In early June, a domestic pigeon, bred for the “sport” of pigeon racing, was taken far from home and released (along with thousands of others) to try and fly back. Instead she was injured and grounded. She was incredibly lucky to be found by a kind person before being killed by a hungry predator. She was taken to a shelter that doesn’t really serve birds (few do) and while they waited to hear back from her owner (they didn’t), she also waited… They didn’t understand how compromised she was and she didn’t get a lot of care.
When I picked her up on June 30th to bring her into Palomacy’s foster care, I was shocked to find her so emaciated and weak. She was completely unable to use her legs and down on her keel (breastbone). Usually shelters alert us to the 911 cases and we prioritize those birds, bumping them up ahead of the less-urgently-in-need birds on our waiting list, but that hadn’t happened for Beatrice. I was very worried that help might have come too late for her.
Though very quiet and gentle, Beatrice has a strong will and she was not ready to give up. She had suffered spinal trauma and while she couldn’t move her legs, they still had feeling. With enough time and support, we’ve seen a lot of pigeons make amazing recoveries and Beatrice is one of them. It took a few weeks of supportive care, pain and anti-inflammation meds, cage rest and hydrotherapy (floating in my kitchen sink an hour a day to relieve pain and pressure and improve circulation) and very gradually, Beatrice regained weight, strength and the use of her legs!
She can now stand, walk and fly. On October 1st, she attended her first outreach and adoption event and though I still treat her like she’s glass, she’s strong and did great. Beatrice has made her remarkable recovery because Palomacy was able to give her the opportunity to heal. Beatrice is one of more than 800 pigeons and doves whose lives we have directly saved since we began this work in 2007. And, thanks to the power of the Internet, we are helping countless others through coaching, education and referrals. You are helping Palomacy save a lot of lives. Thank you!