JUPITER, Fla. - Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control investigators raided an 84-year-old Jupiter man's home Wednesday and found 109 birds, dogs, ferrets, rabbits, fish, and other animals.
Some of the birds could be valued in the thousands of dollars.
The elderly man, Thurman Tefft, ultimately surrendered the animals, but was upset to have them taken.
"They were my family. I just lost my son in November and also my wife. That was my life. What am I going to do now?," Tefft said.
Investigators say the animals were living in deplorable conditions.
"People live that way and they live that way for years and as it gets worse and worse and worse they don't realize it because their exposure is gradual. For someone like us...it is a shock walking in there," Capt. Dave Walesky with Animal Care and Control said.
Walesky says Tefft likely will not be charged because of the circumstances surrounding the situation.
The 84-year-old says he got some of the birds in the early 1980s and that his wife took care of them.
"My wife raised them. That is another part of my life gone," he said.
The birds were taken to Rainforest bird sanctuary in Loxahatchee under the care of Dr. Susan Clubb. Clubb says the animals are being checked out and will eventually be adoptable. If you are interested, go to www.SusanClubb.com .