More than 150 birds stolen from Louisville pet store, owner concerned about animals’ well-being

The owner of Pet's Palace said thieves managed to jam more than 150 birds into cages to smuggle...
The owner of Pet's Palace said thieves managed to jam more than 150 birds into cages to smuggle them off last weekend.(WAVE 3 News)
Updated: Feb. 1, 2020 at 12:38 AM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – Over 150 birds were stolen after thieves broke into a pet store on Friday and Sunday.

This was not the first time Pet's Palace on Goldsmith lane has been hit by animal bandits; it was different, however.

Most of the other pet thieves were caught on camera stealing animals inside of the store. Some of them were even returned.

Last weekend, though, thieves broke into a breeding building in the back of the shop where there were no cameras.

Owner Jay Hockensmith told WAVE 3 News there weren’t any cameras in the back because he thought no one would know what was back there, which makes the situation even stranger to him.

“You would walk in and all these many, many birds were very loud, they're a very raucous little bunch,” Hockensmith said. “Now, when you go into the building its dead silent. So yeah, it’s pretty disturbing to go into the building at this point.”

Hockensmith says the thieves made off with lovebirds, canaries, cockatiels and several bunnies on Friday.

The real shock was when the criminals struck again on Sunday. Hockensmith said they managed to jam more than 150 Blue-Masked Lovebirds into cages to smuggle them off.

“They weren't greatly experienced,” Hockensmith said about the thieves. “They did kill a few birds; they left a few injured birds behind. They put these birds, overcrowded them, obviously, in smaller cages. They took them into the cold, January air. How long were they in these cages? Did they have food and water? We're concerned what happened to our birds.”

He fears he'll never know what happened to the animals.

Hockensmith sells the birds for $200 apiece and expects the thieves already sold them.

“It’s a pretty substantial financial loss to us, but more than that, this is a colony of birds we've worked with for a long time. It’s hard to lose them like this.”

Hockensmith says they now have cameras watching the other building as well. If you have any information call 574-LMPD.

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