Yesterday morning, walking to the D.C. Metro along the tenuous paths carved through the high banks of snow, the usual birdsong was missing. Then I heard a sparrow chirp and found a group of them sitting under a restaurant awning. I had cereal in a bag with me, so I scattered it under the awning, and out hobbled a pigeon who had been under a table, her legs clearly frozen. At each step, she stumbled and had to right herself. Because she ate, I didn’t want to scare her by attempting to catch her and feared she would flutter off into the snow, so I watched her eat and then moved on. Last night, making my way home, I found her back under that table, frozen, snow all over her back. In D.C. and many other cities across the nation, there is no water for the birds and no grass for them to reach under the many feet of snow. At PETA’s Washington office and around town, including in Lafayette Park and Union Station, we are doing our best to help them. This morning I had an idea: I picked up whole-grain bread and stuck slices of it in the saplings on the streets.
Birds and countless other animals around the city are struggling to survive. It is crucial that in these dire weather conditions, you take action in behalf of animals who would otherwise be left to succumb to the elements by providing them with something to eat and making sure that they have access to fresh water.
Written by Ingrid E. Newkirk