Parakeet rescued from hoarder inspires kids` book - New York News

Parakeet rescued from hoarder inspires kids` book

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Ludwig with Nubs, showing off his right leg stump that was the inspiration for his name Ludwig with Nubs, showing off his right leg stump that was the inspiration for his name
Books are being sold to help raise money for the aviary at the Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City, Indiana. Books are being sold to help raise money for the aviary at the Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City, Indiana.
AURORA, Ill. (Associated Press) -

A small, one-legged parakeet that was among hundreds of birds found inside a feces-filled Aurora home is the focus of a new children's book and the inspiration for a charitable foundation.

Nicknamed "Nubs," the blue-and-white parakeet was one of nearly 500 birds found living in a home last October. About 150 birds were dead.

Suburban Chicago resident Kristen Ludwig was one of the volunteers who helped care for the frantic fowl, including Nubs.

"When he first came into the shelter he was cold and he was shivering and he was covered in mold, but he was so energetic and he was so excited to be around people and you could just tell he was different," Ludgwig recalls.

While most of the birds went to a shelter, the Grayslake biochemist took Nubs home and nursed the parakeet back to health.

"It kind of inspired me, the idea that a bird, that any creature that has been through something tough, would then give life a second chance," Ludwig says.

Now, she's using the diminutive critter that she calls "a handicapable budgie" to educate others, forming the nonprofit group No Unwanted BirdS, also known as NUBS.

Ludwig has authored a children's book based on Nubs' story and is selling copies to raise money for the Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City, Ind., where 368 of the former Aurora birds now live. The book is called "Nubs: A Little Bird With A Big Story" and sells for about $13.

She's also hoping Nubs and his charity will teach people about the benefits -- and responsibility -- of bird ownership.

Nubs is now a certified therapy animal and is working with disadvantaged children.

"I believe in bringing in an animal that needs a fresh start helping rehabilitate them and then giving them a job, which is most of the time working with at risk children," Ludwig told FOX 32 News.

His former owner, David Skeberdis, is set to appear in court this fall after being charged with hoarding, a misdemeanor. It was last October that officials in Aurora, with the help of a bird rescue group, removed 368 birds from David Skeberdis' feces filled home. Another 150 dead birds were found inside.

FOX 32's Craig Wall contributed to this report.

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