Parrots Poisoned

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - 1:37pm

Angry man sprays neighbor's noisy exotic birds with chemicals.

Noise from three birds at a Port St. Lucie, Florida home apparently became too much for one man.

Joseph Pacheco is accused of going onto his neighbor's property Monday and spraying chemicals on a handful of birds.

Homeowner Ed Santos said Hannah, Red and Sam are beautiful, expensive birds.

The three are temporarily being cared for at the Avian and Exotic Clinic of Palm City.

Santos said Red has tremors after what happened.

The trio was on the patio of their home in Port St. Lucie when, according to police, their neighbor Pacheco came into the yard.

"My daughter was inside, called me on the phone, crying screaming hysterically, 'the neighbor is killing the birds, the neighbor is killing the birds,'" said Santos.

Santos went around to the back of his home and said he saw someone spraying something through a hole in his patio screen.

A police officer called to the scene had Pacheco show him the spray bottle.

Inside was Roundup, a weed killer.

Dr. April Romagnano has been dealing with bird emergencies for 25 years, but weed killer is a first.

"It changes the surface tension of the respiratory membranes so it makes it very difficult for you to breathe," said Dr. Romagnano.

She thinks the birds will make it, but right now Hannah is on oxygen.

The vet bills for the Santos family are already at $1,500 and are expected to rise.

Santos says Animal Control and police had been to the home before over noise complaints and he had worked things out with them.

He also said he tried working things out with his neighbor Pacheco by giving him his cell phone and telling him to call whenever there was a problem.

"Now my wife wants to move. The kids say, 'Daddy is he going to hurt us?'" said Santos.

The Santos family has only lived in the home for 10 months, but now they're trying to figure out if they want to live there any longer.

Efforts to contact Pacheco but were unsuccessful.

Pacheco faces charges of burglary and animal cruelty.
 

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