Puppy mill birds embark on journey to new home in Ohio

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Dothan, AL (WTVY) - A group of exotic birds that were rescued from a Dothan puppy mill earlier this year are finding a new place to call home.

Cropped Photo: JRamos WLII Univision P.R. / MGN

The Dothan Animal Shelter and Big Bend Wildlife Sanctuary rescued 65 dogs and 16 tropical birds in March.

Although the shelter took in the dogs, Big Bend has been rehabilitating the exotic birds for the past seven months.

Earlier this morning, the Columbus Zoo in Ohio, run by zookeeper Jack Hanna, sent a van down to Enterprise to get the birds.

The endangered birds will now serve as ambassador animals for their species at the Columbus Zoo, where former Big Bend volunteer, Beth Blair, previously worked and suggested the location as the birds’ new home.

"Big Bend Wildlife Sanctuary has clearly done an amazing job. These birds are in great condition-- considering where they came from,” says Emily Yunker, Columbus Zoo employee. “We expected them to be a little bit more rough-looking than they are, but they look really, really great! So we are looking forward to getting them back to the zoo. You know, we'll get them taken care of, we'll get jobs for them."

Though these are beautiful birds, the Big Bend staff wants to remind the public that they don't make good pets.

They are almost a lifetime commitment; the birds can live to be up to 80 years old!

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