The Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary

We are always on the lookout for kindred spirits with which to work and so we are thrilled to be connecting with the wonderful folks of the The Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary. Their motto of “Teaching Responsible Behavior Towards All Animals” is one that we fully support.

Rescued Pigeons Dylan & Indy visit the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary

I first had the pleasure of visiting the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary in April when I met with Animal Care Director (and a pigeon rescuer from way back) Jill Lute-Faust. I brought along diplomats Dylan & Indy.

Jill with Indy & Dylan

Jill with pigeon-racing survivor Indy & Dylan (a rescued King)

The Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary “differs from traditional zoos and is more like a sanctuary in the way the animals are acquired and the care they receive. Though the facility allows visitors like a traditional zoo, the animals are not bred, sold, or traded.”  Quoting from their website, they “provide for animals that are not able to be released back into the wild. Some have been “pets” that proved to be too wild or were confiscated as illegal. Many have suffered injuries that would make life in the wild impossible. Some were captured as “problem animals”. All are treated as individuals and offered the best environments for their needs. None of the animals are bred, sold or traded. Once here, these creatures will be given the best care possible. The animals always come first and they will be loved and supported their entire lives.”  Kindred spirits for sure…

All kinds of lucky, rescued animals call the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary Home including tigers, cougars, bobcats, feral cats, bears, coyotes, wolves and wolf-hybrids, donkeys, pigs, monkeys, snakes, ravens, parrots, eagles, owls and more.

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My next visit was on September 14th and I had the honor of presenting our slideshow All About Pigeons to an awesome team of Docents. I brought Dylan again and Mr. Vivian- a survivor (just barely) of pigeon racing who is new to outreach but who even so proved himself to be a talented diplomat (as pigeons so often do). You can read his rescue story here: Feather & Bone)

A great audience for our slideshow

The Docents loved learning about pigeons & Palomacy

And we had fun meeting with staff as well!

Former Superintendent Terry Jenkins & Dylan IMG_4188 IMG_4191

I also had a very exciting opportunity to see an aviary in which we hope to soon foster Palomacy pigeons! Pigeons are so common that people think they know them but most of what people know about pigeons is wrong and often leads to harm for these smart, gentle, innocent birds. Having a mixed flock of adoptable unreleasable wild Rock Pigeons and rescued domestic pigeons such as Kings and racers would be such an incredible educational opportunity. As a home and backyard-aviary based rescue, we have very limited opportunities for the public to meet our birds but the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary has more than 100,000 visitors annually! Can you imagine?

Manager Jocelyn Smeltzer in front of a potential foster aviary for Palomacy pigeons!

Manager Jocelyn Smeltzer & the potential foster aviary for pigeons!

Needless to say, we are thrilled about this opportunity and we are very much looking forward to partnering with the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary so that they may include pigeons amongst the many lucky animals they are helping. Please stay tuned!

A dream team- Docent, Staff, Palomacy Volunteer & pigeons!

Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary dream team- Docent, Staff, Palomacy Volunteer & pigeons!



  1. That’s very kind of the zoo to do that. If only the San Francisco zoo did that; that could raise so much animal awareness.

  2. This is wonderful! Thank you, Elizabeth, for sharing this awesome news. Can’t wait to hear more about it. Thank you, Folsom Zoo, for the inspiring and kind work you are doing for the animals.

  3. Now THAT’S the kind of zoo I wouldn’t mind visiting!


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