IN YOUR CORNER: Neighbors cry foul over home filled with fowl

In Your Corner

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A local community called In Your Corner, hoping for help with a home filled with unwanted feathered neighbors.

In the shadow of our State Capital, you’ll find a quiet neighborhood with a sometimes not so quiet home.

Diane Carroll Jackson leads the neighborhood association in the area.

She tells our team two years back, folks on Sherman Avenue reported a fowl issue down the street.

“I was made aware of the fact there were birds being kept in this house. We went and peaked in the window, found a few birds,” said Diane. “But over the course of this year or so, it’s full of birds, hundreds of birds in there in cages.”

Photos snapped by neighbors through windows, shows a home seemingly devoid of people, furniture or home decor.

Instead, bird cages are stacked floor to ceiling.

“You don’t know what type of diseases or viruses these birds could carry. If you’ve got the windows open, it’s contaminating the air that we have to breathe,” said Diane. “We are trying to have a safe, clean, productive community in which to live.”

Problem is, city officials tell us the home isn’t breaking any city code.

According to the City County Health Department (OCCHD), officials found hundreds of “Japanese Cortunix pigeons” inside, commonly known as Japanese quail.

Photo goes with story
A house full of Japanese quail.

The homeowner was initially cited for foul smell, egg shells littering the yard and four city trash cans full of bird feces out front.

Those issues though, were reportedly resolved. OCCHD closed their case after a follow-up visit.

Councilperson Nikki Nice is also looking into the situation.

“When we went and looked at it, it was like, ‘Oh my goodness, this is ridiculous, this is crazy,'” said the Ward 7 Councilperson. “Unimaginable this would be in a neighborhood in the urban core of our community.”

Nice fears what this might mean for both neighbors and their home values.

According to county assessor records, every other home on Sherman Avenue has seen an increase in value over the last year.

The bird plot has seen its value plummet nearly 65 percent.

“When it is evacuated, these birds are evacuated, [imagine] all of the things that will have to be done to remedy this particular home, in order for someone to live there in the future,” said Nikki. “If we have to tear it down, it’s an empty lot smack dab in the middle of the street.”

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The councilperson wants neighbors to know they’re looking at other city codes, hoping to help remedy this secret zoo.

Others along Sherman Avenue are calling on the homeowner to fly the coop.

Nikki Nice

“I give my word, this is something I will continue through until the end,” said Nikki Nice. “Until we’re able to work through this for them.”

“Why do you think it’s okay to bring that to our neighborhood,” said Diane. “Take it to where you live. I don’t think it’d be allowed in any other area, and we don’t want it here.”

KFOR has attempted to reach the homeowner for some time.

Nice hopes the city will be able to apply other city codes that crack down on animals, such as chickens, to use in this case.

She also tells our team she’d be willing to propose changes to the city code if need be.

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