Chanel enjoying a visit with his reflection in the mirror

On August 31st, 2012, MickaCoo was asked to rescue a domestic pigeon from the shelter where he would otherwise be euthanized for lack of an adopter. A MickaCoo volunteer (whose dining table was already co-opted by a pair of foster pigeons) cleared off her coffee table to make room for him. She named him Chanel. Chanel is a fancy little domestic breed called a Trumpeter whose genetic heritage includes relentless selective (in)breeding. He has way more feathers than a pigeon is supposed to, including long, primary flight-size wing feathers growing painfully out of his poor little tender feet as well as the crest around his head that, while cute, restricts his peripheral vision. Of course, inbreeding has other costs as well and fancy pigeons like Chanel are prone to all kinds of troubles that hardy feral pigeons have beat (by way of natural selection). People changed Chanel’s destiny from being one of the most successful birds in the world to being a frail and helpless one. And, without a home, Chanel was doomed. But Chanel got lucky and was rescued by MickaCoo.

Once in our care, it became clear that little Chanel was under the weather. His long feet feathers restricted his mobility and so they were trimmed. When a space became available, he was transferred to the special gentle-birds-only aviary of another foster volunteer. He’s done OK but kept to himself and sulked more than thrived. Recently we learned that hidden under Chanel’s many feathers was a fast-growing mass. His vet, Dr. Fitzgerald, tried to save he and MickaCoo the impacts of surgery by devitalizing the mass via ligature (tying off) and that worked for a portion of it but eventually, surgery was required and, on 1/28/13, was performed.

Chanel’s heart beat was erratic while under anesthesia but the surgery team finessed him through and he is home and recovering well. Dr. Fitzgerald is hopeful that she was able to remove all traces of the mass. She’d like to biopsy the removed tissue but that would cost another $170 above and beyond Chanel’s (generously discounted) vet bill of $1500. MickaCoo needs help to cover these costs. We have been generously awarded a $500 grant from the ASPCA and generous donors have already contributed almost $300 but a large balance remains.

MickaCoo never knows what a rescue will cost and rather than triaging them out, we prioritize caring for the sick and injured. We do our utmost (and drive our poor avian vet partners crazy) to keep expenses as low as possible but the reality is that avian medical care, just like canine, feline and human medical care, is costly. Chanel didn’t ask to be in this situation but he wants to live. Please help us to continue saving the lives of birds that no one else is while we simultaneously increase compassion and reduce suffering for innocent creatures. If you can, please make a tax-deductible donation today. I can virtually guarantee you that your donation will make a life-saving difference. Thank you.

2/11/13 Update from Chanel’s foster mom Jill: Chanel continues to improve after surgery and loves being back in the aviary with his friends. He has even surprised me by flying a short distance! I had never seen him take wing prior to surgery.  I think he’s feeling much better now that he can act more like a pigeon in a flock with his friends. He will always need to have his feet feathers trimmed but other than that he’s a happy-go-lucky guy who just needs a wife and a home to call his own.



  1. Chanel is such a beautiful bird! I hope the surgery went well and he gets to feeling better soon!

  2. Elizabeth, I donated another $50.00 for little Chanel. I wish I could pay for his whole bill because he has been so brave. It went through on 1-29-13 for $57.50 ( $7.50 Global Giving Fee). I hope you get enough to cover the whole bill. Love, Donna

  3. As soon as we can, Elizabeth…as soon as we can.

    For both him and Pearl…

    Love, Us and Biggie

  4. Best wishes to sweet little Chanel’s speedy recovery. His old mate, Shorty, sends him coos and gentle pecks. Sending you a few extra $$ for dear Chanel. xxoo Helen

  5. Thank you for all that you do!


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