Mum begs council: please don't take my pets
A CORAL Cove mother is pleading with authorities not to take away her beloved pet birds, including her black cockatoo Inky.
Sandee Irvine unexpectedly found a card from Bundaberg Regional Council in her mailbox on Tuesday asking her to act.
Ms Irvine phoned the council and was advised she had to remove the birds from her home, with no explanation why.
She told the NewsMail she was stressed already with her stepfather and grandmother in hospital on top of other personal issues.
The single mum of three then had to break the news to her children.
"My son has autism and absence seizures - stress brings on the seizures,” she said
"I bought the birds as part of my family to help me and the children after a DV relationship.
"Inky is my companion bird that I hand raised. I can't give her up.”
Ms Irvine also fears for the health of Inky if the bird is removed from her home, as the cocky stresses around strangers.
There are about 20 birds, including ringneck and alexandrine parrots, at Ms Irvine's house all enclosed in large purpose-built aviaries in the backyard.
She said the rental property backed on to the golf course and her neighbours on both sides were friendly and enjoyed her birds. John and Gwen O'Brien, who live next door, told the NewsMail they had no complaints.
"We live right next to the cages and it's lovely,” Mrs O'Brien said.
"It's just so wrong the council are trying to take them.
"It would be devastating to see. Her son comes home from school and goes straight out and talks to the birds and they talk back to him.”
Ms Irvine said the council did not provide a reason why she had to remove the birds and was pleading for them to reconsider.
"My lease runs out in June and I am willing to move and take my babies with me,” she said.
"But council said if I don't remove them in seven days I will be fined.”
Ms Irvine said a council staffer told her they would keep fining her $600 until the birds were removed.
"I'm just gobsmacked about what's going on and I want the council to have a little compassion,” she said.
A council spokesman said by-laws prohibited the keeping of cockatoos, galahs and birds of similar size on an allotment less than 4000sqm
"The property occupier has been provided with a compliance notice which must be enacted within the stipulated timeframe of 28 days,” he said.
"However, this period of time will allow council to engage with the owner of the birds to determine if there are any exceptional circumstances relating to this particular matter.”
He said the council was always willing to discuss compliance matters with residents.
"In this instance the council action, like many compliance issues, is complaint driven.”