MD parrot mill, NJ pet store targeted by bird lovers

With the focus on cleaning up the puppy mills in Pennsylvania, we sometimes forget about the other companion animals that are mass produced for pet stores.

Now more bird lovers are taking a stand for exotic birds.

A friend alerted me to an unusual citizen bust of a "parrot mill" recently in a Washington D.C. suburb. A determined gang of bird fanciers descended on a house in Gaithersburg and plucked 81 parrots from filthy conditions.

Here's what The Washington Post reported Tuesday about Brian Wilson and his bird rescue:

Dozens of macaws, cockatiels and conures, he said, were living in filth. Feces piled as high as three inches lay in some of their cages, and mold covered much of their food. A pungent smell filled the air, making Wilson wish he and his volunteers had worn masks.

"I went over there not expecting the magnitude," Wilson said. "The birds are dying, and my instinct was to take them out of there."

In the Philadelphia area, demonstrators protested on Saturday against a New Jersey pet store that bills itself as the world's largest bird seller. The group said they targeted Bird Paradise in Burlington to highlight the plight of birds in captivity.