Healing the Broken: Aurora’s Story

Aurora in need of rescue

Aurora in need of rescue

If Aurora could write this post, I imagine it would go something like this:

Thank you for helping me! My name is now Aurora. As a young racing pigeon on one of my first flights, I got injured and grounded. The people who found me were well-intentioned but uniformed and they kept me in an unsafe and uncomfortable enclosure. They never got me any help for my broken, backward leg and, while I healed the best I could on my own, I was miserable. I was in pain, scared and lonely.

But not any more. Now I am safe! On the Fourth of July, even though MickaCoo is full, their volunteer appeared to truly rescue me. She held me carefully with loving hands and spoke gently to reassure me. She took me to her home in a crate lined with an extra soft towel to provide relief to my tortured feet and aching legs. She scritched my head and loved on me and the very next day I was at the vet getting expert care.

While I have a long recovery ahead of me, I already feel so much better! I’m getting proper food, lots of love, vet care for my wounds and pain medicine to help me through. I’ve been x-rayed and the doctors at Medical Center for Birds are conferring about how best to surgically repair my leg. There is hope that I will be able to walk again! I am so happy that they are having a hard time keeping me from celebrating with baths in my small water dish. I am saved! None of this would have been possible if not for your generous support. Thank you!

When “MickaCoo is full”, it means that our foster homes and aviaries are full up, that we have more expenses than funding and more work than people-power to get it done.

And we are full. But on Friday, July Fourth, when I received emailed photos showing two pigeons being kept in completely unsafe and inhumane conditions, we had to save them. I reached out to MickaCoo volunteer Jill and, despite the holiday, she dropped everything to help.

Jill picks up the story:

Arriving to pick up the pigeons, there were dogs, big and small, milling about the front yard, barking and jumping. When I picked the broke-leg racing pigeon now named Aurora up off the wire cage floor, I could immediately see that she was dealing with not only a broken leg healed wrong but a ‘good’ foot/leg that was seriously compromised. Her racing band was cutting into her swollen leg and I was not surprised to see she had bumblefoot, a condition common among birds and rodents housed on wire. It’s very painful.

Broke-leg racer kept standing on wire in unsafe cage

Broke-leg racer kept standing on wire in unsafe cage

The wing-injured pigeon housed in the backyard (now named Indy) had been attacked by the neighbor’s dog. Despite the lack of treatment, her injury has healed, though she can’t fly. She was kept in a makeshift cage fashioned out of chain link fence, boards and wire leaned together haphazardly. There were huge gaps and it’s a miracle she wasn’t killed by predators. 

Denise Ambriz rescued pigeon 070414 20140703_153022 crop

Wing-injured racer in unsafe, make-shift enclosure

 Aurora seemed to know I was there to help her. As soon as I put her in the padded crate, she went crazy eating pigeon feed! Yay! Good and proper pigeon grub! After getting this little bird home, she quickly settled into a nicely padded cage and welcomed neck scritches gratefully. I can only imagine how good it felt to have some relief and proper care. 

Aurora's untreated broken leg healed backwards

Aurora’s untreated broken leg healed backwards

Her 'good' leg was swollen, infected and painful

Her ‘good’ leg was swollen, infected and painful

Aurora loving Jill's loving care

Aurora loving Jill’s loving care

Indy has settled nicely in one of my aviaries and is now defending ‘her territory’ with great fervor. She’ll be married (if she is really a hen) soon I imagine, since we have lots of bachelor pigeons.

Indy is safe & happy now

Indy is safe & happy now

The very next day, Jill was at Medical Center for Birds with Aurora. MickaCoo depends on your donations to fund this work and we really need your help to pay for Aurora’s veterinary care and surgery.

Foster volunteer Jill comforting Aurora

Foster volunteer Jill comforting Aurora

Aurora band removal 20140705_123227

Aurora’s too tight band was Dremeled off her swollen leg

Radiographs show multiple breaks

Radiographs show multiple breaks

Aurora's infected feet are treated & bandaged

Aurora’s infected feet are treated & bandaged

Aurora underwent surgery to rebreak and correctively reposition her backwards leg on Wednesday, July 9th. I’ll post that chapter of her story in the coming week.

Aurora hospitalized pre-surgery

Aurora hospitalized pre-surgery

Please help us to help birds like Aurora when there is no where else for them to turn. Please support our work with your life-saving donation.

TO BE CONTINUED: Aurora’s Triumph



  1. Thank you, Elizabeth and MickaCoo, for giving Aurora the opportunity to walk into a new life. One where she isn’t a slave to someone’s idea of fun (pigeon racing). She deserves much more than that and is now receiving the respect and care she is worthy of. :)

  2. Pingback: Aurora’s Triumph | MickaCoo Pigeon & Dove Rescue

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  5. i need help with an injured pigeon that I have. She was attacked by a hawk about a year ago and we have taken care of her ever since, but she seems scared and unhappy til this day. She is blind (no eyeballs) and goes around in circles all day and if we try to pet her and show her affection she begins to make a noise and go in circles. We feed her parakeet food because we have parakeets but we are not sure what they are actually supposed to eat. We keep her outside in our porch, not in a cage. please help :(

    • Hello, Veronica- Thank you very much for rescuing this pigeon and for advocating on her behalf. It definitely sounds like she could be happier. Please review this article about How to Care for a Rescued Pigeon and read these stories about rescued pigeons that are blind: Lucky and Being Lucky and Jenny. And please post photos of your rescued pigeon and her home on our Facebook page at Palomacy Pigeon & Dove Adoptions group so that you can meet some other pigeon lovers and learn more about how to socialize and best care for her. Where are you located? I would love to connect you with someone in your area that can show you hands on how to comfort and bond with her.


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