I mentioned the American Hotel before and that I had to go inside 5 times and rescue birds that the city sealed inside to die a terrible slow torturous death without any food or water. But there is actually more to the story than the bits and pieces I already mentioned. The hotel is over 100 years old and it is a historic landmark and that is the reason it has not been torn down. It has been empty for years with broken windows and pigeons were allowed to live inside there in peace for years. All the years of the birds being inside made it very unhealthy to go in but there was no one else that would have done it except me. I did risk my health and I hope someday it does not come back to haunt me but I would do it again in a second.
Each time I went in I would rescue the birds and put mattresses and box springs against the windows that were broke trying to prevent the birds from going back in again. It was 2 story and I would have to chase birds back and forth across the hotel from the second floor landing until finally they would go into a room where I could rescue them. I spent hours in there each time rescuing the birds and boarding it up again. But each time about a week later kids would break out a few windows again and birds would get back in and I had to go back in each time and rescue more birds and board up more windows hoping kids would not break more windows out again.
The first time I went in it was with a animal control officer named Chris Martinez. The Supervisor at the time at animal control named Paddy. She was more than glad for me to take over the rescue operations after the first time because they were under staffed the way it was. I wrote a e-mail to Tom Hennessy the columnist for the Press Telegram and wanted to warn him of the horrible health conditions in the hotel since I was one of the few people who went inside there in years. I wanted him to warn anyone of authority that if they went inside without protection they could be risking there health.
Well like everyone else along the way did he never sent me a e-mail back acknowledging the letter I sent him of concern. But the funny thing was I heard a lot of officials went inside awhile later and they were all wearing full body suits. And I doubt anyone ever even knew it was my letter of concern that I went out of my way to write that was probably the reason they went inside so protected. The first time I went inside with Chris Martinez the animal control officer we found 18 skeletons. I know some of the skeletons were probably there for a long time but I often wondered how many of the skeletons were there because the birds were sealed in to die. What I wonder the most about is how people can do things like this and lay down and go right to sleep.
Animal Control officer Chris Martinez and me rescuing birds in the American Hotel