Long Island bird rescue stretched to its limits by pandemic pet abandonments

Many people took up new hobbies during the COVID-19 pandemic, and for some on Long Island, that included raising chickens. 

But, as the pandemic slowly came to an end, some people found themselves frustrated with or unable to care for their new feathered friends, and abandoned them. 

Now, Long Islanders like Christine Miceli are spending their time finding fowl and keeping them off the streets.

"It's 24 hours a day," Miceli said. "You can get a call at any given time."

Smithtown has the only known animal shelter on Long Island with a dedicated aviary, meaning they get all of Long Island's abandoned birds.

"People are impulsive and uneducated, which results in a lot of us having to take in more than we can," said Rosalie Gonzalez. 

The animal shelter relies on non-profits and animal groups to try and find homes for the birds. So far this year, they've placed four.