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Chain of Caring People Races to Rescue Pigeon

Written by PETA | November 3, 2009

NYC Pigeon


A tree grows in Brooklyn … actually, many of them do. And from one of those trees, a pigeon dangled upside down from a piece of string that was caught around her leg and tangled on a tree branch two stories above a busy sidewalk, beside a busy street.

When a caring Brooklynite contacted PETA, the bird had already hung from that tree for days without food or water, surely full of panic and fear.

But luckily there are people—such as the Brooklynite who contacted us—who care enough to take action.

Local animal control agents lacked the equipment necessary to rescue the pigeon, but they referred our cruelty caseworker to the local fire department, which dispatched a truck minutes after PETA’s call came in. Firefighters drove by to survey the situation and returned in a truck with a tall ladder, which they climbed to reach the bird.

The caller was on-site, and when firefighters handed her the pigeon—whose wounds were infested with maggots—she rushed the bird to a local veterinarian. Immediately realizing that the pigeon’s back was broken, the vet was able to quickly release her from her suffering.

The anguish that pigeon endured during those days is almost incomprehensible. Hanging upside down with a broken back and suffering from extreme starvation and dehydration as maggots infested her open wounds, she must have been in severe pain. Had those caring persons—the caller, the cruelty caseworker, firefighters, and the vet—not stepped in to take action, who knows how long her suffering would have continued?

We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: Please always be a person who helps an animal in need. You might be the first to take action, but if you reach out to others, you’ll likely find people who care as much as you do.

Written by Karin Bennett

Commenting is closed.
  • Aneliese says:

    I’m glad that someone finally took action but how could anyone passing by let that bird suffer up there “for days”?

  • Bluebell says:

    Where I live every other pigeon I see is missing either part of a foot or the entire thing. Although this may often have occurred accidentally they’ve become too trusting of people and they are subject to a lot of abuse. I often see kids chasing or taunting or even kicking them whilst their idiotic parents saydo nothing. The pigeons are considered vermin by our national animal protection society who refuse to do anything if you report one injured.

  • Jane Whitehead says:

    Wonderful story! May I take this opportunity to alert people to the danger of string fibres etc. especially left behind in open air markets by stall holders selling lengths of material carpets clothes. Pigeons often get their feet entangled. Some of the man made fibres are extremely thin can be extremely painful when pulled tight both feet frequently become snared even small sticks getting in the mix. Eventually the snared toes or feet are cut through entirely by the fibres. In spring young birds often become tangled as parents seem to take loose fibres as nesting material.I can be more specific about how to catch individual pigeons if this is considered a site safe from illdoers. Lots of Love Janie

  • JVP says:

    Speaking of NYC cruelty did anyone else hear David Letterman on Monday Nov. 2 talk about there being too many dogs and that he thinks some should be taken for a “swim” in the East River? He has become so cynical.

  • Pamela Ernest says:

    It’s awesome of Peta to give the caller all of the credit. But I know Peta had a BIG part in all this rescuing.

  • lynda downie says:

    How tragic for the poor little pigeon. Kudos to the people who tried to save herhim.

  • roxanne says:

    thank goodness for FDNY and PETA and especially for the caller. thank god. poor pigeon. I feel so bad for him but at least his suffering was ended sooner than later.

  • Raquel says:

    Ooops sorry Karin! I was so anxious to know more about the bird that I skipped over the part of your story that answers my questions. Please disregard both messages. Thanks.

  • Raquel says:

    Karin do we know what happened to the bird? With all those injuries was it cared for after the rescue?

  • Brien Comerford says:

    There will hopefully be positive karmic consequences for the humane people who helped this precious bird.