Just Like Cats & Dogs?

Domestic King pigeons awaiting adoption

Just like cats and dogs, domestic (tame & unreleasable) pigeons wind up in animal shelters needing homes. Unlike with cats and dogs, few people know that they even exist let alone adopt them and, while all the other animals had rescues to help them, no one was saving these smart, gentle birds when they “timed out” until MickaCoo Pigeon & Dove Rescue started helping close this deadly gap in the Bay Area animal welfare community.

Three baby King pigeons- curious, hopeful, wanting to live

Three baby King pigeons- curious, hopeful, wanting to live

We’ve made some progress but we are still working hard to see that these birds are cared for like the other animals. Most shelters provide veterinary care for cats and dogs but few do for the pigeons and doves that they receive. MickaCoo is helping SFACC to provide basic preventative care for these birds and, despite already being overfull, we made room to take in two of the eight baby King pigeons because they had upper respiratory infections and would have been killed rather than treated. (They’re doing great and are almost well.)

Should shelters provide avian vet care when birds arrive sick or injured?

Should shelters provide avian vet care when birds arrive sick or injured?

King pigeons do great as indoor pets: They are quiet, smart and easy to care for. They can also live outside year-round in an aviary. They must be kept safe from predators of all sorts (including cats, hawks, rats, raccoons) and shouldn’t be ‘free flown’. MickaCoo volunteers can help coach adopters on how to care for these charming birds and you can see lots of info on our Pigeons & Doves as Pets page.


While MickaCoo has placed more than 500 birds in wonderful homes since we started in 2007, there are always more that need to be adopted. We currently have 113 in our foster care and shelters like Animal Care & Control in San Francisco and the Peninsula Humane Society in Burlingame always have lots too.

Sweet, tame West of England Tumbler also at SFACC waiting for a home

Sweet, tame West of England Tumbler also at SFACC waiting for a home

Baby King pigeons at SFACC are in urgent need of adoption!

Baby King pigeons at SFACC are in urgent need of adoption!

We’re thrilled that these baby King pigeons (four weeks old as of 9/1) have been moved into the high profile Lobby Cage at SFACC where the public can see and learn more about them. Potential adopters are encouraged to contact us for more info.

Worthy of Life?




  1. The thing is, if you take the time to get to know these birds, you’ll see how they are so unique from one another. They may look alike, but there is a different personality in each of these feathered sweeties. My life has become much richer since I have opened my life to them.

    • So true, Jill! They are lovely creatures. I’ve only known two pijies thus far–those in our family–and for a relatively short time….yet I am keenly aware of how different each one is and wonderful in his/her own individual ways. I can’t imagine anyone NOT liking pigeons after getting to know them.

      Elizabeth, thank you for this wonderful blog piece and the FANTASTIC photos!! You are a talented photographer who can bring out all the unique beauty and character in these sweet birds.

  2. I can’t even begin to express how much I enjoy having the pleasure of getting to know so many kings and their individual personalities. I feel so lucky to have them in my life. I’ve had so many wonderful experiences with them that I recommend pigeons over parrots as pet birds.

  3. I have taken care of many sick and injured pigeons under an avian vet’s direction, and I found out just what you are saying, each one has its own distinct personality and they are very affectionate and entertaining as pets. They are just as smart as any dog or cat, even more so, and they give unconditional love. Everyone should own a pet pij at least once in their lives. Linda Roberts

  4. I have raised many doves and pigeons from as young as 2 weeks old. Took them to my vet. for their physical just like cats and dogs they need to see the doctor. They are intelligent, loving and each have their own personality and funny ways. The ones that could servive out side I released. Others I sent to a sanctuary and 2 lived with me for 8 1/2 years, they became ill and past away and I miss them a lot. Stella and Lumpy Nigel. They kiss me in their way very affectionate and Stella would feed me. They were very clean I would bathe them in my kitchen sink a bath they enjoyed. I have said enough, My kids are missed very much.

  5. I have had two white pigeons a couple of yrs. Also had two rescues that managed to escape and fly away before them. These are sweet birds and particularly the female. When we look in each other’s eyes, I see love and thankfulness from both of us.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: