COBB COUNTY, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - A woman who runs a parrot rescue out of her Cobb County home is ruffling some feathers. Maria Sullivan says her HOA and the county are trying to shut her down.
Sullivan started Papayago Rescue in 2015. She now has more than 70 parrots living inside her house. The Macaws have the sunroom, the Parakeets have their own bedroom, the African Grays are in the kitchen.
"They really like the energy in the kitchen, people coming and going, chopping up vegetables, doing dishes," said Brianna Stoddard, co-founder of Papayago Rescue.
The birds have all been surrendered by their owners. This often happens once the owners realize some of the birds can live 60 years or longer.
"The birds come from a lot of different situations, one of the most common is older people who can no longer physically keep up with the birds anymore," said Stoddard.
Sullivan said she started the rescue because she wanted to educate people about birds and help the birds transition from home to home.
"We help them mourn the loss of their old family and go on to their new family that we support long term," said Sullivan.
But Sullivan said the HOA of the Signal Pointe subdivision wants her to fly the coop.
"The HOA is saying I don't have a quote reasonable amount of birds," said Sullivan.
The HOA said 70-plus birds is a bit extreme, but it's not about the birds, it's about Sullivan operating a business in the subdivision.
"I don't have problems with anybody having a rescue, I think it's admirable, however, our bylaws state there's not allowed to be a business run in our neighborhood," said Lori DeSilva who is on the HOA board.
Sullivan has also been cited by Cobb County for operating a business that offers boarding, grooming, and nail trimming in a residential area.
"I understand ultimately they're just trying to get me gone. Now you tell me what I'm going to do with these birds. This is my life," said Sullivan.
Sullivan said she's been looking for another home that will accept her birds, but it's been difficult to find one.