person named John who works there. “Would you set your baby in air con?”

Susan Barrett, who isn’t any relation to the service station, makes a speciality of exotic bird rescue with the Clemmons-based group NC Shelter Rescue. She saw pictures of the birds and was appalled by their living conditions.

“I don’t know of anyone, even bird breeders that I do know and don’t necessarily look after, I don’t even see them go to those measures,” Barrett said. “Most keep them in incubators in the event that they’re babies, but not only in shoe boxes with towels over top of them.”

Barrett has filed a criticism with the NC Department of Agriculture, NC Department of Health and Human Services and the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.

John didn’t have much to say once we asked what he would tell someone who think it’s an unsafe environment for the birds and the people working there.

“Well, show me the way it’s unsafe,” he said. “Tell me.”

We also received a criticism from a viewer who visited Barrett’s recently and says she finds the birds’ living conditions very alarming.

John said he was unaware of any complaints in regards to the conditions. To our knowledge, not one of the agencies Susan Barrett has filed complaints with has to this point investigated.

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