Merle had been living in Mississippi with 29 dogs in a hoarding situation. "The cage that he came in looked like the dogs had peed all over it," Jamie Pope, Merle's current caretaker, told The Dodo.
"It was disgusting. The cage was rusted out in spots - it was horrible," she said.
But just last month, a combined effort of police officials, animal control and the Humane Society of South Mississippi (HSSM) raided Merle's former home and took all the animals who lived there out of the dwelling. Pope, who works with Wild at Heart Rescue, brought Merle home with her to help him recover.
The bird needed all the help he could get - he was visibly traumatized from the way he had been forced to live. Upon picking up Merle from HSSM, Pope was warned that Merle would scream whenever someone dared come too close to him. Oddly enough, the only thing capable of consoling him was country music.