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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.


Comment on this Story

  • Mel Amos

    Apparently the person complaining knows nothing of raising exotic birds…The birds are from a tropical climate and the heat is normal for them .And as for toxins and pollution the birds in Central Park in New York get more toxins and pollution…I have bought birds from them and they are healthy and happy. the guys are professional and would never put their birds in a situation the was bad for them..They have been providing car services for me for years . They are a great asset to the community..Thank you guys for being here!!

  • MelAmos

    I used to raise exotic birds long ago.. Birds are used to being in tropical heat. The Heat at the station is very safe for tropical birds. As for the toxins and pollution ,the birds in Central Park in New York city get more pollution and toxins.. The breeders are professional and love their birds.They would never put the birds health at risk. I have bought birds from them and they are healthy and happy..People love playing with friendly loving birds while they wait for professional service on their cars..Apparently the people complaining do not understand exotic birds and how to raise them. The community appreciates these guys and all they do for us…

  • anna

    I am sorry you feel that one business is trying to hurt another. I am aware of the birds at Barret’s Gas Station.The concern I would have as a bird owner myself is the toxins that the babies/ birds are breathing.This is not good for the welfare of the birds.People need to do their homework on how to care for birds/parrots.

  • Amanda

    I moved to The Shallotte Area two years ago with the company I work for.I have owned birds for 25 years. I visit Barretts quite often for supplies for my birds and to see the new babies. Always have been kept clean and beautiful birds. I have also visited Sunset Birds were the Birds were very taken care but owner had a very nasty attitude towards me after mentioning Barretts. The person making claims on keeping baby birds should do some research on keeping birds.. Is this One business trying to damage the reputation of another?

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