WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- An automotive service station with exotic birds for sale is ruffling some feathers.
Complaints from people range from the birds being kept in hot conditions to too many of the animals in one cage.
The outside of Barrett's Service Station in Shallotte gives the appearance of a simple car service business. That is 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 conditioning in the room on a day reaching 88 degrees.
"They're babies," said a man named John who works there. "Would you put your baby in air conditioning?"
Susan Barrett, who is no relation to the service station, specializes in 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 know and don't necessarily care for, I don't even see them go to those measures," Barrett said. "Most keep them in incubators if they're babies, but not just in shoe boxes with towels over top of them."
Barrett has filed a complaint 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 when 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 how it's unsafe," he said. "Tell me."
We also received a complaint 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 about the conditions. To our knowledge, none of the agencies Susan Barrett has filed complaints with has so far investigated.